Knowledge of the submarine domain is essential, says naval chief
When it came to naval operations, underwater domain knowledge (UDA) was one of the most critical areas for the country, Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Karambir Singh said on Friday. . Countries such as the United States and China have extensively exploited the submarine domain for military and civilian purposes, he said.
Navy Vice Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Ashok Kumar said to harness the potential of unmanned technologies and platforms, the Navy had approved an “unmanned road map”.
Adm Singh said: “For example, the discovery of autonomous submarine gliders of Chinese origin in Indonesian waters indicates the extent to which underwater technologies are being exploited for military purposes by China.”
He was speaking at a webinar on “Trends and Technologies in Underwater Vehicles” co-hosted by the Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design and the Society of Indian Defense Manufacturers.
“The United States has also made rapid progress in this area and has given some exposure to their technologies and their system that we also want to pursue,” he said.
Speaking of the criticality of the UDA, he said this takes on greater importance as the Navy continues to hone its tactical anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities, the emphasis on theater and strategic ASW was inevitable and vital. “Advances in theater and strategic ASW would lead to beneficial results in our favor, allowing us to deploy our capabilities in the right place at the right time,” he said.
Vice Admiral Kumar said the Navy understood the importance of unmanned solutions and recently considered a detailed roadmap for itself in this area. “We also intend to share with industry what we need, when, at what price and in how many, so that potential collaborators understand the users’ vision and align with the needs. “
Over the past two years, the Navy had announced a shift in focus from manned platforms to unmanned platforms. As part of this, it had reduced the number of P-8I long-range patrol aircraft intended for long-endurance drones. It was also decided to adopt unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) to reduce the need for minesweepers.
Speaking about what the Navy envisions in the underwater realm, Vice Admiral Kumar said as the industry develops UUVs for military use, it is imperative to consider their compatibility with manned platforms. existing as an essential deliverable.
Four categories of UVU
Based on this, he listed four categories of UUVs – portable unmanned autonomous vehicles (AUVs) with swarm functionality with endurance in the range of 10-20 hours, lightweight AUVs compatible with launcher tubes. existing light torpedoes on board ships and an endurance of around two days, heavy-duty AUVs compatible with existing heavy-duty tubes and an endurance of around 3 to 4 days, and high-endurance AUVs of capacity of at least 15 days of endurance in immersion.
“In addition, the development of submarine gliders for the collection of oceanographic data is also an important area of action as it is useful both for military needs and for the blue economy of the nation,” added the Vice-Admiral Kumar.