The Board of Inquiry (BOI) instituted to gauge the condition of Indian Naval Submarine (INS) Sindhurakshak, which was rocked by a series of explosions in August last year, has submitted a report to the defence ministry stating the submarine is not seaworthy and that decommissioning it is a viable option.
The ministry should now take a call on it, the report states. The 2,300-tonne boat was armed with the latest multi-role missile system, radar and electronics, and had sunk at a Mumbai harbour killing 18 navy personnel and injuring several others.
“The submarine is not fit to sail again because of the massive fire. The missiles and torpedoes would have also damaged the hull. There are maximum chances that the submarine will go for decommissioning, but the decision will be taken by the defence ministry” said a source in the Indian Navy.
In January this year, the Navy had contracted a US-based firm to salvage the ship at a cost of Rs 240 crore. While the submarine was brought to the surface in June, ten months after the incident, it is anchored at the Naval Dockyard.
The Western Naval Command had constituted an empowered committee, headed by a vice-admiral rank officer, to conclude the contract. Commodore rank officers were in the committee and the captain was given the charge of bringing the contract file to the authority concerned for the process.
In the months after the explosion, a first BOI was ordered and an interim report submitted to the defence ministry, detailing the cause of the accident, in April this year. Soon after, the second inquiry was ordered to find if the submarine was fit to sail again.