K-152 "Nerpa" ( Chakra ) - Russian guards nuclear submarine 971U "Schuka-B"   .
INS Chakra at the launch ceremony of the Indian Navy, April 4, 2012
|Flag state||Russia India|
|Port of registry||Visakhapatnam |
|Launching||June 24, 2006|
|Current status||leased by the Indian Navy|
|Type of ship||MPLATRK|
|Project designation||971U "Pike-B"|
|Codification of NATO||"Akula-II"|
|Speed (surface)||11.6 knots|
|Speed (underwater)||32 knots |
|Working depth||520 m|
|Immersion depth||600 m|
|Autonomy of swimming||100 days|
|Crew||73, of which 31 are officers|
|Cost||$ 785 million|
|Surface displacement||9 830 t|
|Underwater displacement||12 770 t|
|The length is the greatest|
(on design basis)
|The width of the body naib.||13.6 m|
(on design basis)
|OK-650B3 nuclear reactor (190 MW), 1 turbine with a capacity of 43,000 hp|
|8 x 533 mm TA , (40 Club-S cruise missiles  , torpedoes, rocket torpedoes or mines)|
November 8, 2008 during testing as a result of unauthorized operation of the fire extinguishing system in a submarine killed 20 crew members. December 28, 2009 was included in the Russian Navy . 
January 23, 2012 was leased to the Indian Navy  .
The submarine K-152 was laid on the slipways of the Amur Shipyard in late 1991 under serial number 518  . Initially, the construction and the full test cycle were planned to be completed in four to five years. 
After folding the nuclear shipbuilding program in the Far East, several options were considered: utilization of the reserve, transportation and completion at Sevmash, completion at the site.  The decision to complete the submarine at the NEA was made in October 1999 during a visit to the plant by Prime Minister Putin, who stated on a slipway: “We will finish building the boat on the spot”  . On December 4, 1997, K-152 inherited the Andreev Guards flag from the Project 675 K-56 nuclear missile submarine  .
Active completion work was resumed after an agreement was signed in January 2004 during a visit to India by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on the construction and lease of two nuclear submarines.
Launching took place on June 24, 2006 . Initially, the transfer of the boat to the Indian Navy was planned on August 15, 2007 , but the Amur Shipyard delayed the construction of the ship for ten months and asked to increase the price to $ 785 million. The Indian side agreed only to postpone it  . A new lease date was announced - from June 15, 2008 , for $ 650 million for a period of 10 years  . But later it was adjusted for December 2009, without changing the cost and duration of the leasing agreement. After the accident, it was called October 2010  , the first quarter of 2011  .
The terms of the contract with India also provided for the completion and leasing to the Indian side of the fourth of the unfinished boats in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the readiness of which as of 2002 was 42%   , but later the number of submarines was reduced to one  . June 11, 2008 on K-152 tests began before commissioning  . At the end of October, the submarine entered the open sea from the pier of the delivery base of OJSC Amur Shipbuilding Plant.  On October 31, the boat made its first dive. [eighteen]
The accident of November 8, 2008.
On November 8, 2008, as part of the next stage of state acceptance of K-152, Nerpa left the Zvezda factory in Bolshoy Kamen for torpedo firing in one of the combat training areas of the fleet  . The target ship was the Admiral Tributs BPC  . On this day, on the Nerpa   on the decks of the second compartment there was an unauthorized operation of the fire extinguishing system  . The concentration of freon on average in the 2nd compartment was 300 times higher than the MPC  . Some civilian specialists wore oxygen devices, but were not turned on  . As a result, 20 people died (3 military personnel and 17 civilian specialists  ), 21 people received burns of the respiratory tract, suffocation and frostbite  . There were 208 people on the boat, including 81 military personnel, the rest were civilians: the delivery crew that controlled the ship, and other factory specialists. There is no information regarding the presence on the boat of representatives of the designer and customer. Subsequently, it was reported that the total number of people seeking medical help increased - some of the victims who did not initially go to the doctors felt bad and were hospitalized.
According to officials, the accident did not affect the power plant, and there was no danger of radioactive contamination. The ship on its own arrived at a temporary base in the city of Bolshoi Kamen , the victims were brought ashore by the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs , from where they were sent to the Pacific Fleet hospital in the neighboring village of Fokino .
Acceptance test conditions
During submission tests, in addition to the full-time crew, there is a submission team, the number of which is equal to two more crews, as well as a state commission.  The large number of the commissioning team is caused by the fact that the supplying plants are oriented, as a rule, to small-scale production , and some new systems and mechanisms are produced in single copies.  Also, the joint work of some systems and devices is set up in the course of acceptance tests. 
The prosecutor’s office opened a criminal case  under the article “Violation of the rules for driving and operating a warship, resulting in the death of more than two persons through negligence”. On the possible specific causes of the accident expressed various assumptions. So, according to Gennady Illarionov , a former submariner, captain of the first rank of the reserve, chief researcher at the Institute of Marine Technology Problems of the Far-Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the accident could be a sign of systemic problems in organizing the tests. Also, as a likely cause of the accident called a computer crash. 
According to Komsomolskaya Pravda  , investigators of the military investigative department of the UPC found that one of the crew’s sailors unauthorizedly turned on the fire extinguishing system. A criminal case has been instituted against him under the article “Causing death by negligence”. According to the newspaper, the culprit has been detained and has already given a confession. The name of the detainee was later named - this is contract sailor Dmitry Grobov . The accused’s colleagues do not believe in his guilt and characterize him as a competent specialist. The head of the profile commission of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, the well-known lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, also expressed concern about the haste of the conclusions of the investigation. Navy veteran, former commander of the nuclear submarine K-455, captain of the first rank Igor Chefonov does not believe that the sailor was left unattended contrary to the charter   . There were also reports of the detention of the bilge compartment commander, Alexei Vasiliev, who allegedly saw Grobov performing unauthorized manipulations with the control panel, but did not prevent him. On November 14, 2008, the investigation denied the information about the detention, saying that Vasiliev was only summoned for questioning.
November 15, 2008, more detailed data appeared. According to them  , Dmitry Grobov is in a state of shock and gives a vague testimony, which generally comes down to the fact that he began to change the settings of the fire extinguishing system sensors from boredom, as someone told him that the system was turned off. By setting the temperature sensors too high, he thereby forced the fire system to suspect a fire in the compartment. When the system issued a request to extinguish the fire, Grobov answered it with an authorizing command, after which freon began to enter the compartments.
On November 21, 2008, Kommersant reported  that a psychiatric examination would be carried out to Dmitry Grobov. The same message said that the commission investigating the incident has not yet reached a final conclusion. In an interview with the publication, Sergei Stolnikov, a member of the submarine’s delivery team, mechanical engineer of the Amur Shipyard, said that, in his opinion, the sailor Grobov could not start the system on his own, and the accident was caused by design flaws in the 7MO2 system of the SS Molybden-I (remote control of general ship systems). According to Stolnikov, the system was not finalized, and the main developer of Molybdenum died in the summer of 2008, so the system has not been finalized for the past three months.
It remains unclear how, as a result of the system’s triggering, freon reserves destined for three were sent to one compartment, and why so many people died, although, according to the fleet’s command, the boat was fully equipped with breathing apparatus (all on board, including number in excess of the nominal number of crew).
On December 4, 2008, it was reported that tetrachlorethylene , a toxic compound that could be fatal, was injected into the firefighting system instead of tetrafluorodibromoethane (a low toxicity hazard class IV  ). The analysis of the contents of the cylinders of non-working fire extinguishing installations, as well as unused cylinders. If they also contain tetrachlorethylene, it is possible that charges will be brought against suppliers.  The supplier of the mixture is ServiceTorgTehnika , an enterprise from St. Petersburg  , the Amur Shipyard worked with him for the first time.  A mixture of a fire extinguisher entered the Vostok enterprise with documents confirming its compliance with the technical specifications.  Prior to refueling, the HFC was re-tested, but a complete analysis of the composition was not carried out - the laboratory only confirmed that it was indeed freon .  In 2011, it was announced that such a mixture of freon with tetrachlorethylene was 5.5 million rubles cheaper than freon. 
On January 22, 2009, a message appeared that the coffins were recognized as fully sane.  The investigation continues to regard him as the main culprit of the accident.
On February 10, 2009, Lenta.ru, citing Interfax, announced that the Amur Shipyard was going to sue the suppliers of freon, which was used at Nerpa.
Upon completion of the work, the commission that conducted the accident investigation assigned the “ Top Secret ” stamp to the final act. 
On March 31, 2011, the Pacific Fleet Military Prosecutor's Office referred the case to the Pacific Fleet Military Court  . Charges were brought against the submarine commander, 1st-rank captain Dmitry Lavrentyev - under article 286 part 3, paragraph “c” of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, and bilge engineer Sergeant Dmitry Grobov - under article 109 part 3 and article 118 part 2 of the Criminal Code  .
On April 25, at a preliminary hearing, the court decided that the case would be examined with the jury . The first court hearing was held on June 22. The trial was held behind closed doors in connection with the secrecy of the information being discussed  .
At a meeting on July 5, Dmitry Grobov, refused the confessions made earlier and in fact declared his innocence. According to the lawyer: "He categorically denies that he pressed any buttons on the control panel, and is not related to the release of gas." Grobov called his previous testimony the self-incrimination given to them under the “influence of power structures”  .
On September 30, 2011, the jury acquitted the accused  .
However, on May 4, 2012, the board of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, on the recommendation of the prosecutor's office, quashed the sentence and sent the case back for reconsideration to the Pacific Fleet Military Court    .
At repeated hearings, the jury considered the case again. On April 26, 2013, the jury unanimously declared the defendants innocent,  in connection with which the court passed a acquittal. The prosecutor's office again filed an appeal, which will be considered by the Supreme Court  .
The lawyers of the accused from the beginning of the trial in 2011 were: D. Lavrentiev's lawyer - S. I. Bondar, D. Grobov's lawyer - D. P. Prokopenko. On September 19, 2013, the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court ruled: “Leave the acquittal unchanged, the complaint dismissed.” 
Chemical analysis of the extinguisher of the LOKH system was repeatedly carried out in the laboratory of the FENU . As a result of the analysis, it was found that the mixture consisted of type 114B2 freon only by 34.6%. 64.4% of the mixture was tetrachlorethylene . According to the technical specifications, the HFC system extinguisher is 99.5% freon. The composition of acceptable 0.5% impurities does not include tetrachlorethylene. Pure HFC has hazard class 4, the lowest of the four. Tetrachlorethylene is not used for fire fighting. It is a solvent that works in dry cleaning machines in a closed cycle without emissions into the atmosphere. The hazard class of tetrachlorethylene is 2 or 3 according to different sources.
Both chladone and tetrachlorethylene are in normal liquid conditions. Freon has a boiling point of 47 degrees, tetrachlorethylene - 121 degrees.
The extinguishing concentration of freon is not fatal to humans, but it has a pronounced narcotic effect. If there is no fire in the compartment, when refrigerant is supplied to the compartment, people who for some reason are not included in respiratory protection, after a while lose consciousness, but who are taken out to fresh air come to their senses. That is, with the full-time fire extinguisher, the Nerpa tragedy would be ruled out.
The normal consumption of chladone in case of fire is a single supply of a fire extinguisher from one LOC station, which has a cylinder with a capacity of 130 liters. Repeated supply of the extinguisher from stations intended for adjacent compartments is carried out only by decision of the main command post, if the fire is complicated and did not stop after a single supply.
At the Nerpa, a substandard fire extinguisher  was charged into the LOC system, in which the low-boiling freon was dissolved in high-boiling tetrachlorethylene. This mixture consisted of only one third of freon, which was completely insufficient to create a fire extinguishing concentration of freon vapor in the compartment.
When the system spontaneously triggered into one compartment, three LOX stations with a fake extinguisher were automatically used up. The compartment was filled with saturated vapors of the mixture, the aerosol drip-liquid phase of this mixture, and that part of the mixture that could no longer evaporate or hang in the atmosphere in the form of fog and drizzle drained into the hold along the bulkheads.
The operational documentation for the VLF system does not provide for this. Pure freon is sprayed into the compartment in the form of an aerosol, which immediately evaporates at an elevated temperature, passes into the gaseous phase and, in this form, enters the combustion sites, intervening in the combustion process at a chemical level and acting as a flame retardant, anticatalyst, and combustion inhibitor. Freon does not displace oxygen and does not bind it in any way. In the burning compartment, oxygen is consumed to maintain combustion. If there is no fire, there will be as much oxygen in the sealed compartment as there was before the refrigerant was supplied.
At Nerpa, however, people breathed in vapors of a toxic mixture, and a droplet-liquid aerosol phase of heavy boiling tetrachlorethylene.
According to the testimony of witnesses, during operation of the VOC the fire extinguisher was in a liquid rather than a gaseous state  , causing an acute burning sensation on contact with the skin. In total, 390 l of a solution of freon in tetrachlorethylene was consumed, of which 260 l fell to the share of tetrachlorethylene, not related to fire fighting.
Recovery from the accident required 1.9 billion rubles   , which is presumably associated with the destruction of part of the ship’s equipment with tetrachlorethylene , which is an active solvent  . A fake fire extinguisher was replaced with a standard one, the algorithm for controlling the fire extinguishing system was changed.  An audit of the equipment and retraining of the entire acceptance team, numbering about 200 people, was carried out. 
Repeated State Tests
In January 2009, it was reported that repeated sea trials were postponed.  To a large extent this is due to difficulties in the formation of the final team.  According to the director of the WSS, Gennady Bagin: "Of those who were on the boat during the tests last year, some died, some are not suitable for medical reasons, some refuse to go to sea again for psychological reasons."  The situation was aggravated by the fact that the company experienced problems with young qualified personnel; in the acceptance team at the first sea trials there were workers of retirement and pre-retirement age, but after the accident the requirements for health were sharply tightened, and older specialists no longer corresponded to them. It was planned to prepare the lists of the final team for March, the new team was to begin training in May. 
In February, a senior Indian Navy delegation inspected the status of the nuclear submarines.  Before the inspection, it was reported that the commission would consist of 4 people, including Vice Admiral K. N. Sashil, Chief Inspector for Nuclear Safety of the Indian Navy.  The inspection will be carried out within two days. 
Repeated factory sea trials began on July 10, 2009  . The new crew included people who suffered from the accident and underwent rehabilitation. 
The first test phase was successfully completed on July 27  . A few days later, the second phase of testing began, which lasted 3 weeks and ended in late August. 
It is reported that in 2009, during a short call to Bolshoi Kamen , a submarine installed "additional equipment for adjustment and commissioning." 
On September 23, the governor of the Khabarovsk Territory Vyacheslav Shport announced that the third stage of sea trials had been successfully completed. 
In October, the last phase of state trials began,  which was completed on December 25  .
On December 28, 2009, a Pacific Fleet representative said that the submarine passed all stages of factory and state tests.  On the same day, in the city of Bolshoi Kamen of the Primorsky Territory, a solemn ceremony for the entry of the Nerpa nuclear submarine into the Russian Navy was held.  Vice Admiral Konstantin Sidenko, commander of the Pacific Fleet, participated in the ceremony.  On the same day, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the city of Big Stone. He took part in the solemn laying ceremony of the Ursa Major semi-submersible drilling rig at the Zvezda plant.  The prime minister was previously scheduled to attend the Nerpa submarine reception ceremony. 
In February 2010, Roman Trotsenko, president of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), announced that the Nerpa nuclear submarine "is now completing tests in the Pacific Ocean and will be handed over to the fleet on time . " 
Transfer to India
Throughout the construction and completion of the Nerpa, statements about the transfer of the submarine for lease to the Indian Navy have been repeatedly voiced and refuted. After the accident that occurred during the tests on November 8, 2008, various assumptions were put forward about the fate of the boat. On November 18, Army Chief of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces, Army General Makarov, said that after the tests were completed, the boat would not be sold or leased to anyone, but would be adopted by the Russian Pacific Fleet. The necessary funds for retrofitting and completing the testing of the ship will be allocated from the budget.  However, the Indians have big plans: in particular, on the K-152 it is planned to carry out training for the crew of the first Indian nuclear submarine INS Arihant  . Press reports for 2009  also mentioned the possible transfer of the boat for long-term lease to India.
It is assumed that after testing the boat will be at the Vostok pier for 1.5–2 months.  The delivery team will be disbanded, and part of the crew granted leave.  At the end of February 2010, the arrival of the first (main) crew from India was planned in Bolshoi Kamen for internships.  In April-May, it was reported that the Indian crew was training at the Nerpa nuclear submarine.  On June 1, in New Delhi, the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriev announced that "the crew’s training has been completed, the bulk of the tests have passed - everything is on its way to the finish line."  The final transfer process was scheduled for October 2010. 
According to the newspaper “KP”, the contract deadline for the ship is at the end of 2010 . 
On August 20, 2010, news agencies disseminated information that the submarine left the base in Primorye and went to sea at the next stage of testing tasks in the framework of training the Indian crew   . Other resources refute the information, claiming that K-152 went on regular exercises  . As of May 2011, the submarine was located in Big Stone , where the Vostok factory is located. 
On October 4-5, 2011, the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission, which worked in Moscow, agreed on the deadlines for completing the acceptance tests.  The trials will last 15 days.  Under the control of the joint Russian-Indian crew, the boat will go to sea on October 30.  A week is planned to address the comments.  The official transfer of the submarine should occur no later than November 22-23. 
According to a Izvestia source in the Russian-Indian commission, representatives of the Indian Navy would like, but can’t refuse, this contract because they got stuck too deep in it for several years.  Both the reliability of the submarine and its weapons are not satisfied with the Indian side: while in Soviet times the reliability of torpedoes and missile torpedoes was 95-97%, then the tests that took place in early June showed a reliability of 35%. 
After numerous postponements of the terms of leasing , on December 30, 2011, an acceptance certificate was signed  .
On January 23, 2012, a ceremony was held for the transfer of nuclear submarines to the Indian Navy for a period of 10 years. The ceremony took place on the territory of the shipyard in the city of Big Stone, it was attended by the Ambassador of India to Russia Ajay Malhotra and the commander of the Eastern Military District, Admiral Konstantin Sidenko.  The total value of the contract was $ 900 million.  At the invitation of the Indian side, Captain Lavrentiev, who commanded the submarine during the 2008 accident, was present at the ceremony. 
As expected  , the submarine was named INS "Chakra" . Previously, the Soviet submarine K-43 of project 670 Skat had this name, which was part of the Indian fleet on leasing terms in 1988 - 1992, and despite the fact that a group of Soviet sailors carried watch at the nuclear reactor  , which over the years a good base for training Indian submariners: many sailors who served in the first Chakra subsequently occupied important posts in the country's naval forces, including eight people who rose to the rank of admiral  .
April 4, 2012 at the base of Vishakhapatnam submarine was officially adopted by the Indian Navy . 
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- Indian Navy adopted the Nerpa submarine into service
- Historical note K-152 "Nerpa" on the site "Russian Submarine" .
- Sevmash ships helped to test the project 971 nuclear submarine at the Amur Shipyard, 10.06.2008
- Videography inside the boat
- Unauthorized Shot, Kim Costin, pravdasevera.ru, 01/15/2009
- The Nerpa Test. Journalistic investigation of Novaya Gazeta, 05/28/2012
- Audio recording of the flight recorder, recorded the moment of the accident on YouTube