The Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) Complex was inaugurated at Visakhapatnam by Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, PVSM, AVSM, VSM Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command (ENC) on 10 June 2020. Equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities, the complex is designed to accommodate the newly inducted submarine rescue system and store the DSRV assets in the rescue-ready state. The DSRV system consists of a submarine rescue vessel, a remote operations vehicle and side scan sonar and associated equipment. The DSRV, being smaller than military submarines, can be transported by specially equipped ships or the Indian Air Force’s heavy-lift aircraft, such as the C-17, to the vicinity of a submarine emergency.
The DSRV system consists of a Submarine Rescue Vessel, a Remote Operations Vehicle, Side Scan Sonar and associated equipment. It also has Diver Decompression Chambers and hyperbaric medical equipment to decompress submariners after being rescued from a sunken submarine. The DSRV system can be rapidly mobilised by air or road to facilitate submarine rescue operations even at distant locations. In December last year, the Indian Navy had inducted two DSRVs, supplied by UK-based company James Fisher Defence (JFD).The Indian Navy signed a contract with JFD in 2016 for the delivery of two DSRVs at a cost of approximately $269 million.
The Indian Navy has inducted two such systems which will provide rescue cover to submarines on the West and East coast of India respectively. In 2018, the Indian Navy awarded a contract to Hindustan Shipyard to build two diving support vessels that will act as ‘mother ships’ to support the operations of the DSRV fleet. Currently, there are about 40 nations that operate submarines in the world out of which only a few have any form of submarine rescue capability. The third generation IN submarine rescue capability can, therefore, be called upon to assist during submarine contingencies of other navies in the IOR.