Indian Navy is planning to deploy an additional floating dock at Port Blair, which is very close to the Strait of Malacca that connects the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea.
The move is aimed at strengthening naval power on the eastern coastline. The Navy’s plan is vital considering the massive presence of Naval forces in Bangladesh and Myanmar, Sputnik news reported Thursday.
The first locally built floating dock (FDN-2) is launched by Indian company, Larsen & Toubro (L & T) for the Indian Navy at Kattupalli in Chennai. The floating dock will be stationed at the strategically important location of Port Blair after a series of harbour trials.
Once operationalized, it would enhance the technical repair infrastructure of the Navy for ships based at the Andaman & Nicobar Islands as well as for visiting naval ships.
The dock is 185-meter-long, 40-meter-wide and locally-designed and built platform with machinery and control systems. It is designed for docking Indian naval ships and submarines of up to 8000 ton displacement with droughts of up to 7 meters, during both day and night.
Simultaneous docking of multiple ships and off-center docking options are also feasible. It has high capacity ballast pumps, along with advanced automated ballast control system. The vessel has been built at a cost of $70.3 million.
The floating dock has been designed as a versatile one as it can be installed either along a jetty or tied in calm waters enabling round-the-year operation.
The dock is provided with a hauling-in system to handle a ship’s docking and undocking operations. It can also support ships berthed along its side and meet their logistics requirements.
Deployment of the floating dock near the busiest shipping route will have high strategic value as the Indian Navy has started to deploy naval ships including amphibious ships and warships permanently at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which is an attempt to renew its maritime policy to ensure its dominance cannot be challenged by China in the Indian Ocean Region.
India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also setting up the country’s land-based long-range missile facility at South Andaman’s Rutland Island which is approximately 200 kilometers from the Strait of Malacca.
“It is an affirmation of the in-house capabilities and track record of L&T that we are launching the FDN-2 for the Indian Navy ahead of schedule today, as a sequel to having already delivered 32 interceptor boats to the Indian Coast Guard,” Jayant D Patil, Vice President- Defense, Larsen & Toubro, said.