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India’s plan to lease a nuclear attack submarine from Russia appears to be facing potential cancellation, according to a report by Politico and comments from senior defense journalist Rahul Bedi.

In 2019, India signed a significant deal with Russia worth USD 3 billion. This agreement entailed the lease of another nuclear-powered attack submarine, designated Chakra III, for the Indian Navy. The terms of the deal stipulated delivery by 2025, bolstering India’s underwater deterrent capabilities.

However, recent comments by Rahul Bedi, a respected voice in Indian defense journalism, suggest a potential change of course. Speaking to Politico, Bedi indicated that the lease agreement for Chakra III might have been scrapped.

Bedi’s statement raises questions about the current status of this lease agreement. The reasons behind the potential cancellation remain unclear. However, this development coincides with India’s increasing focus on diversifying its defense imports beyond Russia, particularly in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

If India confirms the cancellation of the lease, it would mark a significant shift in its defense relationship with Russia. The Akula-class submarines boast advanced capabilities, and their addition would have bolstered India’s underwater deterrence. However, the potential cancellation could indicate India’s pursuit of alternative options or a reevaluation of its strategic priorities.

While the future of the Chakra III lease remains unclear, it signifies a potential turning point in India’s defense strategy. Further developments and official statements are needed to confirm the status of the deal and understand the reasons behind any potential cancellation.