Surface Forces: India Sets Another Useful Example

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December 20, 2016: On December 7th a locally built Brahmaputra class frigate rolled over 90 degrees as it being removed from dry dock in Mumbai, India. Two sailors were killed and 15 injured. This is the first time an accident of this type (during a relatively common ship yard procedure) has occurred but not the first time there have been accidents and other problems in Indian naval repair facilities. The ship in question was now be put back into an upright position and returned to the dry dock to be repaired. The main mast of the 3,800 ton warship was visibly damaged and other damage will be discovered once the ship is upright and back in the dry dock. The frigate entered service in 2004 and like all warships periodically returns to dry dock for repairs and upgrades.

The Indian Navy has a reputation for being sloppy and careless. This has resulted in many expensive accidents at sea and in ship yards. Even during construction and repairs there is always a high probability that something will go wrong. The main problem here is corruption, especially in the state owned enterprises that design, develop and build (and then refurbish) weapons like aircraft, vehicles and ships. Indian government corruption is epic and seemingly intractable. But incidents like this keep the reformers going and progress, while slow, is being made.

 


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