February 23, 2015 12:03:04 am
Navy’s Kilo-class submarine INS Sindhughosh collided with a fishing vessel off the western coast between the night of Thursday and Friday causing minor damage in the periscope of the vessel, the Navy said on Sunday. The submarine has since then returned to Mumbai.
“In a minor incident off the West Coast of India, a fishing vessel has hit the periscope of the submarine which was involved in an exercise,” said a Navy press release.
It may be noted that the submarine, along with both the aircraft carriers of the Navy and 40-odd platforms, was part of the exercise Tropex which has been underway on the western seaboard.
“The exercise was being conducted in pitch-dark conditions as required by the exercise prerequisites. The incident happened during the night between Thursday and Friday. No major damages to the submarine. Submarine has since returned to Mumbai dock yard and repairs would be effected soon,” the release said.
INS Sindhughosh is the lead ship of the original 10 Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines of the Navy. Earlier, two submarines of the same class — INS Sindhuratna and INS Sindhurakshak — had major accidents that had resulted in the loss of lives of sailors on board the ships. In February last Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi had resigned after the accident on the INS Sindhuratna.
In January 2014, the submarine had ran aground on the naval harbour in Mumbai with its personnel on board. However, no one was injured in the mishap.
These accidents in the recent years have affected the operational capability of the Navy. While the defence ministry has already cleared the proposal to acquire six new diesel-electric submarines under Project 75i, health of the existing fleet is also crucial given the increased Chinese footprints in the Indian Ocean region.
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