Visakhapatnam: The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is in talks with a Russian shipbuilding firm for executing Medium Refit and Life Certification (MRLC) of a Russian EKM Class submarine now with the Indian Navy that could be worth about Rs 1,000 crore.

If HSL manages to bag the contract, the task of refitting the Russian submarine will begin this year. 

Once the refit is completed in three years time, it will extend the life of the 25-year-old submarine by about 10 years. A seven member delegation from Joint Stock Company United Shipbuilding Corporation, Moscow headed by Alexey V Dikiy, Director, Military and Technical Corporation, was in Vizag from January 10-12 and held extensive discussions on the submarine refit modalities.

According to HSL officials, the Indian Navy had earlier decided to extend the life period of four Russian built EKM class submarines.

While the work on two of them is going on in Russia, the two other were decided to be refitted in India with Russian support.

The HSL based here in Vizag and the Larsen and Toubro shipyard near Chennai were marked as qualified to bid for this purpose.

Speaking to TOI over phone, Sarat Babu, Chairman and Managing Director, HSL said: "The delegation was here on our invitation and the deliberations were to arrive at a protocol to refit the submarine. The Russians were taken around the shipyard and they were extremely happy with our shipyard's infrastructure, our expertise and work-culture."

Babu says that the competitive bidding process could be held in March. "We will be together preparing a bid to be submitted to our Ministry of Defence. Since we have the experience of refitting submarines, we are confident of bagging the project which could be worth about Rs 1,000 crore." The Medium Refit and Life Certification (MRLC) of the fourth EKM Class submarine is slated a few years later. The HSL which is under the Ministry of Defence has recently been given a Rs 2,020 crore project to construct two Diving Support Vessels for the Indian Navy.