An agreement on leasing another Russian nuclear-powered submarine to India is to be signed at the Russian-Indian summit in December, a source at India’s Defense Ministry told TASS.
The possibility of leasing a second submarine from Russia will be studied when India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar will visit Moscow next week," the source said. "Parrikar will hold talks on this strategic project with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu. After the ten-year contract is signed another two or three years will be required for upgrading the submarine in keeping with India’s requirements," he said.
Over the past 45 years Russia and India have established reliable, time-tested strategic ties in the field of defence. India’s armed forces are equipped with Soviet and Russian military hardware 70%, the source said, adding that Russia had always provided its best military hardware to India.
A Russian military source at the Russian embassy in New Delhi has confirmed to TASS the negotiations on leasing the Kashalot K-322 nuclear power submarine of project 971 Shchuka had entered the final phase.
"If the contract is signed, it will be the third Russia-built submarine handed over to the Indian Navy," he said. "For the first time India leased a Russian nuclear submarine for ten years back in the early 1980s. In 2012 the Indian Navy leased Russia’s K-152 Nerpa submarine of project 971. This is a customary and well-tested way of cooperation by our countries in the military-technical sphere."
According to the Russian source, the submarine will undergo fundamental upgrade in line with the customer’s requirements at the Amur shipyards, where it is at the moment. The repair, upgrade and testing work and the Indian crew’s training are to be completed by 2018.