India will operate two nuclear powered submarines soon as it inducts the Russian Nerpa and launches the indigenous INS Arihant, Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) Chief V K Saraswat said on Saturday.

“INS Arihant is in advanced stages. It will be ready for operations within the next few months,” he was quoted by The Economic Times as saying.

India is also testing the Sagarika K-15 missile that will be carried by INS Arihant, V K Saraswat said, adding that more than 10 test launches have been carried out in the Bay of Bengal.

The Nerpa has been leased from Russia for ten years and will be delivered next week, he said.

The Nerpa, an Akula II-class attack submarine, had originally been scheduled for delivery to India in 2008. However, that date was moved back after twenty people, mostly civilians, died during sea trials earlier that year when a fire-suppressant gas was accidentally released on the sub.

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