The Fleet Maintenance Unit, Mumbai, traces its roots to Base Maintenance Staff (BMS), which was conceived in the late fifties with the induction of Inshore/ Coastal Minesweepers, SDBs and Custom Crafts. As the strength of technical personnel onboard these ships were limited, BMS was set up ashore to provide additional maintenance / repair cover. In 1961, a Base Maintenance Unit (BMU) was set up to provide back-up support to the new construction Frigates acquired from the United Kingdom. Subsequently, BMU and BMS were merged and in due course, the Soviet acquisitions viz., Kamorta Class, SNMs, SNRs and SNFs were also brought under the preview of the BMU in the Western Naval Command. The unit was formally designated as Fleet Maintenance Unit (FMU) and placed under the control of Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet on 01 Oct 1983. Presently, the unit provides maintenance cover to all the ships of the Western Naval Command.
Function / Role
The main role of the Fleet Maintenance Unit, Mumbai, is to operate as the second line of maintenance for all operational ships of the Western Naval Command, using the in-house capabilities and augmented capacity through outsourcing. The unit is set up on the lines of a Product Lay Out System, where the entire shop floor defect rectification jobs can be carried out under one roof in an expeditious manner. The reaction time for repair and the resulting downtime of such equipment is therefore substantially low.
A Ship is Known by her Boats - FMU Team maintaining Boat engine
Afloat Support Teams
The Afloat Support Teams of the unit provide maintenance cover to Fleet during deployments. These teams compromise selected civilian workers and naval sailors who provide support to Western Fleet Ships at sea whilst embarked on an accompanying tanker, and through containerised workshops at Okha and Porbandar.
FMU has progressively increased the scope of the maintenance cover being provided by it to Western Fleet Ships. Over the period of time, the Unit has substantially enhanced its capacity for undertaking repair and maintenance of engineering auxiliaries, electrical equipment and ships’ boats. This has facilitated reduced downtimes of equipment, faster turnaround of ships and resultant enhanced operational availability of Western Fleet Ships for fulfilling their assigned tasks at sea.
Quality Repairs in short Time - FMU Team at work on a Ship