INS Sindhukirti, the third Kilo Class Diesel Electric Submarine, is the Soviet-era submarine of the Indian Navy. Acquired from the erstwhile Soviet Union back in 1990, it is one of the oldest submarines in the fleet of the Navy
New Delhi: In a bid to counter threats of attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis in the vast water bodies, India has deployed at least a dozen warships east of the Red Sea to strengthen security against pirates, marking the country’s largest deployment in the region. The navy’s move is also strong action against the latest incidents of around 17 hijackings, attempted hijackings and suspicious approaches by pirates recorded since December 1. Amid the boiling water in the Indian Ocean region and to strengthen its counter-attack against enemies, the Indian Navy has been taking several measures, including the induction of warships and survey vessels such as INS Sandhaya, which has recently become part of the Indian Navy. Meanwhile, INS Sindhukirti is all set to return to action, enhancing muscle power for the Navy on the surface of water as well as under water.
What Is INS Sindhukirti?
The INS Sindhukirti is the third-kilo-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy. Acquired from the erstwhile Soviet Union back in 1990, it is one of the oldest submarines in the fleet of the Navy. Currently, the submarine is going through a transformation phase to be equipped with the latest and most advanced technologies, making it the deadliest for enemies on war grounds. Notably, a submarine of a similar class was earlier refitted with electronic systems, modern sensors, as well as weapons.
Potential of the INS Sindhukirti
Despite the fact that INS Sindhukirti is a Soviet-era submarine, it has the potential to block the paths of other submarines by laying mines. Additionally, it can destroy opponents’ submarines and other water vessels with its capability of launching torpedoes and firing missiles.
This diesel-electric submarine is quite slower than other nuclear submarines and can move at a speed of 11 knots (20 km/h) on the surface and 19 knots (35 km/h) deep inside the water.
With a beam of 9.9 metres and a draft of 6.5 metres, the overall length of the submarine is 72.6 metres. It can dive deep into water up to 300 metres from the surface. While it is calmly surfaced, it displaces 2,300 tons, and under water it displaces 3,100 tons.
With the potential of carrying 70 personnel onboard, the submarine can remain on a mission for 40 consecutive days. However, it is crucial for the submarine to hit the surface of the sea water once every 24 hour in order to “snort” out the exhaust from its diesel engines. This process is also important, as it helps to take in fresh air from outside and get rid of the stale air.
Because it was designed in an era where comfort was an afterthought, the submarine left behind luxurious facilities, and every inches of the submarine is occupied with machinery.
The battery pit of the submarine consists of hundreds of batteries, each weighing around 900 kg. These batteries play a crucial role in keeping the submarine alive in case of emergency, as they are the only source of electrical power.
There is only one toilet in the submarine, which is used by all 70 personnel onboard. Moreover, the washroom has no shower facility.
Notably, the crew members of the submarine wear a light blue colour uniform, which they dispose off after every three days.
The submarine’s quality of moving quieter than other submarines makes it more lethal and separates it from the queue of other submarines.
Modification of The Submarine
The submarine is going through a renovation process at Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) in Visakhapatnam and will be modified as per the latest requirements of the Indian Navy with an investment of ₹934 crore. Upon its modification, the submarine will be fitted with advanced weaponry, sensors, and communication systems. Moreover, the service period of the submarine will also be increased.
The return of the submarine, which has been out of service for several years for modification procedure, into action will mark a significant milestone for the Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine and will also be a remarkable achievement for the country towards becoming a self-reliant nation.
Prior to this, the submarine had undergone a mid-life modification between 2006 and 2015. However, the project faced several challenges and criticism occurred because of shipyard mismanagement and disagreement with Russian experts.