New Delhi: It was indeed an engineering feat that cost the Navy Rs 1,320 crore, the dry dock — measuring 281 metres in length, 45 mteres in width and 16.7 metres in depth — allowing multiple ship-docking, including two submarines at the same time as also for an aircraft carrier that was launched by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Mumbai.
While the Mumbai dockyard had three existing British era dry docks, they could not accommodate an aircraft carrier which is bigger in size and displacement as compared to any regular ship.
The new dry dock has a unique design involving construction into the sea rather than utilising the limited land available in the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.
“It is a huge capability enhancement for the Navy. Earlier, we had to depend on the Kochi Shipyard for INS Vikramaditya which involved some waiting period since arrangements had to be made. However, the Navy will now have its own facility,” a senior Navy officer said.
The Navy currently has dry dock facilities in Mumbai and Visakhapatnam, and a ship lift facility in Karwar. However, none could accommodate an aircraft carrier.
“There is another aircraft carrier which is under construction in Kochi. It was important to have our own dry dock of this size,” said an official.
With the new dock yard, the turnaround time for ships will increase as they won’t have to wait much for state-run shipyards and private dock yards.
The latest addition also reduces the burden on the state exchequer, sources said, adding that such docking used to cost lakhs of rupees on a per-day basis at private dockyard facilities, depending on the size of the ship and nature of works.