A state-of-the-art Indian aircraft carrier dry dock in Mumbai commenced operations last week. The main purpose of this dry dock is for the maintenance of Indian Navy (IN) ships and submarines including the Aircraft Carriers.

The concept design of the dock and project management has been undertaken by Royal HaskoningDHV and has taken approximately 9 years to construct. Named ‘Aircraft Carrier Dry Dock’, situated at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.

The dry dock is 281 metres long, 45 metres wide and almost 17 metres deep. The facility is capable of accommodating INS Vikramaditya (ex- Admiral Gorshkov), the service’s sole 44,750-tonne refurbished Kiev-class carrier, as well as ships of up to 90,000 tonnes.

While most dry docks are constructed by excavating into the land and then provided access to the sea, the Aircraft Carrier Dry Dock is built into the sea, a technique requiring 38 caissons (watertight steel sections) to drain out seawater before construction could commence.

The dry dock has more than 1 kilometre of berthing space with sectioning to allow multiple warships to be docked. It will have mechanical arms running on rails along its length, from where every part of the ship will be easily accessible. The dry dock project also entailed a dockmaster complex, with a parking facility for 400 vehicles. All these will result in faster turnaround time for maintenance and refit routines of IN warships.