India joins elite club, inducts advanced submarine rescue vessel
India has joined an elite group of nations by inducting its first flyaway Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System along with other associated equipment here on Wednesday.
Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba inducted the first of the two non-tethered Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) at the Naval Dockyard here.
"I hope we don't have to use it, but in case we need to use, the intention is to rescue each and every life," Admiral Lanba observed.
The induction of DSRV has catapulted India into a small league of navies globally that posses an integral submarine rescue capability, said Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
Designed and supplied by M/s. James Fisher & Sons, UK, to meet the unique requirements of the Indian Navy, the most advanced DSRV is manned by three crew members and has a capacity to rescue 14 personnel at a time from a distressed submarine upto a depth of 650 metres.
While the first DSRV will be based in Mumbai, another one will be inducted in a few months and will be based in Vishakhapatnam, the Eastern Naval Command headquarters.
The latest on all fronts, the vessel has a Side San Sonar (SSS) for locating the position of a submarine in distress at sea, provide immediate relief by way of posting Emergency Life Support Containers with the help of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and then rescue the crew using the DSRV itself.
Captain Arun George, the Officer-in-Charge of the DSRV said that it has undergone extensive sea trials setting many records, dived twice up to 656 metres and 666 metres, the ROV dived up to 654 and 777 metres, and the SSS till 650 metres.
Live undersea matings with different types of submarines along with safe transfer of personnel from the distressed submarine to the DSRV has also been successfully tested.
The Indian Navy currently operates five classes of submarines including the Sindhughosh, Shishumar and Kalvari classes, as well an nuclear-powered submarines.
The operating medium and the nature of operations the submarines undertake expose them to a high degree of inherent risk.
In times of distress, traditional methods of search and rescue at sea are ineffective and the non-tethered DSRV along with its associated equipment would fill the capability gap.