Friday, June 26, 2015

The "dry dock queen" undocks from HSL ready to guard the nation waters

INS Sindukriti Sails out for "Full Power" Trials  

       The Indian navy’s depleting underwater fleet has received a major boost with ‘INS Sindhukriti’ a Kilo class submarine entering final ‘full-power trials’ from Friday off the Vishakhapatnam coast. The submarine was stuck in a refit for almost a decade at Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Vishakhapatnam. The refit of the submarine began way back in 2006 at HSL, which would enable more advanced systems to be fitted on it. During the refit the submarine was to receive modernized control systems, weapon systems, sonar and other associated electrical systems. Aged well over two decades the submarine’s hull was set to be repaired and refitted to maintain the stealth.

      INS Sindhukriti was acquired from the Russians in early 1990’s and served the navy till 2006 after which she entered a midlife refit. The refit of INS Sindhukriti gained significance with it being the biggest-ever repair of a submarine undertaken in any shipyard in the country. The submarine was to be handed over to the Navy in less than three years after refit. The government for the first time had opted out of the option of sending submarines abroad for medium refits. But the planned refit turned disastrous as HSL kept negotiating with the deadline. HSL contributes this delay to Russia pulling foot with supplying modern technology to India.

     Furthermore HSL had zero experience, describing the delay in refit process the then CNS Sureesh Mehta had clarified “That kind of expertise did not exist in India before and this is for the first time that we are trying it out here. Instead of sending them to Russia all the way, this one is being offloaded to Hindustan Shipyards. There are some problems in their procurement procedures. It takes a little longer than is expected". The submarine will enter the navy after being docked for almost a decade. The submarine was fondly called the “dry dock” queen.

        Even though docked for a decade the submarine has received the latest control and weapon systems. The submarine is now fitted with the highly advanced indigenously developed USHUS sonar system, the sonar system is considered to be far superior to the Russian variant. The sonar system is developed by NPOL and is believed to be  fitted out on the Arihant class submarines. BEL (Bharat Electronics) has filed its CCS Mk-II an composite communication system. These systems are a new generation of communication system built specially for naval ships, the system enables data exchange in a more secured and encrypted means. Kirloskar Pneumatic Company ltd (KPCL) has pitched in with an upgraded 400 bar HP air compressor.

      The submarine has got advanced control systems and navigational package from Russia. The submarine has also received 100km of cabling and 30km of mostly high pressure piping has been renewed. Russia has provided the Klub-S 3M-54E1 land attack missile with a range of around 300 km. The missile can be fired from the submarine’s torpedo tubes. The Klub weapon system will now be coupled with Type 53-65 passive wake homing torpedo and TEST 71/76 anti-submarine, active-passive homing torpedo and the 9M36 Sterla-3 SAM launchers.

Article by Karthik Kakoor

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