The Indian navy soon will add one more floating dock to repair and refit warships at sea.
by: AviationWeek, The request for information (RFI) for the second Floating Dock Navy (FDN) facility was issued to shipbuilders worldwide in March. The new facility will be smaller than the existing one and will be ready by 2014. It could lift up to 8,000 tons once fully operational and is expected to cost around Rs 250-300 crore ($55-66 million).The FDN-1 comes under the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), headquartered at Port Blair. It is the only such facility in Asia, and the Indian navy sees it as strategically located due to its ability to refit a ship. The ANC also is known as India’s only triservice command.
The FDN-1 is the second-largest vessel of the Indian navy, following its aircraft carrier, but falling short only by 2.2 meters. Built by IHHI of Japan in 1987 at a cost of Rs 20 crore, it can dock all Indian navy vessels except carriers and oil tankers.
“These are maintenance-intense docks and are supported on 12 anchors. It can lift up to 11,500 tons,” says Commander A.K. Sharma, officer-in-charge of FDN-1.
It is 188.7 meters (619 ft.) long, 40 meters wide and 15 meters high. The navy is keen to have a world-class design for FDN-2 with the Maritime Classification Society and European Maritime Society’s approval.
FDN-1 sunk in November 2002 during heavy floods and was later repaired in Sri Lanka. The new RFI specifies that self-sufficient docks should be able to withstand severe tsunami waves without any major damage to docked ships, and its pontoon deck should be suitably strengthened to cater to off-center docking.
China recently built the world’s largest floating dock at its coastal city of Dalian. It went into production mode in 2006 and is a 300,000-ton floating dock that is 340 meters long, 76 meters wide and 27 meters deep.