Philip, granted Kilos are very quiet, but don't tell me that aren't aware that USN - and for that matter, their Air Force, marines and army - regularly and intentionally lose during exercises so as not to hurt local sentiments. Now, I'm not saying that the IN is incompetent or that they let us win that particular game, but it's been known to happen whenever they have these games with middle eastern warriors, et al. In shallow littorals, diesels such as the Kilos will always have an advantage over nukes, the latter being large, inherently more noisy, etc. I know for a fact that we used a Kilo gimped with some of our home grown software and hardware brew to give it that extra oomph.
The Russians have some great war machine designs and their war fighting philosophy is one that I admire, but their QC is atrocious.
We leased the first Akula to get the systemology of running and fighting a nuclear sub. I suspect we're leasing the second for much the same reason so as to expand our nuke boat trained cadre much faster. It also gives us a very quiet opponent for training exercises to train our diesel crews to fight a nuclear boat. That is necessary as sooner or latter, the Chinese are going to manage a good nuclear attack boat.
Philip wrote:Dry dock loving....? Don't forget not too long ago an IN Kilo got the better of a USN LA SSN in an exercise. We wouldn't be wanting another Akula too if they were useless.