The Indian Navy's INS Sindhukirti attack submarine will next month return into service after being upgraded for a nearly a decade.
INS Sindhukirti, the Indian Navy’s seventh Sindhughosh-class diesel-electric attack submarine, is set to enter its final “full-power trials” from this Friday.
The submarine's upgrade process began in 2006. The original upgrade process was scheduled for three years, but was eventually delayed for years beyond its original deadline.
The delay was due to a series of incremental extensions of the upgrade process by Russians working with India’s Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), the shipyard in charge of the upgrades.
The Sindhukirti, which was originally commissioned in 1990, is "as good as new" now, with hull renewal as well as new weapons, sonars, fire control systems and the like. The vessel will now also be capable of firing the almost 300-km Klub-S land-attack missiles from the six torpedo tubes fitted on its "nose" an official was quoted as saying to Times Of India on Wednesday.
"The full-power trials, after the successful sea-trials, are meant to test the submarine to the extreme," the official added. Currently, India’s submarine force operates 13 aging diesel-electric attack submarines, with only half of them being fully operational. The country also operates one Russian Akula-II class nuclear submarine, leased in 2011 for a ten-year period.
Even though the indigenously designed Arihant -class nuclear submarines will be a great achievement, the project is delayed. The Indian government recently cleared an additional $8 billion in funding for naval modernization, part of which will be spent on the construction of six additional nuclear submarines.