India is likely to take delivery of a Russian nuclear-powered submarine, K-152 Nerpa, on a 10-year lease by June this year.
The Akula-II class submarine, which India has sought for long, was inducted into the Russian Navy last December after delayed sea trials due to a mishap on board in 2008.
India hopes to train its personnel on board the Russian submarine, to be rechristened INS Chakra, as its expects to operate an indigenously developed nuclear-powered vessel.
It had last July launched nuclear-powered INS Arihant, which is at present under construction in Visakhapatnam and is expected to join the fleet in about two years.
“The Nerpa is expected to join the Indian Navy by June. It could be inducted in April or May. But, yes, certainly by June,” Navy sources said here on Monday.
India and Russia have been officially maintaining a silence on the likely lease of the nuclear-powered submarine from Russia.
Meanwhile, an Indian crew is likely to visit Russia soon to join training on board Nerpa so that it could be sailed back to India with just a few Russian crew members.
Nerpa’s sea trials in late 2008 had been disrupted following an accident on board when unauthorised release of a fire-fighting gas killed 20 men and injured more than 20 others.