Adding yet another feather to its cap, Hindustan Shipyard Limited commenced sea trials of Russia-made INS Sindhukirti, the seventh Sindhughosh class diesel electric submarine of Indian Navy, after completion of retrofitting here on Thursday.
It sailed out for trial sortie after successful harbour acceptance trials. “Today is a red-letter day in our history as retrofitting involved a complex process – a more difficult process than building a new submarine. Our workforce deserved credit for completing the Herculean task adhering to stringent quality standards stipulated by the Navy,” Chairman and Managing Director of HSL Rear Admiral N.K. Mishra told The Hindu .
HSL, which is under Ministry of Defence, is a premier shipyard set up in 1941 with its rich experience undertaking retrofitting of two submarines belonging to Egyptian naval forces and INS Vagli at a specially-made submarine medium repair yard. The modernisation increases the operational life of the submarine providing a potent weapon platform to the Navy.
“This was the biggest-ever repair of a submarine undertaken in any shipyard in the country proving our capability to take up orders to construct generation next Greenfield submarines,” Mr. Mishra said.
The submarine was fitted with indigenous advanced sonar suite USHUS and communication suite CCS Mk-II from Bharat Electronics, upgraded AC plants from KPCL, 400 bar HP air compressor from Burkhadt India, apart from Russian supplied weapon and navigational package. During the refit, nearly 100 km of cabling and 30 km of mostly high pressure piping was renewed, thereby making this the most advanced platform ever to be undertaken in an Indian yard.
INS Sindhukirti was built at Admirality Shipyard and Sevmash in the erstwhile Soviet Union and commissioned on January 4, 1990. The cost of the retrofitting project is estimated around Rs.700 crore to Rs.800 crore.
HSL also had to undertake dredging after undocking it on November 4 due to accumulation of sand in its area reducing the draft from seven to four metres under the influence of Cyclone Hudhud, which battered the industries of Visakhapatnam on October 12, 2014.