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Indian submarine sails for home after refit in Russia

Indian submarine sails for home after refit in Russia 06.08.2008
The INS Sindhuvijay diesel-electric submarine departed for India early Wednesday after an extensive overhaul at a shipyard in northern Russia, the Zvezdochka shipbuilding company said.

The Project 877EKM Kilo-class submarine had been undergoing a refit at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk since 2005.

"The Sindhuvijay diesel-electric submarine has been handed over to the Indian navy," the shipyard said in a statement. The submarine is expected to sail for three months until it reaches India.

The Sindhuvijay was built in October 1990 at a shipyard in St. Petersburg. In March 1991 it joined the Indian navy and remained in service until 2005. On June 3, 2005 the submarine docked in Russia for repairs and upgrades.

The overhaul was delayed for six months due to the unacceptable performance of its new SS-N-27 Club-S cruise missiles. In six consecutive pre-delivery test firings in late 2007, the Club missiles failed to find their targets and India refused to accept the delivery until the problems had been resolved.

The Club-S subsonic cruise missile is designed for launch from a 533 mm torpedo tube, or a vertical launch tube. It has a range of 160 nautical miles (about 220 km). It uses an ARGS-54 active radar seeker and Glonass satellite and inertial guidance.

New trials were successfully completed in mid-July.

The upgrade program also involved a complete overhaul of the submarine, including its hull structure, as well as improved control systems, sonar, electronic warfare systems, and an integrated weapon control system. The upgrades reportedly cost about $80 million.

Sindhuvijay is the fourth Indian navy submarine to have been refitted at the Zvyozdochka shipyard.

Russia's Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines have gained a reputation as extremely quiet boats, and have been purchased by China, India, Iran, Poland, Romania and Algeria.


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