SOURCE: ANITA DESAI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Indian Naval Team of Experts will be soon visiting Russia to finalize between K-391 Bratsk and K-295 Samara Akula-II Class Submarine lying in Amur Shipyard, which will later go on the become India’s third Nuclear attack submarine which will India take on lease from Russia post 2022 when current INS Chakra II (K-152) is returned back after completion of 10-year-old lease.
INS Chakra III is most likely, will be the name given to the third leased nuclear attack submarine by India. As per previous media reports, In past, Russia had offered India K-322 Kashalot which was commissioned in 1988 over India’s interest in uncompleted Iribis Akula-II Class Submarine which has been lying in Russia’s Amur Shipyard Uncompleted from 1994 on wards.
K-391 Bratsk was commissioned in 1989 and K-295 Samara 1995, which relatively are much younger K-322 Kashalot, Akula-II Class Submarine previously offered by Russia to India. Both submarines have been pulled out of service from the Russian Navy and are currently waiting for overhauling and deep modernization.
India and Russia are reportedly working out a deal worth over 3 Billion which have raised few eyebrows in India defense circle due to high cost over previous lease arrangements. Details of the deal are not unlikely to come into public foray anytime soon due to secretive nature of the all previous nuclear submarine lease or cooperation deal with Russia but that few details suggest that below mentioned details are likely to be incorporated in the new lease deal with Russia.
1) The selected submarine will be getting a new latest generation nuclear reactor which might have a transfer of technology agreement with India so that new next-generation attack submarines can be developed locally in India. BARC which has previously developed an 83 megawatts pressurized light-water reactor with enriched uranium fuel with due Russian assistance has been in charge to develop a new high power reactor for India’s Nuclear attack submarine program which might see a repeat of technical assistance from Russia.
2) INS Chakra II (K-152) presently with the Indian Navy, was only equipped with MTCR restricted Sub-sonic cruise missiles of Russian origin but after India’s entry into MTCR regime, Indo-Russian BrahMos Supersonic cruise missiles will now be upgraded to 800km ranged Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) and will be equipped on INS Chakra III, which will significantly enhance firepower of the Indian Navy.
3) India will be including several of the technologies which have been developed locally for Arihant Class nuclear Submarines in India in the proposed INS Chakra III. Many Defence Analysts believe that INS Chakra III will be a test-bed for various technologies which will ultimately make into India’s Nuclear attack submarines construction of which are yet to begin.
4) INS Chakra III will take nearly Six years to be completed due to the need for deep modernization and complete rebuilt along with the integration of new nuclear reactor into it. India specific addition and incorporation of Indian technology will truly make it perfect test bed for Indian engineers and designers to reduce the developmental timeline for Six next-generation attack submarine which will need to come out by end of 2030.