"Only Indian Shipyard to have undertaken major refits of Submarines with specialized facilities established for EKM class submarines"
- HSL's association with submarine repairs commenced with refitting of two Egyptian submarines
- An exclusive and dedicated Submarine Division was established in 1997 to undertake medium refit repairs.
- The Yard entered a new area of repairs of conventional submarine in a big way with the Medium Repairs of a Vela class submarine.
- The yard has also undertaken the Medium Repair-cum-Modernisation of Sindhughosh class submarine. The yard has thereafter undertaken Normal refit of INS Sindhuvir which adds a new feather to the HSL’s cap.
The Yard post 56 years of its inception, had in, 1997 added another entity to its repertoire viz., the Submarine Retrofit Division to undertake the refits of submarines ie., Foxtrot Class of the Indian Navy, a first on the eastern sea board beyond the realms of the Naval Dockyard at Visakhapatnam. The formulation of the retrofit division had added an adage as a new “strategic business unit” furthering the cause of self reliance post the end of the cold war.
The Retrofit Division undertook the maiden MR of INS Vagli from 1997 to 2005, which ensured in provisioning of an alternate yard to enhance the MFL of the vital and strategic national asset.
Consequent to the Yard establishing its credentials of garnering the expertise on undertaking the refit of Vagli, the Yard was bestowed with the contract to undertake the MR of the first EKM class of submarine viz., INS Sindhukirti in 2006. The Yard’s provise in undertaking a flawless MR albeit the extended period, for reasons beyond the control of the Yard, enshrined in the attainment of standards akin to those achieved during the commissioning trials of a new submarine. This development remains a true manifestation of the Yard coming of age to be bestowed with new and additional challenges.
HSL has acquired the required expertise, capabilities & skill set and developed specialized infrastructure/facilities & technical documentation essentially required for undertaking refits of EKM Class Submarines of Indian Navy. It is the only shipyard having covered ‘Building Dock’ where refits of two EKM submarines can be undertaken simultaneously. This has been done with a view to obviate dependence on any foreign shipyard for refit of EKM Submarines. The Medium Repair-cum-Modernisation of Russian built INS Sindhukirti was successfully completed and handed over to the Navy on 26 Jun 2015. This has earned many accolades for the shipyard. During the refit, nearly 100 Km of cabling and 30 Km of high pressure piping was renewed, thereby making this the most advanced platform ever to be undertaken in an Indian yard proving the Yard’s capability to take up orders to construct generation next Greenfield submarines. Incidentally, this was the only instance where retrofitting of missile system in an existing submarine was undertaken in the country. The submarine achieved RPM of 350 during its very first sea sortie for Full Power Trials, thus certifying the quality of work by the yard.
Sailing of INS Sindhukirti after undergoing MRCM at HSL
Considering the expertise gained in MR of INS Sindhukirti, HSL has been awarded for Normal Refit of INS Sindhuvir, a Kilo class submarine of the Indian Navy at a cost of Rs 500 Cr. HSL, achieved another historical milestone in submarine Repair capability by completing extensive repairs, upgrade, system integration and trials of INS Sindhuvir on 31 Jan 2020 i.e. ahead of the contractual delivery period of 09 Feb 2020.