Mumbai, October 17: Giving a major boost to submarine capabilities, the Indian Navy has inducted its first deep submergence rescue vehicle for downed or disaster-struck submarines at high sea. The Western Naval Command conducted the trials of the Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV), which also set a record for "deepest submergence by a manned vessel" in the Indian waters.
Navy Spokesperson Capt DK Sharma said India has joined a select group of countries that have the capability to locate and rescue "distressed submarines". Capt DK Sharma said, "Indian Navy joins select league of nations with capability to search, locate and provide rescue to distressed submarines by induction of first Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) and associated kit in fly away configuration."
The DSRVs are also used to lay cables on the sea bed. Some DSRV vessels are air transportable in very large military cargo. Capt Sharma further added that it can be mobilised from the naval base in Mumbai to nearest mounting port by air, land and sea.
The second DSRV is expected to be inducted at Visakhapatnam in 2019. The induction was part of efforts to enhance operational capabilities when China has been ramping up its maritime presence in critical sea lanes which are of strategic importance to India.
On October 15, the DSRV carried out under water mating with a bottomed submarine at a depth of over 300 feet and transferred personnel from the submarine to the rescue vehicle. These trials have proven the DSRV's ability to undertake rescue operations from disabled submarines at sea and have provided the Indian Navy with a "critical capability".
The DSRV crew also carried out ROV (remotely operated vehicle) operations at a depth of over 750 metres and side scan sonar operations at over 650 metres, which are all "firsts" for the Indian Navy. Once the trials are completed, it will put the Indian Navy into a small league of world navies that have an integral submarine rescue capability.