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Attack submarines 'collide' off Gateway of India
MUMBAI: Two kilo-class 877EKM attack submarines collided with each other at the Naval Bay in Mumbai-half-a-km from the Gateway of India-last Monday.

Officials said the "minor accident'' took place when INS Sindhukesri was parked at the bay and INS Sindhuratna was returning from patrolling; the latter-being towed by a small tug boat -hit the parked Sindhukesri.

"The accident was not too serious as Sindhuratna's engine was switched off and it was being towed by a small tug. These are minor accidents,'' an official said, trying to downplay the incident.

Naval assistant PRO Narendra Vispute confirmed the incident, but said, "I have spoken to my senior officers who have told me that the incident is very minor and there is no damage to the rudder of any of the submarines. There's only a small dent on one of the submarines' rudders.''

Others in the know said Sindhukesri's rudder had been slightly damaged. Vice-admiral Pradeep Chauhan of the Western Naval Command said an inquiry had been ordered. "It happened some days back,'' Chauhan said.

The kilo-class 877EKM attack submarine is capable of touching 11 knots on the surface and 20 knots under water. It is still not clear whether the accident was due to human error or inclement weather.

Both 2,300-odd-tonne vessels have low noise levels. That could be one of the reasons why they got too close to each other without anybody noticing.

INS Sindhuratna was the second Indian naval submarine to be fitted with four ZM-54E1 missiles with a range of 300 km. It has a hull-mounted medium frequency digital sonar.

From - TOI
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