Agencies | Last Modified - Jan 23, 2012, 03:22 PM IST
New Delhi: Russia on Monday handed over the much-awaited nuclear-powered K-152 Nerpa attack submarine to India on a 10-year lease, boosting the Indian navy's fire-power.
According to the media reports, the signing ceremony happened at the Bolshoi Kamen ship building facility in the (Far East) Primorye region where the Nerpa is now based.
The deal for the submarine, which is being transferred on a 10-year lease, was worth USD 920 million.
The report said an Indian crew would sail the Akula II class craft to its home base at the end of January.
The $ 920-million lease contract was drawn up after Moscow and New Delhi sealed a deal in January 2004, in which India agreed to fund part of the Nerpa's construction.
The 12,000-ton K-152 Nerpa, an Akula II class nuclear-powered attack submarine, was originally scheduled to be introduced into the Indian Navy as INS Chakra by mid-2008.
The Akula-II class Nerpa nuclear submarine had recently finished sea trials.
On Nov 8, 2008, while the Nerpa was undergoing sea trials in the Sea of Japan, its on-board fire suppression system activated, releasing a deadly gas into the sleeping quarters. Three crewmembers and 17 shipyard workers were killed.
Akula II class vessels are considered the quietest and deadliest of all Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines.