New Delhi, December 05: India is moving an inch closer to seal a deal with Russia to lease another Akula class submarine. Last week, a naval delegation led by Inspector General (Nuclear Safety) Vice Admiral Soonil V Bhokare returned after a tour of Russia, reported India Today. The delegation inspected two Akula-1 class submarines, the Bratsk and the Samara. These submarines are docked up for a deep refit at the Zvezdochka shipyard in the Arctic port of Severodvinsk. S-400 Triumf Deal Among Other Key Defence Agreements Signed Between India and Russia During Modi-Putin Meet.
A Joint Secretary (Finance) in the Ministry of Defence was also a part of the delegation. As per the report, the discussion took place for leasing one of these submarines for USD 3.3 billion (Rs 23,000 crore). India is reported to have agreed to this amount. The naval delegation's visit was followed by a four-day visit to Russia by Admiral Sunil Lanba. During his visit, Admiral Lanba met his Russian counterpart, Admiral Vladimir Korolev and had talks with General VV Gerasimov, Chief of General Staff and First Deputy Defence Minister of Russia.
Currently, the Akula-2 class submarine, the INS Chakra, was taken on a ten-year lease from Russia for USD 2.5 billion in 2011. Recently, the Defence Acquisition Committee (DAC) approved Rs 3,000 procurement including Brahmos missiles, for two Indian frigates to be built in Russia as the primary weapon on board.