Indian Navy’s missile frigate INS Betwa, which toppled over during undocking in December last year, has been made upright and will be operational before April 2018, an Indian Navy official said.

The Indian Navy on January 16 signed a contract with Resolve Marine to salvage the 3,800-tonne Brahmaputra-class frigate. The cost of getting the ship upright was around Rs 20 crore.

The same firm had earlier salvaged submarine Sindhurakshak that which exploded and sank on August 14, 2013 killing 18 crew members.

The Indian Navy will now take over the ship’s repair.

An official told IANS the assessment of the extent of damage is going on, adding that it would be made operational before the scheduled date of its refit, which was April 2018.

The vessel was undergoing a refit at the dry dock in the naval dockyards in Mumbai when it slipped during undocking, or the process of re-floating a ship back in water, on December 6, killing two and injuring 14 naval personnel.

The frigate slipped from her dock blocks and tilted. Officials initially said it appeared that the dock block mechanism had failed.

A Board of Inquiry headed by Flag Officer, Offshore Defence Advisory Group Rear Admiral Deepak Bali was ordered to look into the incident.

INS Betwa — inducted in the navy in July 2004 — was part of Task Force 54, tasked to evacuate nationals of India as well as those from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Lebanon married to Indian nationals from the conflict zone during the 2006 Lebanon war, as part of Operation Sukoon.

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