Navy inducts first deep-sea submarine rescue system

Mumbai, Dec 12 (IANS): Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Wednesday inducted the Indian Navy's first flyaway deep-sea submarine rescue system at the naval dockyard in Mumbai.

The acquisition is a significant jump in the Indian Navy's capability in deep submarine rescue.

The Indian Navy currently operates submarines of Sindhughosh, Shishumar and Kalvari classes as well as nuclear-powered submarines.

The operating medium and the nature of operations undertaken by submarines expose them to high degree of inherent risk. In such an eventuality, traditional methods of search and rescue at sea are ineffective for a disabled submarine.

"To overcome this capability gap, the Navy has acquired a third generation, advanced submarine rescue system considering of a non-tethered Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) and its associated equipment," an official release said.

"The system would have a global footprint and can be mobilised from the naval base at Mumbai to the nearest mobilisation port by air, land or sea to provide rapid rescue to the submarines in distress," it added.

The newly acquired capability would be operated and deployed by the crew of Indian Navy's newly formed Submarine Rescue Unit (West) from its base in Mumbai.

The Indian Navy's Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System, considered to be the most advanced system currently in operation globally, is capable of undertaking rescue from a disabled submarine up to 650-metre depth.

The DSRV, which is operated by a crew of three, can rescue 14 personnel from a disabled submarine at one time and can operate in extreme sea conditions, it said.

Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, was also present during the induction ceremony.