Submarine Sindhurakshak to be Decommissioned, Navy Mulls New Role for it

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Submarine Sindhurakshak to be Decommissioned, Navy Mulls New Role for it

INS Sindhurakshak remained submerged for 10 months, leading to vegetation growing on its hull.


On board INS Vikramaditya:  INS Sindhurakshak, the submarine which caught fire after an explosion in August 2013 while it was preparing for a sortie in the Mumbai Naval Docks, is likely to be decommissioned and scrapped by the Navy.

"We have decided to dispose of (the submarine). We are deciding how to do it," said Vice Admiral SPS Cheema, Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Naval Command, while speaking to reporters on board the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on the occasion of Navy Day.

18 Navy personnel, including three officers had died in the submarine accident and the vessel sank near the Mumbai harbour on August 14, 2013.

The inquiry into accident said critical Standard Operating Procedures, or SoPs, had been violated. INS Sindhurakshak, a 10 Kilo Class diesel-electric powered submarine, was commissioned in December 1997. It went through a mid-life upgrade between June 2010 and May 2013, which cost 80 million dollars.

The submarine was salvaged in June 2014. Another Board of Officers assessed the material state of the submarine. The way ahead for disposal of the submarine is being finalised based on the report and recommendations of this board. The final decision on the board is pending with Ministry of Defence.

A submarine can be scrapped or it can used as a target for training purposes by testing torpedoes once it is decommissioned from service. Another option is to turn it into a museum, officials say. INS Kursura, a Kalvari-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy that participated in the 1971 war, has been placed at a beach in Viskakhapatnam and turned into a museum.

The Navy had also considered taking the submarine to sea, sinking it and used as training platform for navy divers who form a critical arm, primarily used for salvage operations, de-mining and offensive roles. But the Sindhurakshak remained submerged for 10 months, leading to vegetation growing on its hull that could lead to poisonous gases being released.

 

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