Pakistan likely to acquire Chinese nuclear attack submarines

NEW DELHI:  A Chinese Navy nuclear-powered attack submarine which docked at the Karachi harbour in May took aboard Pakistani naval officers and sailors to give them a first-hand glimpse of how the submarine works. This was not a simple case of access being given to a close military ally.

The Indian Navy is convinced that it is a matter of time before Islamabad leases a Chinese nuclear submarine. The Pakistan Navy personnel who were on the submarine may be part of their first team to train on Chinese nuclear submarines, it is believed.The Pakistani acquisition of a 'Shang' class submarine is meant to counter the Indian Navy's 'Akula-2' class nuclear attack submarines which New Delhi has been leasing from Russia.

Considered among the most powerful submarines of its class, the Akula-2 - named INS Chakra - has been leased for 10 years and will be returned to Russia within four years, by which time the Navy will have acquired a second submarine of the same class. The terms were recently worked out between the two countries.