Russia delays overhaul of Indian Navy submarine

ST. PETERSBURG, January 16 (RIA Novosti) – The delivery of an Indian Navy diesel submarine which recently underwent a two-year refit at a Russian Barents Sea shipyard will be delayed by at least six months, a shipyard spokesman said Wednesday.

The Indian Navy refused last week to take delivery of the Sindhuvijay, a Project 877 EKM diesel submarine, whose overhaul began at the Zvyozdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk in late 2005, saying its Club-S cruise missile system had not met specifications.

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“The submarine has passed all its sea trials and was ready in November 2007, but the delivery had to be delayed due to problems with the Club-S system,” a Zvyozdochka spokesman said.

The Indian Navy claimed that cruise missiles failed to find their targets in six consecutive test firings in September-November last year.

The Zvyozdochka official said the submarine would remain at the shipyard awaiting further missile firing tests at a White Sea testing site in July-August.

The much-touted Club-S submarine cruise missile family includes the 3M-54E1 anti-ship missile and the 3M-14E land-attack versions, with a flight range of 275km (about 170 miles). The high-precision missile can be launched from standard torpedo tubes from a depth of 35 to 40 meters (130 feet).

In a contract signed in 2001, India had sent ten Kilo class submarines to Russia for refitting to make them capable of firing the Club-class cruise missiles.

The Sindhuvijay is the fourth Indian Navy submarine that has been overhauled at the Zvezdochka shipyard.

Russia earlier announced a delay in the overhaul of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, sold to India under a 2004 contract, citing time and costs overruns.

The delivery of the carrier has been pushed back to 2012-13, according to some sources, while Russia asked for an additional $1.2 billion for the warship, which was originally sold for $1.5 billion.