Saturday, April 10, 2010

India, US to Enhance Submarine Rescue Measures

Away from the glamour of the forthcoming Malabar naval wargames and battling terrorism-piracy on the high seas, India and US are now on course to enhance measures to rescue Indian sailors if they get trapped deep underwater in a disabled submarine. Even as the US chief of naval operations Admiral Gary Roughead is slated to hold talks with defence minister A K Antony, Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and other top military brass next week, India is looking to extend the scope of US Navy's "global submarine rescue fly-away kit service" for its requirements. When India had first inked the contract for the rescue service in 1997, with an initial payment of $734,443, it was meant to be more of an interim measure till Navy acquired DSRVs (deep submergence rescue vessels) of its own.

Under the agreement with US, the American navy is supposed to fly either a DSRV or a 'submarine rescue chamber' to an Indian port or airport nearest to the mishap site within 72 hours. Sources said discussions during Admiral Roughead's visit will, of course, also focus on the Malabar wargames, to be held on the western seaboard off Goa with Indian and American warships and submarines from April 22 to May 2, and ways to further bolster 'interoperability' between the two navies.


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