India will soon have a third nuclear submarine in it’s arsenal, leased from Russia, following a $3 billion Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between the two countries on Thursday. The Indian Navy will have the nuclear-powered Akula attack submarine, rechristened as the Chakra III, to be delivered by Russia by 2025.
This is the third nuclear submarine India has leased from Russia, with the first INS Chakra I that was leased for 3 years in 1988, followed by another Akula (renamed Chakra II) that was leased for 10 years beginning 2012. The Chakra II’s lease will lapse in 2022.
A spokesperson in the Defence Ministry refused to comment when asked about the deal. It is a part of India’s efforts to enhance it’s presence in the Indian Ocean Region in the face of rapid Chinese militarization and expanding naval prowess.
The deal for the Chakra III came days after Indo-Russian joint production facility to manufacture AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian Army was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi. In October last year, the two countries also signed a multi-billion dollar deal for S-400 Triumf missile systems.