Saturday, May 7, 2016

Indian Submarine Heading to Russia

"Rolldock Star" semi-submersible ship -- February 2, 2014
(credit: Rolldock)
Last month, an Indian delegation visited Zvezdochka Shipyard in Severodvinsk, Russia. A shipyard spokesman told reporters that the Indian Navy's Kilo-class submarine "INS Sindhukesari" would arrive in Severodvinsk in June 2016. Considering it would take over a month to complete a transfer from India to Severodvinsk, the transfer would have to start in May.

Track of "Rolldock Star" is at traveled between Singapore and India -- April 19-28, 2016
There are only a few companies that both possess heavy-lift vessels and have a history of supporting submarine transfers to/from Russia. The Dutch firm Rolldock, a subsidiary of Roll Group, is one of them. By regularly tracking the company's fleet of semi-submersible ships, it was easy to spot possible candidates.

"Rolldock Star" moves to deep-water area -- May 4, 2016

"Rolldock Star" departed Singapore on April 19 and arrived in Mumbai (Jawaharlal Nehru Port) on April 28. On May 4, the ship departed port and proceeded to an area about one-half nautical mile to the north. Over the next two days, the vessel remained in the deep-water area, where it likely onloaded its cargo. "Rolldock Star" departed the area during the evening hours of May 6 with a reported destination of Severodvinsk (estimated arrival date: June 12).

Track of "Rolldock Star" as it departs Mumbai -- May 6, 2016

Given the earlier statement of the submarine's arrival in Severodvinsk in June and the reported destination of "Rolldock Star", it's pretty clear that the Dutch semi-submersible ship is currently ferrying "INS Sindhukesari" to Russia.

Destination: Severodvinsk!