The Indian Navy has inducted a Submarine Rescue System with a Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) along with associated equipment, in an effort to emerge as a centre of regional excellence for Submarine Rescue Services.
It has the capability to rescue personnel from a distressed submarine (DISSUB) up to a depth of 650 m and it is the latest in terms of technology and capabilities.
The vessel has been designed and supplied to meet unique requirements of the Indian Navy’s submarines by M/s James Fishes Defence, UK. The navy has ordered two systems which shall be based on the West and East Coast respectively to provide redundancy, high operational availability and early response to deal with a submarine contingency.
The DSRV has side scan sonar for locating the position of the submarine in distress at sea, providing immediate relief by way of posting Emergency Life Support Containers with the help of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and thereafter rescuing the crew of the submarine using the DSRV itself.
In a submarine accident, rapidity of response is most crucial to safety of life. To ensure early mobilisation, the System has been procured in a Flyaway configuration which permits rapid transportation of the Rescue System from the base to the exact location of the distressed submarine by transportation using air/land/sea vessels.
According to the Indian Navy, the Rescue System has recently undergone extensive sea trials wherein many records have been set. As has been recently reported, DSRV dived to over 666 m, the Remote Operations Vehicle (ROV) dived to 750m and the Side Scan Sonar dived to 650m.
Simulating the submarine rescue, during trial live undersea matings with different types of submarines along with transfer of personnel from submarine to DSRV has also been achieved.
This latest technology has put India amongst the select group of nations which have this unique capability and now the navy is in a position to not only provide rescue cover to its own submarines but also to other friendly nations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and beyond.
The DSRV is likely to be inducted in the Indian Navy by end of this year.