INS Chakra (Charlie-1 Class)


Vessel Type: Project 670A Skat (Charlie-I Class Nuclear Submarine).

Name & Pennant Number: Chakra S71.

Commission Date: 04 January 1988.

Decommission Date: January 1991.

Displacement: Surfaced; 4000 tons.
....................Submerged; 5000 tons.

Dimensions: Length - 94 metres.
................Beam - 10 metres.
................Draught - 8 metres.

Main Machinery: One VM-5 pressurized-water nuclear reactor; one steam turbine generating 20,000 shp, one shaft and one five-bladed propeller.

Maximum Speed: 23 knots dived.
.......................16 knots surfaced.

Maximum Range: Unlimited.

Complement: 100.

Radar: Surface Search; (NATO: Snoop Tray) I-band.

Sonar: Hull-mounted, passive/active search & attack with medium frequency.

Weapons: Eight P-70 (NATO: SS-N-7 Starbright) cruise missiles with active radar homing. The 8 tubes are mounted outside the pressure hull with tube doors which hinge upwards. Six 533mm torpedo (bow) tubes which carries 24 torpedoes (six in the tubes and 18 on the racks). Torpedo type used was the Type 53, which had active/passive homing up to 20 km (10.8 nautical miles) at up to 45 knots, with a 400 kg warhead. 24 mines can also be carried in the place of the torpedoes.

Countermeasures: ESM (NATO: Stop Light). Also has a radar warning system.

Comments: The Charlie I Class was designed primarily for anti-surface ship operations. Boat No.K43, originally commissioned into the Russian Navy in 1968, was leased for three years (1988-1991) to familiarise Indian submariners with nuclear-powered submarines. Re-commissioned as the Chakra on 04 January 1988, she sailed from Vladivostock with a predominantly Indian crew. Indian submarines trained in the USSR for approximately four years, prior to the Chakra entering service in the Indian Navy. While in Indian Navy service, the submarine's sea time was limited by propulsion system problems and there were unconfirmed reports about radiation hazards. The Chakra was also fitted with a VLF (Very Low Frequency) buoy, a device most likely used to communicate with the INS Kattabomman. This naval base, located at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, is home to a VLF station and communications network. It allows the Indian Navy to communicate with its submarines, underwater, at long ranges. It can also monitor surface vessels and can distinguish between merchant vessels and naval vessels over long distances in the Indian Ocean. It is the first of its kind in Asia and its technology was developed locally. VLF facilities exist at Chennai and Calcutta as well. The boat was returned to the Russian Navy at Vladivostock in January 1991, where she was later decommissioned from active naval service