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Indian Navy inaugurates first aircraft carrier dry dock

30 September 2019
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The Indian Navy's first aircraft carrier dry dock (seen here accommodating a Kolkata [Project 15A]-class destroyer) was inaugurated in a ceremony held on 28 September at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. Source: Indian Navy

The Indian Navy's (IN's) largest dry dock to date was inaugurated on 28 September at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai in a ceremony presided over by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Named 'Aircraft Carrier Dry Dock', the 281-m long, 45-m wide, and 17-m deep facility is capable of accommodating INS Vikramaditya (ex- Admiral Gorshkov ), the service's sole 44,750-tonne refurbished Kiev-class carrier, as well as ships of up to 90,000 tonnes, said the IN in a statement, adding that the construction of the dock required "innovative and extreme engineering methods".

"While most dry docks are constructed by excavating into the land and then providing access to the sea, the Aircraft Carrier Dry Dock is built into the sea: a technique requiring 38 caissons [watertight steel sections] to drain out sea water before construction could commence," said the IN.

The dry dock has more than one kilometre of berthing space with sectioning to allow multiple warships to be docked, said the service, adding that this will result in faster turnaround time for maintenance and refit routines of IN warships.

The dry dock is also expected to be used to maintain and repair Vikrant , the second aircraft carrier on order for the IN, which is currently being built by Cochin Shipyard Limited.

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