HSL confident of getting refit order of fourth EKM submarine: CMD

With the refitting of INS Sindhuvir, a Kilo class submarine, in advance stage of completion, the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is hopeful of getting orders from Indian Navy for Medium Refit and Life Certification (MRLC) of fourth Russia-made EKM submarine under the ‘Make in India’ programme.

The Indian Navy is understood to have either entrusted the job of medium refit to extend the life of three such submarines to Russia or in the process of completing it. The HSL is one of the strong contenders for carrying out the job in lieu of its rich experience in submarine repairs and refitting.

The Defence Acquisition Council cleared the proposal for medium refit of four Russia-made Sindhughosh class submarines in 2014, for which the HSL was the only qualified domestic bidder to submit a proposal to take it up at a cost of around ₹1,500 crore.

“The work on INS Sindhuvir will be completed shortly. We are confident of getting the fourth Russia-made submarine to promote indigenisation,” HSL Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral L.V. Sarat Babu told The Hindu.

The HSL had successfully completed the refit of INS Sindhukirti. The work began in August, 2017.

The value of contract for Sindhuvir was stated to be around ₹500 crore. Its undocking was completed recently after extensive repairs.Incidentally, a majority of the works have been undertaken by MSMEs.

The Indian Navy is also extending the required support for timely refit of the vessel. Successful undocking of Sindhuvir was credited to perfect coordination between the HSL and the Naval Dockyard, he said.

Mr. Sarat Babu said continuity of refit orders from the Navy was essential, going by the HSL’s track-record in executing refit of submarines, extending their life by 10 years or so. The HSL has also developed a dedicated repair yard by investing more than ₹50 crore.Set up in 1941, the yard, which was brought under the Ministry of Defence in 2010, is putting in efforts to undertake the MRLC of fourth EKM submarine.

The yard is also a strong contender to undertake construction of major indigenous submarine, futuristic submarine projects under P-75 (I) by tying up with a strategic partner. Keeping this in view, the HSL has already formed a consortium with the Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).