HSL to launch two diving support vessels for Indian Navy in Visakhapatnam

Diving Support Vessels (DSVs)
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The Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. will launch two diving support vessels (DSVs) for the Indian Navy on Thursday in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. These DSVs will improve submarine support operations.

Two Diving Support Vessels (Nistar and Nipun) being built by Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Vishakapatnam for the Indian Navy, are scheduled to be launched on 22 September 2022. Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, will be the Chief Guest at the launching ceremony. The vessels will be launched by Mrs Kala Hari Kumar, President Navy Wellness and Welfare Association (NWWA), who would also be performing the traditional honour and naming them.

The Diving Support Vessels (DSVs) are first of the kind, ships indigenously designed and built at HSL for the Indian Navy. The vessels are 118.4 metres long, 22.8 metres at the broadest point and will have a displacement of 9,350 tons.

Indian Navy Diving Support Vessels ready for launch
Indian Navy Diving Support Vessels ready for launch

These ships would be deployed for deep sea diving operations. Additionally, with Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) embarked, the DSVs are designed to undertake submarine rescue operations, in case requirement exists. Furthermore, these ships will be capable of sustained patrolling, conducting Search and Rescue operations and carrying out Helicopter Operations at high seas.

With approximately 80 % indigenous content, the DSV project has generated considerable local employment opportunities and has also promoted indigenisation which in turn will aid in boosting India’s economy.

The contract between the Indian Navy and the HSL in this regard was signed earlier in September 2018.

The officials said that in addition to operating submarines to secure the waters, the Indian Navy undertakes diving operations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to facilitate various activities such as submarine rescue, underwater inspection, testing or salvage and recovery of objects, ships or aircraft lost at sea. As these activities involve diving operations with divers remaining underwater for prolonged durations, these tasks require suitable platforms for the launch and recovery along with carriage of related tools and equipments.

The DSVs are also equipped with a Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV), which significantly enhances its submarine rescue capabilities.

The Indian Navy has said these ships will be capable of sustained patrolling, conducting search and rescue operations and carrying out helicopter operations at high seas.

“With approximately 80 per cent indigenous content, the DSV project has generated considerable local employment opportunities and has also promoted indigenisation which in turn will aid in boosting India’s economy,” the Navy said.

The officials said while a submarine is a significant strategic asset, it is also vulnerable to action damage, requiring extensive diving for undertaking Search and Rescue (SAR) operations that demand the availability of a credible and suitably equipped platform. The induction of DSVs equipped with DSRV would be key to enhancing the Indian Navy’s capability and reach of submarine rescue operations in the IOR.

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