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INDIAN NAVY: Sindhurakshak salvage

The Indian Defence Ministry has contracted Resolve India, a subsidiary of the US-based Resolve Marine Group, to salvage the submarine Sindhurakshak. The US$45 million operation to recover the Kilo class vessel, which exploded and sank at Mumbai Naval Dockyard last August, is expected to take up to six months.

The task is made more complex as the stricken submarine remains fully-loaded with missiles and torpedoes as she was about to set-off on patrol. The structurally-weakened hull, with internal deformation caused by the force of the blasts at the forward weapons compartment, rules out a straight lift of the hulk, even though it sits in only eight metres of water.

A navy Board of Inquiry is dependent on a forensic examination of the submarine once it has been recovered. Preliminary findings have indicated the incident was either an accident or due to the consequences of incorrect handling of ammunition.

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