New Delhi: The Indian Navy is all set to add a brand new tanker to its fleet this month. With a sister ship due to join in June-July the additions will add a distinct punch to its capabilities as a blue-water navy.
The first tanker, christened INS Deepak, will be commissioned at Mumbai on 21 January, with the second tanker, INS Shakti, slated to arrive by June-July. With a full-load displacement of 27,500 tonnes, the 175-metre long INS Deepak will be able to carry 17,900 tonnes of cargo, including 15,250 tonnes of fuel.
The ship will boast of a flight deck and have a double hull with a capacity to refuel four ships at a time.
The tankers are equipped with four AK-630 guns and have an endurance of 10,000 nautical miles at a speed of 16 knots.
The two ships were contracted for in April 2008 from M/s Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA of Italy for 159.32 million Euros.
The two ships will join the two older fleet tankers, INS Jyoti and INS Aditya, currently being operated by Navy.
The Indian Navy's strategic area of interest stretches from the Hormuz Strait to Malacca Strait. It currently has over 40 warships on order at Indian shipyards, including six French designed Scorpene submarines, and a 40,000-tonne indigenous aircraft carrier being built at the Cochin Shipyard.
It also has a refit programme of the 44,570-tonne Admiral Gorshkov or INS Vikramditya underway at a Russian shipyard as well as construction of three additional Talwar-class stealth frigates.