Reports in Russia sparked a controversy, but it was actually a British team that had to check compatibility with its submarine rescue system
Days after a massive controversy in Russia, over reports that India had allowed a US Navy team to visit the INS Chakra nuclear submarine leased from Moscow, details have emerged that provide greater clarity.
ThePrint has learned that while no team from the US visited the secretive nuclear attack submarine, that is on a 10-year lease, a foreign delegation did go on board a few months ago that may have generated the controversy.
Sources said that a team from James Fischer Defence UK went on board to examine the compatibility of its submarine rescue systems with the nuclear boat.
India contracted two submarine rescue vessels from the British company in 2016 in a $273 million deal. The rescue vessels are to be delivered by 2018 and all Indian submarines are being inspected by the British team as part of the deal.
Sources said that an inspection by the British team took place a few weeks ago, during which it took certain measurements, and checked the hatches and other systems for integration. A similar exercise is believed to have been carried out on the INS Arihant as well.
As reported by ThePrint, the Chakra has been at Visakhapatnam for several weeks after it was crippled in an accident that damaged it’s sonar dome. Russian teams have assessed the extent of damage caused and will be carrying out repairs.
However, Russia has been unhappy about India’s growing ties with the US that it believes have exposed some of their weapons systems and ships.
The visit by a US Navy team, that is part of a joint working group on aircraft carrier technology, to the INS Vikramaditya was viewed seriously by Russia. While India has bought the ship, it has proprietary technologies that Russia does not want shared.