INS Betwa back at even keel, to be operational by April 2018
"Once float worthy, she would be undocked. She shall be operational before April 2018 which was her scheduled operational date,� a Defence spokesperson said on Wednesday.
The Indian Navy Ship Betwa which capsized in December 2016 is now back in its sailing position and is ‘at even keel’ and would be operational by April 2018, the Navy said on Wednesday.
In December, when the Indian Navy’s guided missile frigate INS Betwa tipped over, Two sailors were killed and 14 were injured as the boat tipped over while undocking at the Naval Dockyard in South Mumbai.
Only 10 per cent of the weaponry installed on the warship was actually on board at the time of the accident. A foreign company was roped in to salvage the frigate. The warship has been lifted from its 90-degree position and has been brought upright. The Navy has decided to make it battle ready within its ongoing refit cycle which commenced in April 2016.
“INS Betwa is back on even keel which means she is upright now. Once float worthy, she would be undocked. She shall be operational before April 2018 which was her scheduled operational date,” a Defence spokesperson said on Wednesday.
INS Betwa, a Brahmaputra-class-guided missile frigate, costing Rs 600 crore was commissioned in the Indian Navy in 2004. The ship is named after the Betwa river in Madhya Pradesh.
INS Betwa has participated in Operation Cactus in 1988 when India tried to restore the democratically elected government following an attempted coup against the then Maldivian President, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom by Sri Lanka mercenaries. A part of Task Force 54, INS Betwa participated in Operation Sukoon also by evacuating stranded Indian nationals from Lebanon after the Israel-Lebanon conflict broke out in 2006.
Admiral Deepak Bali, Flag Officer, Offshore Defence Advisory Group (FODAG) is heading the Board of Inquiry into the mishap.
The report is expected to be submitted soon. The mishap capped a series of accidents over the last three years in the Western Naval Command including the INS Sindhurakshak accident, in which 18 people including three officers were killed in 2013.