Indian Navy to get biggest dry dock

Representative image. PTI photo

The Indian Navy has got its biggest dry dock.

Located inside the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, the new dry dock can accommodate aircraft carriers including the huge erstwhile Soviet-origin INS Vikramaditya and the indigenous Vikrant that is being built in Kochi.

Construction major Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) has built the dry dock for the Indian Navy. It has taken a little less than a decade's time for the construction to complete, that was full of challenges.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who would be in Mumbai on September 28, will inaugurate the state-of-the-art dry dock along the Arabian Sea,  official sources said.

This is probably the only dry dock in the country that is surrounded by the sea from three sides. The pumps used are so powerful that each one of them can fill a tank of 10,000 cubic meter in 3 seconds.

There are eight such pumps installed and can remove water from the dock in approx two-and-a-half hours. The need for a big dry dock in Mumbai that houses the Western Naval Command, the sword arm of the Indian Navy, has been felt for quite some time.

The Bombay Dockyard, established in 1732, was the finest shipbuilding Yard in the country in the 18th and 19th centuries. Ships constructed at Bombay Dockyard in its heyday were said to be "immensely superior to anything built anywhere else in the world".

From building smaller ships, the Yard increasingly developed the capability to build ships of larger displacement and improved fighting capabilities. 

The Yard’s facilities were progressively augmented over the next 125 years.  Bombay Dry Dock was constructed during the period 1750-1765 and Duncan Dry Dock was constructed during the period 1807-1810. In addition, a breakwater and three slipways were added in the period 1830 to 1846. The Inner Breakwater equipped with cranes and services for water and electric supply points were subsequently constructed in 1906.

Transition to the Naval Dockyard

Post Independence, the Naval Dockyard was expanded from 39 acre to 123 acre with the construction of two cruiser graving docks.

The shore end of the cruiser graving dock was elongated to accommodate the aircraft carriers.

Concurrent with the growth of dry docking and berthing facilities, a comprehensive plan was prepared by the National Industrial Development Corporation (NIDC), which recommended modernisation in three phases to meet immediate, intermediate and future requirements.

In 1975, a project team called "Modernisation of Naval Dockyard, Bombay" was formed.

In 1978, the project team was merged with the "Director General Naval Dockyard Expansion Scheme" and this new organisation was re-designated as "Director General Naval Projects (Bombay)".

 This led to a spurt of new workshop buildings in the Dockyard which aided in creating new facilities for the expanding Indian Navy.

SIMPLY GIGANTIC... !!!

1) The concrete used for constructing the dry dock is 3 times the quantity used Bandra Worli Sea Link.

2) The steel used can be utilised to construct two Eiffel Towers

3) The water in the dry dock can fill 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.

4) The dock can be divided into two parts dry and wet and can accommodate two ships simultaneously.

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