After 19 years, India has once again leased a nuclear-powered attack submarine from Russia. The Nerpa, which NATO classifies as an Akula II attack submarine, departed Russian waters on August 20th bound for India. Once the boat arrives, it will be rechristened INS Chakra and begin sea trials. The ten year lease provides time for India to exploit the Akula II for crew training and guidance in constructing its own nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. A squadron of three is planned. The Akula II – and India’s conventionally powered submarines — can launch torpedoes and cruise missiles. India has purchased some of the most advanced underwater-launched cruise missiles in existence.