Navy to float global tender to salvage sunken submarine INS Sindhurakshak
Close to a month after INS Sindhurakshak sank after major on board explosion at Mumbai naval dockyard, naval docks after rocked by a major explosions, the Navy is ready with a global tender proposal to salvage the 3,000-tonne vessel that is being vetted by the Union Defence Ministry.
Despite a Russian offer of help, India has decided to hire global private salvagers to get the submarine out of the seven-metre deep waters, as it does not possess in-house capabilities to do so.
In fact, most navies of the world don’t have such capability and depend on private salvagers to get the job done. The salvage operations would start after several months as the whole tender process would take time.
The tender, or request for proposals (RFP) in defence parlance, will be issued to at least five of the seven global private salvagers, who had carried out a survey of the damage in the last fortnight, sources said here on Monday.
Among the global firms that could be in the race to bag the contract, which could cost several crores of rupees, are Resolve Marine Group and Ocean Centre Diving/Switzer Marine, both from the US, Tital/GOL Salvage Services and Smit, both from Singapore, Arihant Ship Breakers from New Zealand, Graft Tech Marine and Engineering Private Limited and Duke Offshore Limited, both from India.
These companies have carried out a survey of the submarine, which indicated that around half of the vessel is now embedded in silt.
Defence Minister A K Antony had recently told Parliament that the issue of involving Russian experts for future works on the damaged submarine would come once the salvage is over. “The first priority is salvage operation. That is still going on,” he said.
During undersea investigation by naval divers, any and all materials found were being retrieved, and submitted for forensic examination.
A team comprising Chief General Manager (Naval Armament Depot), Controller of Naval Armament Inspection and Commanding Officer of INS Tunir, are conducting a study to assess the state of explosives on board and quantify risks associated with salvage operations.