June 22, 2017

Why FDN2 is a giant leap for the Indian Navy

The launch of FDN2, india's first indigenously developed floating dock, has more to it than meets the eye.

Launched on Tuesday from Larsen & Toubro's greenfield shipyard at Kattupalli, Chennai, the dock is the second of its kind to be commissioned by the Indian Navy. Commissioned after a gap of 30 years, the new dock will join its predecessor at the naval base at Port Blair.

Commissioned by the Defence Ministry in 2015, the 8,000 tonnes FDN2 will be used for the repair of all naval assets other than aircraft carriers. Apart from oil tankers and aircraft carriers, floating dockyards are the biggest ships on the planet.

The significance of the commissioning of the vessel is the strategic role Port Blair will play in the new geo-political situation. With China beefing up its naval power in the Indian Ocean, there is a growing requirement for higher attention towards the eastern coastline which is the door to India's far east trade.

This calls for improved facilities at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. But given that the area is prone to earthquakes ,it is quite impractical to build a dry dock there. It is in this context that the navy's setting up of an additional dockyard in Port Blair gains significance.

Thus, the commissioning is not just an example for India's rising naval power, but seems to be a clear message of the country's commitment to take up any challenge in the eastern waterways.


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