MOSCOW, July 10 (RIA Novosti) - Sea trials of Russia's Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine, which was damaged in a fatal accident during previous tests, will continue for about two weeks, a high-ranking defense official said on Friday.
The vessel resumed sea trials on Friday in the Sea of Japan following extensive repairs.
"The sea trials of the Nerpa nuclear submarine will continue for two weeks. All damage on the vessel found during the investigation of the accident has been repaired," the source told RIA Novosti.
On November 8, 2008, while the Nerpa was undergoing sea trials in the Sea of Japan, its on-board fire suppression system went off, releasing a deadly gas into the sleeping quarters. Three crewmembers and 17 shipyard workers were killed. There were 208 people, 81 of them submariners, on board the vessel at the time.
Following the repairs, which cost an estimated 1.9 billion rubles (about $60 mln), the submarine was cleared for final sea trials before being commissioned with the Russian Navy and leased to the Indian Navy by the end of 2009.
India reportedly paid $650 million for a 10-year lease of the 12,000-ton K-152 Nerpa, an Akula II class nuclear-powered attack submarine.
Akula II class vessels are considered the quietest and deadliest of all Russian nuclear-powered attack submarines.
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Ukraine has never been a nuclear weapons-state and never had control over the nuclear weapons that were located on its territory following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It doesn’t have the research, technical or industrial capacity to develop and produce nuclear weapons in the short term.