JFD, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has successfully completed critical subsea mating exercises, marking a key milestone in the sea acceptance trials of the various assets comprising the second of the two Third Generation Submarine Rescue Flyaway Systems delivered to the Indian Navy.
Through the course of the trials, and in close partnership with the Indian Navy, JFD carried out multiple dives including underwater mating operations with a bottomed submarine and conducting a safe transfer of personnel from the submarine to the Deep Search and Rescue Vehicle (DSRV), ensuring there is a robust and effective submarine rescue capability in place.
Throughout the sea trials and acceptance programme for the second system, JFD and the Indian Navy have conducted multiple dives of both the DSRV and the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), in addition to Side Scan Sonar operations, and pressurisation exercises of the Deck Decompression Chambers (DDCs). Deep dives were conducted to a depth of 805m for the ROV and 650m for the DSRV, as well as an angled targeted mating exercise carried out at 45 degrees, all of which represent significant ‘firsts’ for the second system.
Following the completion of the sea acceptance trials, JFD will work with the Indian Navy to train the crew on the safe operation and maintenance of the system, allowing them to gain vital hands-on experience that will ensure the safe and effective operation of both systems.
Giovanni Corbetta, Managing Director, commented: “JFD is committed to ensuring that the safety of submariners is protected at all times, and throughout the process of delivering two highly capable Third Generation submarine rescue systems to the Indian Navy, we have worked in close partnership with the customer to ensure that the systems are not only in place, but that the crew is confident in their ability to carry out safe and effective submarine rescue missions in the event of an incident.
“The sea acceptance trials for the second system have been conducted seamlessly between teams operating in both the UK and in-country, and we are pleased to have delivered all elements despite the geographical challenges faced by the teams. The trials have proven the ability of the system to undertake rescue operations from a disabled submarine (DISSUB) at sea, providing the Indian Navy with a critical submarine rescue capability. The Indian Navy east coast-based rescue team, who will operate the second system when in service, have been active participants throughout this phase of the trials, ensuring they are equipped with the skills and expertise to conduct safe and efficient submarine rescue operations, should the need ever arise.”
Having already successfully completed harbour trials earlier this year, the second system has now completed a full launch deployment, dive and recovery as well as an underwater mating exercise, replicating the operating conditions of a real submarine rescue operation. The completion of vital elements of the sea acceptance trials represent a significant milestone in the ongoing delivery and acceptance of the Third Generation Submarine Rescue System, which is grounded in a rigorous trials and testing process that ensures the highest safety standards are upheld.
Indian Navy’s JFD Third Generation Submarine Rescue System (3rd Gen SRS):
Under a £193 million contract signed in March 2016, JFD is providing two complete third generation fly-away submarine rescue systems to the Indian Navy. The contract also includes a 25-year all-encompassing maintenance support service.
Each submarine rescue system includes a Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) – called as Deep Search and Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) by JFD, Launch and Recovery System (LARS) equipment, Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) system, and all logistics and support equipment required to operate the service.
The first system has completed a first full launch deployment, dive and recovery in open sea, replicating the operating conditions of a real submarine rescue operation. The DSRV also completed its air transportability trials using an Indian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 strategic military transport aircraft.
The Indian Navy formally inducted its first DSRV into service at a ceremony in Mumbai, India on the Dec. 12 meaning that the Indian Navy has now joined a select league of nations with the capability to search, locate and provide rescue to distressed submarines.