Cochin Shipyard Refits INS Vikramaditya

The Cochin Shipyard Limited dispelled  doubts  that CSL could repair the largest Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, when on  5th November, 2016 the refit  was completed  a month ahead of schedule.

This aircraft carrier was purchased from Russia and commissioned into the naval fleet in 2014.

INS Vikramaditya is one of the biggest ships owned by India and ever  to have docked in India till date.  In September, the Indian Navy, one of CSL’s biggest client, decided to dry-dock the carrier attached to its Karwar Naval Base at CSL for repairs on a contracted schedule of 70 days.

It was clearly an opportunity for CSL to prove that India had the infrastructure as well as expertise for the task. This will also ensure readiness  and  preparedness with an indigenous capability in case of an emergency, without having to face the embarrassment of sending the ship outside the country for repairs.

To lay the concerns to rest, CSL tasked IIT Chennai to undertake a detailed dock floor strength analysis to prove that CSL dock indeed had the capacity to accommodate loads of this nature.

The design of the dock blocks was done in-house thereafter by CSL to seat the Carrier in the dry-dock.  Ultimately, CSL got the opportunity to demonstrate  its capability to dock and repair INS Vikramaditya.

Incidentally, all three aircraft carriers of the Indian Navy were in and around CSL for around a month during this period.  First, INS Viraat, came into CSL for a short refit before its de-commissioning (which is understood is planned for early 2017).

INS Vikramaditya, originally expected for refit at CSL in October 2016, was dry-docked in September 2016.   It was virtually a touch and go situation for CSL as INS Vikramaditya came in close on the heels of INS Viraat.

INS Viraat, was still berthed at Kochi when INS Vikramaditya came in to dry-dock at CSL.   All this while, the third carrier, INS Vikrant, Indian’s First Ingenuously built Aircraft Carrier was under construction at CSL, resulting in a situation where all the three aircraft carriers were in Cochin.

The whole effort and its tremendous success augers well not only for India’s most dynamic shipyard, the Cochin Shipyard Limited, but also for the nation as a whole.