Induction of the recently upgraded Russian-origin kilo-class submarine belonging to the Indian Navy will take nearly a month after having suffered damage in an accidental fire in March.
The INS Sindhukesari diesel-electric submarine was damaged while certain indigenous components and a US-made L3 Communications’ periscope were being fitted onboard, at a naval dockyard in Mumbai city, located in the country’s west coast.
It underwent INR 1,197 Crore ($171 million) refit and upgrade at a shipyard in Zvyozdochka, Russia, to extend its life period by 10 years, and was shipped back in February.
According to the Indian Economic Times that the fire took place in the first week of March during welding. While the damage is believed to have been contained and there were no injuries, critical components in the control room were affected by the soot produced by the fire. These have to be individually checked and cleaned before the submarine can be given the all-clear. Russian and Indian teams have been working on the submarine since the accident and components are being carefully analysed to assess long-term impact of the incident.
The contract to extend the service-life and upgrade Indian submarines was signed in October 2005.
The Russian kilo-class submarines have been christened as the Sindhughosh-class by the Indian Navy. In 2013, the INS Sindhurakshak vessel belonging to this class was lost with its crew in an explosion while torpedoes were being loaded. A year later, a fire onboard INS Sindhuratna led to two personnel losing their lives.
Induction of India’s second Scorpene-class submarine “INS Khanderi” has also been pushed by one year, after the Navy found 36 defects on delivery.