Scottish firm completes submarine rescue system for Indian Navy

Scottish firm completes submarine rescue system for Indian Navy
Scottish firm completes submarine rescue system for Indian Navy

JFD had bagged a £193-million contract from India for the supply of two complete flyaway submarine rescue systems. A Scotland-based company announced the completion of a new submarine rescue system due to be delivered to the Indian Navy soon. 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 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 as JFD's Renfrew Manufacturing Facility in Scotland marked the completion recently.

World first

The ceremony marked 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 3rd 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. “Protecting the lives of submariners is the foundation of our business. That is why we have invested significantly in the development of our 3rd Generation system, using our deep and unrivalled knowledge of submarine rescue to conduct an extensive research and development programme, developed against a set of generic, but well-considered and representative requirements,” said Corbetta.

Step change

The 3rd 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 whilst ensuring the system is as quick and simple to mobilise as possible to maximise the chances of a successful rescue. According to JFD, all the technologies utilised in its 3rd Generation system are proven in service. Whilst innovative in arrangement, the methodology is built on tried and tested approaches and therefore requires little shift in operating doctrine, existing procedures, training and crewing competencies. As an integral part of JFD's 3rd Generation system, the submarine rescue vehicles have been specifically designed to operate at the leading edge of capability whilst also being optimised to be easily transported by as many different aircraft types as possible. This greatly increases the number of available aircraft to transport the system, minimising the time required for mobilisation. The JFD team has already begun conducting in-depth training with local teams of engineers in India to operate and maintain the systems.

Rescue services

The initial harbour acceptance trials of the first DSRV, which were undertaken at Glasgow's King George V dock, are now complete. As part of this process the system has been comprehensively tested in a variety of conditions, the company explains. The DSRV hull previously underwent factory acceptance tests in December 2017 at the JFD-owned National Hyperbaric Centre in Aberdeen. These tests included thorough pressurised testing on the system's pressure hulls and command module - all of which were completed successfully. Upon completion of the harbour acceptance trials, the DSRV will be fully integrated with the rest of the rescue system at a site in Glasgow, including the offshore handling system, intervention suite and 90-person decompression facilities. Ben Sharples, India DSRV Project Director at JFD, said: “It is one of the deepest submarine rescue vehicles available and is weight optimised for maximum payload and optimum transportability. “It has high levels of in-water performance including speed and manoeuvrability and can mate with submarines that might be subject to inclination on the seabed.” JFD provides subsea rescue services, solutions products, engineering services and training to 80 countries and 33 of the world's navies including the UK's Royal Navy.
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