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Indian Navy hopeful of using submarine that sank

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The navy hopes to see sunken submarine Sindhurakshak operational again, Navy chief Admiral D.K. Joshi said Tuesday.

The navy chief said the bidding process is on for salvaging the frontline Russian-made Kilo class submarine which sunk after a major fire accident Aug 14, killing all 18 crew members on board.

Admiral Joshi said five agencies had initially bid for salvaging the Sindhurakshak. Of them, two have been shortlisted and invited for commercial bids. “The bidding process should conclude any day,” he said. “We are hopeful of using it after it is salvaged,” he added.

The navy chief said a separate review board will be formed “the moment the boat is floated” to test its condition. “The board will have naval architects and maritime engineers… hull survey will be undertaken. Depending on the finding, a decision will be taken (on using the submarine),” he said.

Asked about the investigation in the causes of the accident, Admiral Joshi said “any final conclusion will only be drawn after the submarine is afloat”.

On the question of the ordnance on board the submarine posing any threat, he said the investigations suggested the ordnance was “stable”. He added that the agencies that will salvage the submarine will also have experts to handle the ordnance.

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