Nerpa nuclear submarine to join Russian Navy - top brass
18/11/2008 11:54 VLADIVOSTOK, November 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Navy will commission the Nerpa nuclear submarine, on which 20 people recently died, rather than sell or lease it to India, the chief of the General Staff told a Russian daily on Tuesday.
On November 8, while the submarine was undergoing sea trials in the Sea of Japan, a crew member is believed to have entered the wrong data into the temperature sensor, which caused the fire safety system to release Freon gas into the living quarters.
"The sum of $650-780 million, which Rosoboronexport and the Amur Shipbuilding Plant had negotiated over a long period of time with the Indian Ministry of Defense, will now be found in Russia, either within the state weapons procurement program or somewhere else," the Rossiiskaya Gazeta quoted General of the Army Nikolai Makarov as saying.
The construction of the Akula II class Nerpa nuclear attack submarine started in 1991, but was suspended for over a decade due to a lack of funding.
Indian media have reported on various occasions that the construction of the submarine was partially financed by the Indian government. India has reportedly paid $650 million for a 10-year lease of the 12,000-ton submarine.
The submarine's reactor was not affected by the accident, which took place in the nose of the submarine, and radiation levels on board remained normal.
The Navy earlier said the sea trials of the submarine would continue after the investigation into the recent tragedy and certain technical adjustments in the fire safety system.
Nerpa will reportedly join other seven Akula class submarines in Russia's Pacific Fleet.
Akula II class vessels are considered the quietest and deadliest of all Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines.
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