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Nerpa to be handed over to India after trials: Russia

Akula-II class nuclear submarine Nerpa. A File Photo

MOSCOW (PTI): Russia will hand over the Akula-II class nuclear submarine “Nerpa” to India after the completion of its sea trials, the country's top general said without specifying any time-frame for it.

"The trials are underway according to schedule, after which the submarine will be handed over to the Indian Navy," Chief of Russia's General Staff, General Nikolai Makarov, was quoted as saying by website.

Addressing a news conference in Ulan Bator, Gen. Makarov, accompanying President Medvedev on Mongolia tour, however, did not specify the time-frame for the delivery of the much- awaited submarine.

"There is no fixed schedule (of delivery), but there are no reasons for delay," he said.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had earlier ordered to hand over the Nerpa to Indian Navy on 10-year lease by the end of this year.

Built by the Amur Shipyard in the far-eastern Khabarovsk region bordering China, the Nerpa met with an accident on November 8 last year in the Sea of Japan, when its fire fighting system went off filling the vessel with toxic gas which killed 20 sailors.

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