Indian Navy To Get 2 Swimmer Delivery Subs

In the latest in a long and tantalisingly unclear saga, the Indian Navy was cleared last week to procure two mini submersibles -- swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs) -- for special operations in shallow water. Naval documents on the programme that I've had a chance to see list the mission profiles as "(a) insertion and extraction of combat teams for multipurpose special operations, (b) reconnaissance and intelligence gathering, (c) special battle rescue operations and (d) multipurpose inspection." The documents also suggest the SDV will carry a combat team of 4-6 in addition to the two-man pilot crew.

The picture above is of an SDV being developed in-house by L&T that the company told me would be offered to the Indian Navy. It isn't clear at what stage of development the submersible is. Scant reports over the years have suggested that the SDVs the navy gets will be built at the troubled Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) in Visakhapatnam, though it isn't fully clear which SDVs these are, and whether they've been developed yet. More information soon.

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