Warship INS Betwa will be made operational by April 2018. The front-line Brahmaputra-class frigate of the Indian Navy — which had been undergoing refits at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai — had toppled on the blocks of the dockyard while it was being undocked on December 5, 2016.
The chief of naval staff said the incident would not hinder the original time frame in which the ship was to be refitted.
Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma confirmed the development. “The vessel has been lifted from its 90-degree position. The ship was undergoing a refit cycle, which started in April last year in the naval dockyard. The Navy had decided to make the ship battle-worthy. It will be made operational by April 2018,” he said.
The Navy signed a contract with a foreign firm that has branches in India in the second week of January, to salvage the ship.
The cost of getting the ship upright was pegged at Rs20 crore, said Navy sources.
Phase 1 of the process to salvage the ship and make it operational once more was completed on January 11. Work on phase 2 was started immediately, with water being removed from the dock by January 20.
The western naval command flag officer commanding-in-chief Vice Admiral Girish Luthra has personally monitored each stage of the ship’s operations.
Sources said the salvage and refit operations benefitted from the fact that the ship did not have any armaments or critical electronic suites on-board. The only flip side was that the work of other major projects at the naval dockyard will be delayed.