KHABAROVSK, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Nerpa nuclear attack submarine, damaged in a fatal accident during tests in November last year, successfully completed the third stage of sea trials, the governor of the Khabarovsk Territory said on Wednesday.
"The submarine is in a good state of readiness and there is confidence that it will be commissioned on time," Vyacheslav Shport said.
The vessel resumed sea trials on July 10 in the Sea of Japan following extensive repairs.
On November 8, 2008, while the Nerpa was undergoing sea trials, its onboard fire suppression system activated, releasing a deadly gas into the sleeping quarters. Three crewmembers and 17 shipyard workers were killed. There were 208 people, 81 of them submariners, onboard the vessel at the time.
Following the repairs, which cost an estimated 1.9 billion rubles ($60 million), the submarine was cleared for final sea trials before being commissioned with the Russian Navy, and will be leased to the Indian Navy by the end of 2009 under the name INS Chakra.
India reportedly paid $650 million for a 10-year lease of the 12,000-ton K-152 Nerpa, an Akula II class nuclear-powered attack submarine.
Akula II class vessels are considered the quietest and deadliest of all Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines.