Reports: India's sole nuclear-attack submarine INS Chakra damaged in accident
India's sole operational nuclear-powered attack submarine, INS Chakra, may require major repairs after suffering "some damage" in an accident, The Print has reported. Sources revealed that the submarine sustained damage on its sonar dome, located beneath the torpedo tubes in the vessel's forward portion. The submarine was taken on a 10-year lease from Russia. It's now undergoing repairs at its homeport of Visakhapatnam.
The INS Chakra, an Akula-class submarine, was taken on a 10-year lease from Russia in 2012 for around $1 billion. The 12,000-tonne submarine is powered by a 190 MW nuclear reactor and can travel at speeds of over 30 knots. The stealthy vessel has a crew of 80 submariners and is armed with torpedoes and tactical missiles.
The Indian Navy has declined to comment on the accident and further details on the incident are awaited. Sources told The Print that the damage could've been sustained due to a collision with another vessel or the submarine's accidental scraping while entering the harbor. There have been incidents of warships touching the sea-floor while navigating Visakhapatnam harbor's tight water channel.
The sonar dome is made of titanium which could make repair work complicated. Titanium requires specialized machinery and skilled workmanship to work on. However, the expertise gained from constructing the indigenous Arihant nuclear-propelled ballistic-missile submarines at Vishakhapatnam could help repair efforts.