TOKYO, Jan. 21, Reuter: A Soviet nuclear powered submarine, believed to have been loaned to India, has cruised South ward through the Sea of Japan from the Soviet far eastern port of Vladivostok, Kyodo news service reported on Thursday.

The delivery would make India the second nation in Asia to possess an atomic powered submarine, Kyodo said. The other nation is China.

A Japanese defense agency spokesman said he could not comment on the Kyodo report, which the news agency said was based on “Western military sources” in Tokyo.

The spokesman said: “We cannot comment unless submarines are taken in town on the surface because it could lead to divulging our ability to detect submarines cruising underwater”.

Kyodo quoted a TASS report on January 5 as saying that a Soviet nuclear powered submarine would be loaned to India for training and that it would carry no nuclear weapons.

Kyodo said the vessel was believed to be of “Charlie 1” class, which “Jane’s Fighting Ships” described as a class of cruise missile submarine built in 1967-72.

The sources believed India wanted the submarine to use as a basis for building a similar vessel, Kyodo said.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 29, 1988