India has signed a deal with Russia to lease a second Akula 2 submarine, a nuclear-powered attack vessel, NDTV reported, quoting Russian journal Vedomosti. According to unnamed officials quoted in the journal, the agreement was made when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Goa during the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa summit in Goa on October 15.
The submarine is expected to arrive in India by 2020 or 2021, Hindustan Times reported. It is powered by nuclear energy, but launches land missiles. India already has one Akula 2 submarine that it has been operating since 2011. However, its lease period was 10 years, and India was believed to have been looking for a replacement.
The development comes in the wake of reports that India has joined a set of very few countries that have their own nuclear triads – the ability to launch nuclear weapons from air, land and water – after the commissioning of INS Arihant. The Arihant, India’s first indigenously built naval ship, was reportedly commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August this year, after it was declared ready for operations in February.