India asks Russia to fix nuclear submarine

Dec. 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM
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NEW DELHI, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- India has asked Russia to replace defective parts on the INS Chakra, a nuclear submarine India leased from Russia, Indian navy officials said.

Neither Russian nor Indian officials commented on the parts that need replacement, but they said the parts are necessary for operation of the submarine, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday in Moscow.

According to the approximately $900 million lease contract between India and Russian in 2004, India's Russian-made submarine INS Chakra may not carry nuclear warheads, the Times of India reported Monday in New Delhi. The agreement specified India would partially fund the submarine's construction.

The submarine's former name was "Nerpa," but the Indian Navy renamed it "Chakra" after the submarine became a part of India's military in April, the Times of India said.

A toxic gas leak aboard the vessel during sea trials in November 2008 killed 20 sailors and technical crew because the automatic fire extinguisher systems malfunctioned, the newspaper said.

India finally got the submarine in January following long and costly repairs

The Russian newspaper said acquisition of the Nerpa made India the sixth nuclear submarine operator in the world, following the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China.

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