Indian Navy Finally Floats DSRV Bid

The Indian Navy has officially announced its intention to procure two free-swimming deep submergence rescue vehicles (DSRV), a move perceived to be substantially delayed. The bid, published by the navy's Directorate of Submarine Acquisition, comes shortly after the Navy invited information from Indian and global shipbuilders to support the procurement of two new 3,000-ton diving support vessels (DSV). The navy has indicated that it is willing to consider DSRV platforms that are currently still in development.

To quote from the July post linked to above, the Indian Navy's previous attempt to buy two DSRVs was cancelled in 2005 following charges of corruption, though the effort has finally picked up again. The Indian Navy has a submarine rescue agreement with the US Navy (air-deployed DSRV kit in 48 hours), on which it would be wholly dependent if an Indian submarine were ever in distress.

The Indian Navy's submarine strength continues to be a major concern. With the recent retirement of its last Foxtrot-class boat, the navy's submarine arm now has 14 diesel-electrics. On a recent visit with the Navy out to the Bay of Bengal, Eastern Naval Command chief of staff Rear Admiral KB Singh reaffirmed those concerns.

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