India eyeing second floating dock

India eyeing second floating dock

Another milestone

India eyeing second floating dock

The Floating Dock Navy-1 at Port Blair. Courtesy: Defence Ministry“The Centre, having seen the success and economic viability in the FDN-1, has decided to go for another one,” FDN-1 Commander-Officer-in-Charge A K Sharma told a group of visiting journalists from Bangalore.

The Navy will build the second floating dock (FDN-2) also in Port Blair, where it already has one to enable repair and refit of warships at sea, instead of at shore-based dry docks.

In fact, the Navy has already issued a request for information (RFI) to global shipbuilders for construction of the dock at Port Blair, augmenting its capability by 2012-13.

FDN-1, built by IHHI of Japan for Rs 20 crore is 188.7 metre, 40 metre and 15 metre in length, width and height respectively, and has an ability to lift up to 11,500 tonne. The second facility is, however, expected to be smaller than the existing one and will be equipped with a lifting capacity of 8,000 tonne.

Officials on the FDN-1 told Deccan Herald that Japan might not bag the orders for the proposed second dock. “The Navy is looking at a world-class design with the Maritime Classification Society and European Maritime Society’s approval,” the officials said.

Given that the area in which the dock is expected to float is prone to tsumani, the Navy is also keen that the dock must have the ability to withstand severe tsunami waves without damaging (major) the ships docked and that its pontoon deck should be suitably strengthened to cater to off-centre docking.

FDN-1 had sunk in November 2002 off Port Blair following flooding of ballast tanks that controlled docking and undocking of warships due to power failure. It was then toed to Sri Lanka where it was repaired.

Speaking about the incident, officers on the dock said: “That was the only such incident that we have had since its inception in 1987. But it has been very successful in carrying out the prescribed operations (repair, refit, service, painting etc) by the Navy.”