New Delhi : After long deliberations Russia has agreed to lease out its Akula class nuclear submarine to India. The final decision was taken during the discussions held between the Indian Prime Minister and the Russian President in the recently held BRICS meeting at Goa. Along with this important agreement, the two countries also decided to increase the strike capability of the BrahMos to 600 kms. The BrahMos that is being manufactured jointly by India and Russia, is understood to be the most advanced missile system.
INS Chakra, the Russian nuclear submarine has now become a part of the Indian naval fleet. India has taken this submarine on lease for a period of 10 years from Russia. This instance of taking a submarine on lease does not prevail in any other part of the world. This transaction thus is a strong evidence that portrays the strength of the military cooperation between India and Russia to the world. Since a long time India has been trying to get a second nuclear submarine in the Akula class, also on lease from Russia. This topic has been under dialogue between both the countries for a long time now. It is being reported that during the Brics summit, both President Putin and Prime Minister Modi placed their stamp of approval on this deal worth USD 2 billion.
India is expected to acquire the The Akula 2 class submarine is expected to arrive in Indian waters in 2020-21 submarine from Russia in 2020- 21. This will increase the strength of the Indian Navy. The Chinese naval fleet has around 70 submarines, out of which 10 are nuclear submarines. In the near future China is adding 5 more nuclear submarines to its existing fleet. Moreover, China is also getting 8 more submarines ready, to provide them to Pakistan. This scenario has created a very challenging situation for India, if the country has to maintain its superiority in the Indian Ocean, as well as spread its influence in the seas beyond. Given these circumstances, getting the nuclear submarine from Russia to strengthen the Indian naval fleet is a very important step.
India and Russia have also decided to increase the strike capability of the missile BrahMos in addition to the above cooperation. Russian President Putin had proposed this to the Indian Prime Minister. India has recently been admitted to the special task force “Missile Technology Control Regime” (MTCR) which keeps control on the spread of the missile technology. The member countries of MTCR cannot give missiles with a strike range of more than 300 kms and its technology, to other countries who are not the members of this group. Due to this reason Russia was being unable to provide the higher range BrahMos to India. But now as India has been admitted to the MTCR, Russia can contribute this technology to India. The proposal to include India as a MTCR member was moved by Russia on this background. The Russian President has strengthened the military cooperation between the two countries by showing its willingness to provide this technology.
At present the striking range of BrahMos is 300 kms which is being enhanced to 600 kms. This increase will bring most of the geographical area of Pakistan within its range. Moreover this will also support to counter the risk from China, which has a huge repertoire of missiles.
Meanwhile, the first testing of the air edition of BrahMos will be done in December. With this India has taken a step forward to install the BrahMos missiles on the Russian military aircraft Sukhoi-MKI 30. This will substantially increase the strength of the Indian Air Force.