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Indian Navy to build new floating dock at Port Blair

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A floating dock is a platform or ramp supported by pontoons.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Navy is all set to build a strategically important floating dock to enable repair and refit of warships at sea, instead of at shore-based dry docks.

It has issued a request for information (RFI) to global shipbuilders for construction of the dock with 8,000-tonne lift capability at Port Blair, where a major tri-service military command is headquartered.

India already has a floating dock in service at Port Blair and the new facility would augment the capability by 2012-13, officers in the navy said here Sunday.

A floating dock of the navy had sunk in November 2002 off Port Blair following flooding of ballast tanks that controlled docking and undocking of warships due to power failure. It was brought afloat and later repaired in Sri Lanka.

The navy, the officers said, was looking at self-sufficient docks and shore-dependent docks (that draw power from land-based sources).

The dock should withstand likely severe tsunami waves without any major damage to ships docked and its pontoon deck should be suitably strengthened to cater to off-centre docking, the RFI said.

Seeking a world-class design for the dock, the navy has prescribed that it should have the approval of Maritime Classification Society and European Maritime Society.

The construction must be undertaken employing modern build strategy allowing for integrated construction to facilitate very short build period, the RFI said.

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