The Navy’s guided missile frigate INS Betwa that had tipped over during undocking at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai two-and-a-half months ago has been salvaged to its upright position and will be made operational by April.
The 4,000-tonne frontline warship, with a length of 126 metres, had suffered the mishap on December 5 last year while it was being undocked. Two personnel were killed and 15 injured in the incident.
“INS Betwa is back on even keel. It shall be operational before April. She is floating like any other warship. It shall be operational before April 2018,” a navy spokesperson said.
The ship has been salvaged at a cost of Rs 20 crore.
The mishap had occurred during undocking and it was suspected that the dock-block mechanism had failed. The mast of the ship has hit the ground on the left side.
The ship was undergoing refit and the incident had happened as it was undocking in the cruiser graving dock of the dockyard.
INS Betwa is a frigate of the Brahmaputra class built by Garden Reach Ship Builders of Kolkata and entered service in July 2004.
Named after the river Betwa, the frigate has been in service for over 12 years. It was indigenously designed and built with the capability to operate at extended ranges, with speeds up to 30 knots.
It is one of the key warships of the Western Naval Command. It is armed with Uran anti-ship missiles, Barak 1 surface-to-air missiles and torpedoes.
The ship had run aground in January 2014 and collided with an unidentified object which led to a crack in its sonar system, and had also seen salt water ingress into sensitive equipment.