Tethered to the jetty, the 8,140-tonne steel shark floated menacingly as if waiting to break free. Soon, it will, to prowl silently underwater for extended periods, hunting for enemies to track and kill. The 8,140-tonne nuclear-powered attack submarine INS Chakra, with lethal 'hunter-killer' and intelligence-gathering capabilities, was formally inducted into Indian Navy on a 10-year lease from Russia at a cost of around $1 billion on Wednesday.
Defence minister A K Antony, Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and Russian ambassador Alexander M Kadakin extolled the submarine as a shining example of the deep and abiding strategic partnership between India and Russia during the welcome ceremony at the highly-guarded Ship-Building Centre here.
INS Chakra, with a dived displacement of 12,000 tonnes, will, however, not give India its long-awaited third leg of the nuclear weapons triad since it is not armed with long-range strategic missiles due to international treaties. But it will happen after India's own nuclear submarine INS Arihant, armed with the nuclear-tipped K-15 missiles, is inducted into service sometime next year.