The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract for the normal refit of the Sindhukirti submarine at Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam.

This refit project carries a total cost of Rs9.34bn ($110m).

A 3rd Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine, Sindhukirti will become combat-worthy following the completion of the refit and will then join the active submarine fleet of the Indian Navy. 

According to the ministry, this refit will help develop alternate repair facilities for submarines. It also marks a further step for implementing a medium refit with life certification at HSL.

Besides involving more than 20 micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the refit project will lead to employment generation of 1,000 mandays a day during its duration. 

Commissioned in January 1990, the Russian-made Sindhughosh-class submarine Sindhukirti previously underwent final trials in June 2015 after finishing almost a decade-long retrofit at HSL.

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During the earlier modernisation programme, the submarine was equipped with new weapons, sonars, and fire control systems and was able to fire the 300km-range Klub-S land-attack missiles.

The latest refit programme of the Sindhukirti submarine comes after the Indian Navy commissioned its fifth stealth Scorpene class submarine INS Vagir at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai in January.

Under a collaboration with France-based Naval Group, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) will manufacture six Scorpene-class submarines in India.

In September 2022, the MoD announced the launch of the navy’s two diving support vessels (DSV), namely Nistar and Nipun, which are being constructed by HSL.