July 5, 2013

2025 before India could lease Chakra III nuclear submarine

INS Chakra ("II") (rebuilt using Indian money) when handed over to India (in 2012) for ten year lease. Chakra III would look very similar but would only be leased by India around 2025 if India and Russia rapidly agreed on its re-building. 
For several years the Indian Government has been considering leasing "Chakra III" a second derivative of the Akula nuclear propelled attack submarine.  Chakra III would supplement INS Chakra (the Akula derivative India leased last year). 
As new Akulas are no longer in production (in Russia's Amur and Sevmash Shipyards) India would be looking to have an existing Akula hull to be rebuilt. India and Russian focus appears to be on the Iribis Akula hull, which is sitting in Russia's Amur Shipyard.
India would also consider buying a rebuilt existing hull (Iribis) less expensive and less politically problematic than buying a new build Russian submarine such as the Yasen. Russia might also be reluctant to sell its latest attack submarines to India - in part due to the risk that the West (including the US) and China might get too good an opportunity to examine a completely new Russian submarine.
Iribis was laid down for the Russian Navy in 1994, but due to lack of Russian money (and altered post Cold War strategic requirements) Iribis was only 60% complete when work was stopped. As Iribis was never launched it would be sitting on stocks - probably in poor shape.
Once, or if, India and Russia do agree to use the Indian money that would be essential in the rebuilding of Iribis there would be at least a 10 year delay - perhaps until 2025 - before Iribis is ready for India to lease.

"India may take another n-sub on lease

India has expressed interest in leasing another nuclear attack submarine from Russia to supplement the Akula class hunter-killer that was inducted last year and the two sides are now ready to start negotiations on the project, the head of the top Russian design bureau for nuclear submarines has said.

Tentatively christened INS Chakra III, the new submarine will be a variant of the Akula class of stealthy nuclear-powered submarines that are capable of spending months under water but is likely to be equipped with more lethal weaponry, including a vertically launched Brahmos missile system.

If the project goes through, this would be the third Russian nuclear submarine to be operated by India. The first being the original INS Chakra that was taken on a three-year lease in 1988 and the second was inducted last year after a four-year delay. It too has been named the INS Chakra.

Vladimir Dorofeev, head of the [Russian] Malachite Design Bureau, which is the main centre for nuclear attack submarines in Russia, has said that the negotiations that India and Russia did during the 2012 lease of the Chakra would help in a smooth process for the acquisition of the new submarine. He also told The Indian Express that India has expressed an interest in acquiring the submarine and both the Russian design bureau and the shipyard that will construct it are ready for negotiations.

The submarine is likely to be reconstructed round the hull of the Iribis, a Russian Akula class submarine that was never completed as funds ran dry after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Dorofeev said that the new submarine could also benefit from the design efforts that Russia had put in its latest class of Yasen nuclear-powered attack submarines.

"The fourth generation of Yasen class submarine has been tested successfully, including the firing of a cruise missile from the submerged vessel. We can use that experience for the second Indian submarine. The launch was done using a new vertical launch system that can be used for the next submarine," Dorofeev said


From http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=82793 "

[Further details on the proposed Chakra III] The universal [vertical] launch system that has been tested can launch several types of missiles from a submerged vessel and can carry four to five missiles per salvo. However, [Vladimir Dorofeev, head of the Russian Malachite Design Bureau] refused to go into details of the project, saying that technical requirements for the next submarine will be discussed after India comes up with a set of technical requirements.

"If a political decision is taken then we as an industry should have no difficulty in delivering what is agreed to," he said. He expressed confidence that the matter will be discussed in future talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who meet once a year [maybe in Dec 2013 based on last year's schedule] for top level confabulations.

He, however, refused to comment on Russian assistance for the indigenous INS Arihant class of submarines that India is constructing in Vizag (Andhra Pradesh). Joint cooperation or technology sharing would depend on political negotiations between the two nations, he said.

In April 2012, the Eastern Fleet that is tasked with patrolling some of the most sensitive waters around India, formally inducted the INS Chakra, a stealthy nuclear-powered submarine acquired from Russia on a 10-year lease.

The Akula II class submarine — renowned as one of the stealthiest in the world is an attack submarine — is nuclear-powered but does not carry nuclear missiles on board [Pete's Comment - but nuclear tipped Klub cruise missiles could be fired through the horizontal torpedo tubes...]."


In other Indian submarine news http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2013/06/15/india-faces-delays-with-new-submarines/ :

"The Indian Navy’s efforts to update its 1980s-era submarine fleet – aside from one semi-refurbished Akula nuclear submarine [INS Chakra "II"] on lease from Russia – is encountering significant bureaucratic delays, according to the Times of India. The plan to buy six French-designed Scorpene diesel-electric attack submarines, which was approved by India’s government in September 2005, has been delayed by problems attributed to the challenges of technology transfers, with the first boat now scheduled to be in the water in November 2016 at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has returned the Project-75I [mainly looking at additional AIP Scorpenes or HDW 214s] next-generation submarine file to the Defence Ministry for “clarifications”, delaying that program by at least three years."

No comments: