Newly formed Submarine Rescue Unit (West) to operate facility at Mankhurd

A month after commissioning its first deep submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV) to conduct rescue operations of sailors stranded in submarines, the Indian Navy on Friday opened an operational facility at Mankhurd to monitor its working.

In Elite Club

Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Girish Luthra, Western Naval Command, by inaugurating the facility helped the Navy join a select league of nations with the sovereign capability in fly away configuration to search, locate and rescue crew from a disabled submarine. Designed and supplied by James Fisher and Sons, U.K., the new system will be operated by the Navy’s newly formed Submarine Rescue Unit (West).

The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure enabling stowage of all 21 components of the DSRV distributed across standard sized ISO or inter-modal containers. It will enable the DSRV to be transportable by sea, air and road in a disassembled state.

Commander Mehul Karnik, chief public relations officer, Indian Navy said, “This facility will ensure that the system is maintained in fully serviceable state for its service life. The infrastructure will enable routine maintenance, repairs and serviceability checks of individual components, including ‘in water’ checks of the submarine rescue vehicle [SRV] and remotely operated vehicle in a test tank.”

The operational facility will also have provision to assemble and operate the launch and recovery system for the SRV. It will help in keeping the crew in-date with the operation and the procedure to assemble the system quickly in times of emergent action.

The DSRV can be deployed to carry out search-and-rescue operations at sea for a malfunctioning submarine. With a crew of three, it can carry out rescue operations at depths of 650 metres. The system also has a capacity to save 14 personnel at a time from a distressed submarine and conduct missions in conditions of up to Sea State 6. The Navy’s fleet of submarines includes the Sindhughosh, Shishumar and Kalvari classes, and nuclear-powered submarines.

‘High-Risk Operations’

The Indian Ministry of Defence, in a statement, said, “The operating medium and the nature of operations undertaken by submarines expose them to a high degree of inherent risk. In such an eventuality, traditional methods of search-and-rescue at sea are ineffective for a disabled submarine.”