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Indian Navy Poised to Join Elite League: Modern Submarine Rescue Capability

© AP Photo / Rafiq MaqboolIndian Navy personnel stand on a submarine during the Presidents Fleet Review (PFR) in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai, India. (File)
Indian Navy personnel stand on a submarine during the Presidents Fleet Review (PFR) in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai, India. (File) - Sputnik International
India, which is ambitiously modernizing and expanding its maritime capability in the India Ocean Region and beyond, will be filling in a crucial capability gap with the third generation submarine rescue systems that the British JFD is scheduled to deliver by March 2018.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Navy is at the threshold of joining a select league of navies capable of providing submarine search and rescue in the Indian Ocean Region with two deep submergence rescue vessel (DSRV) systems scheduled for induction next year. The DSRV contracted from the British JFD will fill a major capability gap before the Indian Navy inducts the sophisticated nuclear submarines which are currently under construction.

"It (the SSN project) has kicked off. It is a classified project. The process has started. I will leave it at that," said Admiral Sunil Lanba speaking ahead of Navy Day on December 4.

The Republic of Korea destroyers Sejong the Great and Yang Manchun, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer, USS Michael Murphy and USS Stethem, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transit the western Pacific Ocean on May 3, 2017. Picture taken on May 3, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The Indian Navy which currently operates 15 submarines, most of which are around two decades old, has been grappling with rudimentary submarine rescue capabilities comprising rescue "bells" which are containers that can be lowered to the submarine in distress up to a maximum 150 meters deep and which the Navy can operate from its diving support ship, the INS Nireekshak.

Meanwhile, the new rescue system that will join the Indian fleet next year will be independent of the mothership, can locate and engage in a rescue mission more effectively, and rescue at least 16 sailors in each operation.

India signed $273 million contracts with British JFD for the supply of the two third-generation, 30-ton submarine rescue system in 2016. The contract includes deep submergence and rescue vehicle (DSRV), launch and recovery system (LARS) equipment, transfer under pressure (TUP) systems, and all related logistics and support equipment, plus a 25-year all-inclusive in-service support contract.

"The DSRVs will be ready for integration trials in December 2017 and harbor acceptance tests in January 2018. The 3rd Generation system training program for the 72 personnel has commenced, on location at the Underwater Centre in Fort William," JFD said in a statement on November 17 without identifying the Indian Navy as the recipient.

In 2013 and 2014, the Indian Navy lost two of its "Kilo" class submarine — INS Sindhurakshak and INS Sindhuratna with a large number of sailors on board. The accidents had prompted the then Navy Chief Admiral DK Joshi to relinquish his post.

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