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Russian navy set to commission N-sub for lease to India: report

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A File Photo of the Akula-II class Nerpa nuclear attack submarine

MOSCOW (PTI): The Russian navy will formally commission the Akula-II class Nerpa nuclear attack submarine in December for the subsequent lease to India early next year, a top Russian official has said.

"The submarine has undergone a range of sea trials, and state tests will begin in late October or early November, after which the Nerpa will be commissioned by the Pacific Fleet," a naval spokesman was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti on Friday.

It said the navy will formally commission the Akula-II class nuclear submarine in December for the subsequent lease to India early next year.

The Indian crew would undergo a course of training together with Russian specialists and servicemen in early 2010. After training the Indian crew would sail on their own under the supervision of Russian instructors.

On completion of the training of the Indian crew, the submarine will be leased to the Indian Navy under the name INS Chakra.

The delivery of the submarine was delayed due to an onboard accident in November last during the sea trials, when accidental release of lethal Freon gas had killed 20 civilian technical staff and crew members.

During Defence Minister A K Antony's talks in Moscow this week, his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov assured that Moscow would try to make up for the delay at the earliest.

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