New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Navy has categorically denied having allowed a technical team from the US to visit the Chakra nuclear submarine — leased from Russia for 10 years. It comes at a time when New Delhi is hoping to soon finalize an agreement with Moscow for leasing a second Russian-made nuclear submarine for its naval fleet.
Admiral Sunil Lanba, chief of the Indian Navy, told a press conference Friday that there has never been an instance of any American seeing the Russian-made nuke submarine from close quarters as reported by some news outlets.
"No American has even seen the Chakra from close by," Admiral Lanba said.
Admiral Lanba said that the Chakra (Akula-2 class) nuclear submarine's sonar system has been damaged and two panels have been dislodged.
"The joint Indo-Russian team has been looking into it. Panels have been ordered and the submarine will get back into action soon," Admiral Lamba added.
In early 2012, Russia had transferred its K-152 "Nerpa" submarine under Project 971U to the Indian Navy for a 10-year lease with the option of a subsequent repurchase. In the Indian fleet, the "Nerpa" was rechristened "Chakra."
This is the second submarine in the Indian Navy with the same name. Earlier this name was used for a Soviet-era Project 670M submarine with K-43 cruise missiles. The Indian government is in an advanced stage of finalizing the lease agreement for a second nuclear-powered submarine with Russia.