India has acquired deep-sea submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV) units for its sub rescue operations

Indian Navy will rush in to help Singapore in case of a submarine disaster or emergency under the Implementing Agreement on Submarine Rescue Support and Cooperation signed between the two countries on Wednesday.

India and Singapore have signed the agreement as part of enhancing defence cooperation.

At the Defence Minister's Dialogue held through video conference, Indian and Singaporean defence ministers witnessed the signing of the Implementing Agreement on Submarine Rescue Support and Cooperation between the two Navies, a joint statement said.

The Indian Navy, now having the capability to rescue submarines that are in distress and are unable to come to the surface, will press into action its deep-sea submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV) if such a situation arises for the Singapore Navy.

The agreement is part of enhancing India's military diplomacy in the region and extend its outreach, officials said. India had acquired two DSRVs in 2018 but till then it had an agreement with the United States for such emergencies.

The DSRV system consists of a Submarine Rescue Vessel, a Remote Operations Vehicle, Side Scan Sonar and associated equipment. The system can be rapidly mobilised by air or road to facilitate submarine rescue operations even at distant locations.

There are about 40 nations that operate submarines around world but only a few have any form of submarine rescue capability. The third-generation Indian Navy submarine rescue capability can, therefore, be called upon to assist during submarine contingencies of other navies in the Indian Ocean Region, the Indian Navy said.

The defence ministers also conveyed their full support towards the early conclusion of agreements to facilitate conduct of live firings and to establish reciprocal arrangements for the cross-attendance of military courses.

The ministers expressed pleasure on the two navies carrying out exercises together.

"Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy successfully conducted the 27th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) and also participated in the second edition of the Singapore-India-Thailand Maritime Exercise (SITMEX); both held in November 2020. These exercises enhance interoperability amongst the navies and underscore the shared responsibility of the countries to work together to keep sea lines of communications open," the joint statement said.

Both ministers were committed to further enhance bilateral defence ties between India and Singapore and supported multilateral initiatives to promote lasting peace and stability in the region.