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Naval Warfare

INS Chakra (S71)

Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine [ 2012 ]

INS Chakra began life as the Nerpa of the Russian Navy - the boat leased to the Indian Navy through a 2004 deal between the two allies.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/12/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

INS Chakra (S-71) of the modern Indian Navy is a Russian-made Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine at its core. The class was introduced by the Soviets in the mid-1980s and some 21 boats were planned for the series - though only 15 were eventually realized due to the deterioration of the Soviet Empire into the 1990s. Ten remain in active service as of 2016 with Nerpa (K-152) on loan (via lease) to the Indian Navy where it carries the name of "Chakra" (named after the weapon of the god Vishnu).

The Russian Navy agreed to lease the boat to the Indian Navy in a 2004 deal. The hand over was delayed by a 2008 incident which left 20 onboard personnel dead (by asphyxiation). The Indian Navy took ownership of the boat on December 30th, 2011 marking the start of a lease period set to span ten years. The crew of Chakra had already been trained in St. Petersburg waters on the nuances of operating and maintaining a nuclear-powered underwater vessel. An official commissioning ceremony for the Chakra was held on April 4th, 2012.

The Chakra follows a Charlie I-class boat of same name, this vessel operating with the Indian Navy from 1988 until 1992. Charlie I boats were also of Soviet-era origin and driven by nuclear technology.

As it stands, Chakra offers the Indian Navy a true nuclear-powered submarine capability it has lacked for some time. The nuclear-based propulsion scheme provides the boat with unlimited undersea staying power as the boat does not need to surface at all to recharge its critical battery stocks. In essence, deployment ranges of the boat are only limited by the endurance of the crew (and their available food supply). The crew of eighty personnel have access to some creature comforts as well and these serve well to aid in long-distance voyages under the sea. The submarine has the capability to reach beyond 30 knots underwater and can submerge as far down as 600 meters. Much emphasis has also been placed on stealth characteristics and this makes Chakra one of the quietest submarines in service. Displacement is just over 8,000 tons.©MilitaryFactory.com
Armament is 4 x 650mm and 4 x 533 torpedo tubes - used to engage undersea and on-sea targets with equal lethality.

With the induction of Chakra into active service, the Indian Navy now joins the United States, Russia, France, China and Great Britain as the only nuclear-powered attack submarine-wielding nations.

Experience in operating INS Chakra serves well in ushering in the career of the indigenously designed, development and constructed Indian attack submarine - INS Arihant (detailed elsewhere on this site). Arihant was commissioned for service in August of 2016.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

India national flag graphic



INS Chakra (S71)

National flag of India National flag of Russia Russia (as Nerpa); India (as Chakra)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Submerged Attack
Traveling under the surface to search, track, and / or engage or reconnoiter areas.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.

263.0 ft
80.16 m
45.0 ft
13.72 m
32.0 ft
9.75 m

Installed Power: 1 x OK0659B/M presusrized water nuclear reactor feeding 1 x OK-7 steam turbine developing 43,000 horsepower to 1 x Shaft; 2 x OK-2 turbogenerators; 2 x OK-300 retractable electric propulsors.
Surface Speed
10.0 kts
(11.5 mph)
Submerged Speed
35.0 kts
(40.3 mph)
Essentially Unlimited

kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers

1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
4 x 650mm with 4 x 533mm torpedo tubes (40 torpedo reloads).

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)

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Image from the website of the Indian Navy.


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