Her majestic presence, standing tall against the azure waters of the Bay of Bengal, bears testimony of the three decades of yeoman's service she rendered under water to the safeguard the interests of the nation. The Kursura submarine that made India proud in the 1971 Indo-Pak war will be celebrating its eighth anniversary as a museum on Monday.
The Soviet built I-641 submarine which was inducted into Indian Navy on December 18 in the year 1969 continued its ferocious services for 31 years and was decommissioned on 28 February, 2001. Weighing 1945 tonnes and measuring 91.3 metres in length and eight metres in breadth, it was brought to shore and installed as a museum with all its weaponry and mechanism keeping intact. Thanks to the idea of Vice Admiral Vinod Pasricha, the then Chief of ENC, with whose initiative the Kursura Submarine walked on to the land, instead of a silent death like all other warships and submarines decommissioned from the Navy. Considered the Grand Old Lady of the Indian Navy, INS Kursura, India's fourth submarine, was hauled on the beach with the help of the National Ship Design and Research Centre (NASDRC) in 2001 with great hardships at the cost of Rs.6 crores. It was dedicated to the nation by former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on August 9, 2002, and opened to public on August 14 the same year. Under the maintenance of VUDA, the museum right from its inception has turned into a must-see destination at Vizag.
The Kursura submarine consists of its weaponry system including 22 powerful tarpedos and 10 tarpedo tubes, three high power engines with 2000 horse power capacity, 448 batteries weighing 652 kilograms each. It has three propellers, three shafts which took the submarine a maximum speed of 15.5 nautical miles per hour, which was a high in those times. The Sonar System that functioned with the submarine can also be seen. The Vice Chairman of VUDA B. Sreedhar said that the maintenance work for the museum is taken up twice a year to arrest corrosion due to the sea breeze. It has become a globally recognized tourism spot being the first of its kind in south Asia, the Vice Chairman said. The submarine museum will be open on Monday on its 8th anniversary from 2.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
The submarine weighs 1,945 tonnes and measures 91.3 metres in length