The Indian Navy will soon decommission the ill-fated INS Sindhurakshak almost four years after 18 Navy personnel were killed in a blast on board the submarine. Two Board of Inquiries (BoIs) constituted by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have suggested that the Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine should be decommissioned. A decision will soon be taken to either sink the submarine or use it for target practice. Both the BOIs had suggested that the vessel was not sea-worthy and not fit to sail again, according to the Indian Express.
A senior officer of the Indian Navy has told the Indian Express ”The Navy lost officers and men on board the submarine. The vessel is like a grave site for us. The option of scrapping it looks remote. We are considering the option of using the submarine for either target practice or for sinking”.
The officer added that the decision on the fate of the submarine now rests with the Defence Ministry. The officer said ”We are hoping that the ministry takes the decision soon. The logistics of either the sinking or moving the ship for target practice needs to be worked out.”
Another Navy official told the Indian Express that “The BOIs found that the damage caused to the submarine by the fire and the subsequent explosions have made the submarine unfit for sea”.
The submarine sank in the South Breakwater in Mumbai’s naval dockyard in August 2013. Two years later, in January 2015, a contract was signed with a US-based firm to salvage the submarine. The vessel was salvaged in June 2015 and handed over to the Indian Navy. The vessel has been anchored at the Mumbai Naval dock since then.