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Indian Navy inaugurates complex to house submarine rescue system


The Indian Navy (IN) inaugurated on 10 June a complex at its naval base in the Indian eastern port city of Visakhapatnam to accommodate one of its two submarine rescue systems acquired from UK-based subsea engineering and services provider JFD.

In a statement issued the same day the service said the complex has been fitted with “state-of-the-art facilities to store the DSRV [deep submergence rescue vehicle] assets in a ‘rescue-ready’ state”.

Each of the systems, which are intended to rescue the crew of distressed submarines off India’s eastern and western coasts, comprises a DSAR-650L free-swimming DSRV, a launch and recovery system (LARS), a Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) unit, an SMD Atom intervention remotely operated vehicle, and an EdgeTech 4200 series towed sidescan sonar.

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The first of these rescue systems entered service in late 2018 with the IN’s Submarine Rescue Unit at Mumbai on India’s western coast. Both systems had been ordered in March 2016 under a GBP193 million (USD244 million) contract.

The IN’s recent announcement comes after the service had awarded a contract in September 2018 to public-sector company Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) for the construction of two diving support vessels (DSVs) to augment its submarine support capabilities.

The two DSVs, which are expected to undertake extensive diving operations to facilitate activities such as submarine rescue, underwater inspections, and the recovery of ships and aircraft lost at sea, will be based at Mumbai and Visakhapatnam respectively.