Shakti was launched with the recitation of Vedic hymns by the Warship Production Superintendent in Italy and breaking of coconut by Mrs Homai Saha, Wife of His Excellency Shri Debabrata Saha, the Indian Ambassador in Rome, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion. In accordance with the Italian tradition, a bottle of champagne was also broken at the ship’s bow by the ‘God Mother’ Mrs Homai Saha. The Controller Warship Production and Acquisition of Indian Navy, Vice Admiral NN Kumar along with senior Italian Navy, Indian Navy and MOD officials were present at the launching ceremony.
Deepak was the first of the two Fleet Tankers to be designed and built in Italy and is in advanced stage of trials and delivery to Indian Navy. The second Fleet Tanker Shakti is being constructed at the Sestre Ponente shipyard of Fincantieri, Italy using many modern and state-of-the-art ship construction methods and concepts with advanced outfitting to deliver the ship, in a challenging time frame of two years.
The Fleet Tankers will be the first warships in Indian waters made by Fincantieri , the premiere shipbuilder in Europe. The ships are in double hull configuration that provides greater safety against accidental oil spillages in accordance with latest MARPOL regulations. The first Fleet Tanker is scheduled for delivery in end 2010 in India, post completion of trials in Italy.
The trials of ‘Shakti’ will start in Dec 2010, and delivery of the ship and commissioning is scheduled in India in mid 2011, post trials in Italy.