Global Issues

Indian Navy set to acquire complete submarine rescue system from the UK


A Scotland-based company has announced the completion of a new submarine rescue system due to be delivered to the Indian Navy next month.

James Fisher Defence (JFD) has a contract worth £193 million with the Indian Navy for the supply of two complete “flyaway submarine rescue systems,” including Deep Search and Rescue Vehicles (DSRV), Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS) equipment, Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) systems, and all logistics and support equipment required to operate the service.

The first set of equipment has been designed, manufactured, integrated and ready for testing by JFD prior to shipping next month for final commissioning and trials. The remaining set of certified systems are due to be delivered to the Indian Navy in June.

“India is an important strategic partner and we encourage further cooperation between the Indian armed forces and innovative UK companies,” said Simon Everest, the Head of the UK government’s Department for International Trade’s Defence and Security Organisation ahead of a completion ceremony at JFD’s Renfrew Manufacturing Facility in Scotland.

The ceremony will mark a world-first in the final integration of a complete submarine rescue system within a single manufacturing facility, enabling engineers to test in-situ how each component part will integrate in order to deliver the optimum submarine rescue capability, the company said.

JFD’s so-called third-generation rescue system incorporates an innovative new system design and tightly integrated components to ensure time-to-first-rescue (TTFR) — the time measured between system deployment and commencement of the rescue — is minimised.

In the event of an accident, this maximises the chances of a successful rescue, which is crucial in protecting the lives of submariners.

According to Giovanni Corbetta, Managing Director, JFD, speed and reliability is key in conducting safe and effective submarine rescue operations to ensure that the submariners are reached as quickly as possible to minimise the risk the situation poses to their lives.

The reliability with which any “flyaway” submarine rescue system can be deployed must be carefully balanced with its effectiveness and capability once onsite. It is essential that the system has the capability to conduct safe rescue operations in any given circumstance and under widely variable conditions, including sea states and depths.

The third generation system represents a step-change in real-world submarine rescue capability, and has been specifically designed to provide a comprehensive and highly capable submarine rescue service while ensuring the system is as quick and simple to mobilise as possible to maximise the chances of a successful rescue, he added.

The JFD team has already begun conducting in-depth training with local teams of engineers in India to operate and maintain the systems.

JFD provides sub-sea rescue services, solutions products, engineering services and training to 80 countries and 33 of the world’s navies including the Royal Navy.