VISAKHAPATNAM: In a major boost for both the Indian Navy and the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), the sea trials of INS Sindhukirti were a huge success. The seventh Sindhughosh class diesel electric submarine of the Indian Navy underwent a retorfit with the HSL and was launched successfully Thursday. The Russian-made EKM class diesel-electric submarine which completed its harbour acceptance, sailed out for trial after undergoing medium repairs and upgradation at HSL. The cost of the retrofitting project is estimated to be around Rs 700 crore to Rs 800 crore.
HSL is the first shipyard in the country to undertake such major repairs and modernisation of a submarine with the aim to extend its operational life. HSL had earlier completed retrofitting of two submarines belonging to Egyptian Naval Forces and INS Vagli. However, the indigenous content in this project has been substantial as the submarine was fitted with indigenous advanced sonar suite USHUS, communication suite CCS Mk-II from Bharat Electronics and other equipment besides the Russian supplied weapon and navigational system.
Speaking on the occasion, HSL chairman and managing director Rear Admiral NK Mishra who had overseen the sea trials, said that the retrofitting involved a complex process and was the biggest-ever repair of a submarine taken up by any shipyard in the country.
“Our employees proved their capability to take up orders to construct the next generation Greenfield submarines,” he added. He said that HSL is well poised to meet the nation’s goal of attaining total self reliance in refitting complex naval weapon ships and submarines to cater to the growing needs of the Navy, complying with the larger mission of ‘Make in India’. The refit-cum-modernisation of INS Sindhukirti, emerged as a first of its kind project undertaken in India. The submarine is equipped with a modernised weapon package, with long range anti-ship missiles capable of delivering a devastating blow to the enemy.