Contract for construction of 50-ton Bollard pull tugs was concluded with Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam in February 2019. The fourth tug in the series, ‘Balbir’ has been delivered to Naval Dockyard, Mumbai on 24 January 2022.
These tugs have been designed and built under the classification rules of Indian Register for Shipping (IRS) with a service life of 20 years and are capable of assisting large naval ships, including Aircraft Carrier and Submarines in berthing, un-berthing, turning and manoeuvering in confined waters and in harbour. They also provide afloat firefighting cover/assistance to ships alongside/anchorage and have limited capability for Search and Rescue operations.
Induction of 50-ton Bollard pull tugs has significantly augmented the auxiliary support services and enhanced the capability to meet high operational requirements of fleet assets of Indian Navy. With all major and auxiliary equipment/system sourced from indigenous manufacturers, these tugs are proud flag bearers of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ initiatives of Ministry of Defence in consonance with ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Tugs ‘Veeran’ and ‘Balraj’ have been inducted on 22 October 2021 and 31 December 2021 at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam respectively and ‘Balram’ on 30 October 2021 at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. Despite the challenges posed due to the impact of first and second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hindustan Shipyard Ltd has put in untiring and concerted efforts to deliver these tugs to the Indian Navy.