INS Chakra a modernized Russian Akula-II class submarine on a 10-year lease from 2012 was recently sported in the Malacca Strait while navigating the narrow stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra deliberately with its automatic identification system (AIS) broadcasting possibly heading from Visakhapatnam where the vessel is based to Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East.

As per information provided by the Twitter user @detresfa_, revealing of the AIS was done deliberately clearly underling the political signaling in the region. INS Chakra with a crew of 100 left its home base in Visakhapatnam on 27th May towards its five-week sea journey covering more than 5,000 km to Vladivostok, possibly for a major refit at the submarine dry dock facilities their due to extension of the lease that was supposed to end in 2022.

India and Russia have agreed to a $ 2.5 billion deal to lease a third ‘Chakra III’ nuclear attack submarine from an old ally. Indian Navy after an inspection had decided to pick Kashalot (K 322) that will be getting deep refit before it is transferred to India from 2026 onwards for a 10-year-old lease that will end 2036. K-322 was laid down in 1986 and was decommissioned from the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet in 2019. Present INS Chakra-II a K-152 submarine was a much newer and uncompleted hull that was laid down in 1993 but launched in 2006 after Indian funding that will go on to operated by India for the next 4 years beyond its lease agreement till 2026 when Chakra III is delivered to India.

There is some media speculation that Chakra III will be K-295 Hull that was laid down in 1993 and presently going deep refit and modernization and will likely be ready in 2023 for Internal sea trials before it is handed over to the Indian Navy in 2026. But most of the Indian media reports hint it will be an older Kashalot (K 322) hull that will become Chakra III.

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