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India-Russia deal for INS Chakra-III

Undeterred by the possible US sanctions, India, on Thursday, inked a $3 billion deal with Russia to lease a third nuclear-powered attack submarine- Akula class.

According to media reports, the two countries signed the intergovernmental agreement for the Akula-class submarine-named as Chakra III.

India has already obtained two similar vessels from Russia earlier. It inducted the original INS Chakra on a three-year lease in 1988, while the second was obtained in 2012 on a 10-year lease.

The new submarine will replace Chakra II, whose 10 years lease will expire by 2022. However, talks are on to extend the existing lease of Chakra II for another five years till the new submarine becomes operational and comes on board.

The new Akula-class submarine which can remain underwater for months is likely to be delivered to the Indian Navy by 2025.

Today’s deal was signed after the proposal to purchase the submarine got a nod from the Indian Defence Ministry in December 2018.

India inked the mega defence pact with Russia a year after it signed a $5.5-billion contract with the country for S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems, despite a threat of US financial sanctions.

The US under its new law CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act) seeks to prevent countries from buying Russian weapons or Iranian oil.

However, Ambassador of Russia to India had earlier clarified that CAATSA will not be pressure between India and Russia S-400 deal.

The Chakra III will be in service for at least 10 years and will replace the Chakra II that was obtained under similar conditions in 2012. It is believed that the lease of the Chakra II, which is to expire in 2022, could be extended for a fiveyear period till the new vessel gets built and tested.

INS Arihant

  • The Arihant is the lead ship of India’s Arihant class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
  • These will form a potent and formidable weapons system which will ensure national security.
  • Arihant is India’s first indigenously designed and built nuclear-powered submarine.
  • Arihant is armed with K-15 Sagarika missiles with a range of 750 km.
  • It will carry the longer 3,500 km range K-4 missiles being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • This is the longest in the Navy’s fleet of submarines.
  • The second submarine in the series, Arighat is now undergoing sea trials after which it will be inducted into service.
  • INS Arihant is India’s first indigenous nuclear submarine. The Arihant was launched on 26 July 2009, the anniversary of Vijay Diwas (Kargil War Victory Day) by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur.
  • Russia has provided extensive design assistance in the development of the INS Arihant.
  • INS Arihant is a part of Indian Navy’s secretive Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project operated under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office and closely monitored by agencies such as the Department of Atomic Energy and the Submarine Design Group of the Directorate of Naval Design.
  • India has now become part of an elite club of countries – Russia, the US, China, France and the UK that possess nuclear ballistic missile submarines.

What is Nuclear Triad?

  • Nuclear Triad is a three-sided military-force structure consisting of land-launched nuclear missiles, nuclear-missile-armed submarines, and strategic aircraft with nuclear bombs and missiles.
  • Nuclear Triad essentially has three major components-the strategic bombers, Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) for the purpose of delivering a nuclear weapon

What is the importance of a nuclear triad?

  • The purpose of having a three-sided nuclear capability is to significantly reduce the possibility that an enemy could destroy all of a nation’s nuclear forces in a first-strike attack. Thus it ensures a credible threat of a second strike, and increases a nation’s nuclear deterrence.
  • Each component of the triad contributes unique attributes that enhance deterrence and reduce risk.
  • ICBMs provide a prompt response, the potential to launch under attack, and a hardened, geographically-dispersed target base.
  • Strategic bombers provide great flexibility in force posturing, signalling intentions, route planning, and recall-ability.
  • Missile submarines provide survivable, assured response and the mobility to adapt missile over-flight to targets.

India’s Nuclear Doctrine

  • India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974and the second nuclear test in 1998.
  • India declared herself a nuclear weapon state in 1998 and came forward with Nuclear Doctrine in 2003.
  • India’s Nuclear Doctrine consist of the following major points:
    • India will build and maintain a credible minimum deterrence.
    • India will follow aNo First Use policye. India will use the weapon only in retaliation to a nuclear attack on Indian territory or against Indian forces anywhere.
    • Nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be massive to inflict unacceptable damage.
    • Retaliatory attacks will be authorized only by the civilian political leadership through the Nuclear Command Authority.
    • Nuclear weapons will not be used against non-nuclear weapon states.
    • India can retaliate with nuclear weapons in the event of an attack against on it with biological or chemical weapons.
    • India is committed to the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world, through global, verifiable and non-discriminatory disarmament.

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