L&T testing the AMOGH an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

With regard to naval operations, underwater domain awareness (UDA) is one of the most critical areas for India, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh said on 23 July. Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar said that to exploit the potential of unmanned technologies and platforms, the Navy had approved an “unmanned road map”.

Chief of the Indian Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh said: “For instance, the discovery of ‘Chinese-origin’ autonomous underwater gliders in the Indonesian waters indicate the extent to which underwater technologies are being harnessed for military advantage by China”. “The U.S. too has made rapid advances in this field, and have given some exposure to their technologies and system that we too wish to pursue”.

L&T is developing a number of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles(AUVs) , L&T displayed the Amogh, Adamya & the Maya AUVs in DefExpo 2020

The focus towards Theatre and Strategic ASW is inevitable and vital: “Advancements in Theatre and Strategic ASW would lead to advantageous outcomes in our favour, allowing us to deploy our capabilities in the right place at the right time,” Admiral Singh stressed.

Vice Adm. Kumar said the Navy had understood the importance of unmanned solutions and recently envisioned a detailed road map for itself in this realm. “We also intend to share with industry what we need, by when, at what cost and in what numbers, so that, potential collaborators understand the users’ vision and align to the needs.”

In the last couple of years, it was decided to adopt Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) to cut down on the requirement of minesweepers. Vice Admiral Kumar said that as the industry developed UUVs for military purposes, it is imperative to consider their compatibility with the existing manned platforms as a critical deliverable. Vice Admiral Kumar listed out four categories of UUVs- man-portable Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles (AUVs) with swarm functionality with an endurance of the order of 10 to 20 hours, lightweight AUVs compatible with the existing lightweight torpedo tubes onboard ships and endurance of about two days, heavyweight AUVs compatible with the existing heavyweight tubes and endurance of the order of 3 to 4 days, and high endurance AUVs with a capability of at least 15 days submerged endurance.