Saturday, November 08, 2014

Indian Navy's Ticking Nuclear Clock

Background

From August, 2013, till February, 2014, India's Navy experienced a string of minor mishaps involving surface warships and two major submarine accidents leading to the resignation last February of then naval chief, Admiral D.K. Joshi. Subsequently, the Navy had strengthened various safety measures

Called "the first major tragedy to have hit the Navy during the term of the new naval chief."  Admiral R.K. Dhowan. Adm. Dhowan cut short his official visit to Seychelles returning home in light of the current tragedy.  The Navy has already ordered a Board of Inquiry into the tragic incident that has claimed the life of at least one sailor.  

January 2014  Ominous Portents for "Infant" India with Nuclear Subs
 How well does India's Navy manage its non-nuclear or decommissioned naval assets?  

August  2014  Admiral Decries Faults in India's Military Culture
"Consequently, the MoD faces huge, accumulated, problems and challenges which could take decades to resolve." -Adm. Arun Prakash (Ret'd)

Latest "Get-Well" News Mixed

Nov 8, 2014  Cracks in shaft seals led to Navy ship sinking off Visakhapatnam coast
 
Cracks in the seals attached to the shaft of the naval Torpedo Recovery Vessel (TRV A-72) that sank off the coast of Visakhapatnam at 8 pm on Thursday is being indicated as the prima facie cause of the accident. 

M.E. opinion:  Obviously a post-refit Maintenance/or test issue (major failure) involving a minor vessel but very encouraging for nuclear subs ambitions that that Adm. Dhowan rightly treats as major incident.

At the time of the incident there were 29 personnel on board. One sailor has lost his life during the rescue operation and four personnel (one officer and three sailors) are still reported missing.   ...The ship required a minimum of 13 persons to operate it.

M.E. opinion:  Possibly grave Material Readiness Issue --were there not enough life jackets? Board of Inquiry must address.

Nov 9, 2014   Vizag Naval mishap: Missing officer gave away life vest to a scientist

The Torpedo Recovery Vessel, which sank 35 nautical miles off the Vizag coast, was carrying scientists and technical officers of the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory....The scientists were afloat with life vests for around half-an-hour until they were rescued by the ships. The crew members of the TRV had first provided life vests to the NSTL staff and pushed them to the other side of the vessel from where it started sinking.
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I do not think I am wrong in pointing out what I see as a looming shortcoming in their national defense ambitions for which many of us continue to hold great hopes. - Vigilis

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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