Nuclear-powered attack submarine INS Chakra was formally inducted into the Navy on Wednesday in the presence of Defence Minister A.K. Antony, taking India into an elite league of six nations that operate nuclear subs.
The Navy will use INS Chakra, commissioned on January 23 this year at Vladivastok in Russia, for training its men in operating such submarines.
The Navy began operating submarines in 1967 and within two decades, graduated to operating nuclear submarines by leasing a Soviet Charlie class submarine, also named INS Chakra, between 1988 and 1991. Commanded by Captain P. Ashokan, who has operational experience of over 25 years, the new INS Chakra has a displacement of over 12,000 tonnes and is manned by a crew of 80. It is powered by a 190-MWe reactor for a maximum submerged speed of 30 knots (55 kmph) and operating depths of over 500 metres.
The submarine is equipped with an array of tactical missiles, cutting edge fire control systems, sonars and communication and surveillance systems. It has come to the Indian shores with deadly fire power, tremendous sustained speed and practically unlimited endurance.
Mr. Antony described INS Chakra's arrival as momentous, which was a result of India-Russia cooperation. He asserted that the induction of the submarine or the acquisition of aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, to be delivered by Russia in December, were not done with an eye on any country but with a view to strengthening the nation's national and maritime security. Russian Ambassador Alexander M. Kadakin said it was a milestone not only for India but also for the relations between the two countries.