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In a strategic move to strengthen defence ties and foster maritime cooperation, India has extended the service of its state-owned shipyards, particularly Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), to assist in extensive repairs, upgrades, system integration, and trials of the Kilo-class submarine’s operational with the Vietnamese Navy. Vietnam currently operates six Kilo-class submarines in its fleet, and India has taken a proactive approach to enhance Vietnam’s naval capabilities by offering its expertise and facilities.

The recent transfer of INS Kirpan, a Khukri-class corvette, to Vietnam free of cost was a significant gesture aimed at bolstering Vietnam’s naval fleet. This move demonstrated India’s commitment to forging stronger maritime partnerships with neighboring countries, fostering regional security and stability.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Defence signed a contract for the Normal Refit of the Sindhukirti Submarine at Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam, at an overall cost of Rs 934 crore. The Sindhukirti is the third Kilo Class Diesel Electric Submarine in the Indian Navy’s fleet. The refit process will render the Sindhukirti combat-worthy, enabling it to rejoin the active submarine fleet of the Indian Navy. This decision to offload the refit project to develop an alternate repair facility for submarines is a strategic step toward undertaking Medium Refits with Life Certification at HSL.

The project at HSL involves the collaboration of more than 20 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), making it a multi-faceted endeavour that encompasses various aspects of submarine refit and modernization. Additionally, this initiative is expected to generate substantial employment, contributing to 1,000 man-days per day during the project duration.

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