Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Stories Of Indian Navy's Submarines …….And Some Sweet Photos

"Run Silent, Run Deep my Mates. May your torpedoes always run straight"
Nuance is a concept one wouldn't express, employing the Submarine arm of a country's Naval fleet. It is a platform of pure offence. Unlike a surface Warship, whose visual presence over the horizon, as a demonstration of force projection, can act as a reasonable deterrence to an adversary, without firing a shot, an operational submarine offers no such calibration.
Shishumar-Class Submarine - Indian Navy - HDW - 01 - TN
A Submarine, essentially, operates in binary modes - stay hidden & undetected OR attack & destroy. It, therefore, bears a need to understand the men and their machine of this unique line of service.
"The Indian Officers were yet not proficient in Russian language. Novishanko raised his fist, like Adolf Hitler and shouted, how dare, they not attend the class. He banged his fist on the table to reinforce the point, his authority.
Subramanian, kept sitting. He smiled, the ice cold smile. He told the Interpreter, "please convey to your Commanding Officer, this is my Cabin, in my cabin, I alone can shout". Novishanko perplexed, could understand nothing, he glared at the interpreter. The interpreter stood vertical like a pole. Unable to comprehend the scenario and hesitating to translate Subramanian’s statement.
Subramanian coolly told the interpreter "please translate, exactly, what I told you." The interpreter standing stiff, looked at the wall and translated, "Indian Tavarish, says, that this is his cabin, in this cabin, only he can shout." The impact was a blast, about turn, the team, marched out. The reserve bus came after 15 minutes and the Indian contingent attended the class.
The incident gives a glimpse of the mettle that the first Commanding Officer of our submarine arm, was made of. He had the nerves of steel."

INS Sindhughosh - S55 - Kilo-Class Submarine - Indian Navy - 01 - TN
INS Sindhukeshari - S60 - Kilo-Class Submarine - Indian Navy - 01 - TN
The shenanigans of its erstwhile colonial rulers to try maintain its pre-eminence in its former colony, keeping a grip on its affairs, is exemplified in the following security paradigm. It is to the credit of India's decision-makers of the time who, despite their predominantly British education, were able to look beyond the fog, to know better, & decide accordingly.
"Even as the Indian government looked at the question of submarine acquisition in the mid 60s our traditional naval suppliers, Great Britain, refused to sell India their Oberon class submarines. The Admiralty advised the Indian Navy that submarines were not a feasible option as India had no infrastructure and no submarine background. For a service traditionally so strongly bound with the British ethos and tradition, making a clean break with the Royal Navy and accepting the long standing Soviet offer of Foxtrot class submarines was a difficult decision for the upper echelons to take. Hence, after prolonged training of the crew at Riga did the Indian Navy commission its first submarine INS Kalvari on 08 Dec 1967."
The Indian Navy re-incarnated INS Kalvari as it's first locally-built French-origin Scorpene-class Submarine, that it commissioned into its fleet in on December 14, 2017, that the Indian Postal Department commemorated by releasing a Postal stamp.
INS Sindhuratna - S59 - Kilo-Class Submarine - Indian Navy - 01 - TN
INS Sindhuratna - S59 - Kilo-Class Submarine - Indian Navy - 02 - TN
"in 1996, Admiral Bhagwat, directed me to put up a case for the '30 Year Indigenous Conventional Submarine Plan' which was approved by the Government in 1999 (when Admiral Sushil Kumar was the CNS, and received his full backing), and also to take up the modernization of the SSK and 877 EKM submarines. The induction of Klub 3M-54 E, antiship TLM missiles in the new Kilo class (contract for two new Kilos was signed in 1998) was due to the backing of the then VCNS and CNS. Similarly, the later induction of Klub 3M-14E, land attack TLM, was cleared in 2002, by the then VCNS, who shortly thereafter became CNS (Admiral Madhvendra Singh)."
Of the 3 services, the Indian Navy has been seen to be the most methodical, analytical in its approach with, comparatively, a significantly greater thrust & trust on indigenous development. Perhaps, being recipient of the least of the allocated Annual Union Budget, amongst the three Services, may have had something with their aim of getting the best bang for the buck.
As part of the crew that brought home the Navy's first Nuclear-powered Submarine, a Soviet Charlie-class boat, that the Indian Navy christened INS Chakra [S71], the writer had some interesting observations,
"Having been trained extensively in the former USSR at Vladivostok for over 30 months (September 1983 to April 1986) on the Indian Navy's first nuclear submarine, the Project 670, "Charlie Class" SSGN (later commissioned as INS Chakra for a three year lease from January 1988 to January 1991)… on record, the extremely thorough nuclear submarine training imparted to us by very experienced, professional, dedicated Soviet submariners, who ensured that we had an appropriate foundation of nuclear physics, reactor physics, radiation safety and of course specific details of the construction and systems of the "Charlie Class", Project 670 SSGN. The class room theory was reinforced by weekly oral exams every Monday (which ensured that we studied on Sundays, after doing the mandatory domestic chores and partying on Saturdays) and visits to the submarine, various working and static models, simulators and finally a year at sea. All this stood us in good stead when we planned for the nuclear submarine navy of the future."
INS Chakra - S71 - Charlie-Class Submarine - Indian Navy
INS Chakra - S71 - Charlie-Class Submarine - Indian Navy
Kilo-class Submarine [Indian Navy: Sindhughosh-class submarine]
Kilo-Class Submarine - Indian Navy - 01 - TN
Kilo-Class Submarine - Indian Navy - 02 - TN
Kilo-Class Submarine - Indian Navy - 03 - TN
INS Sindhuvir [S58] - Sindhughosh-class submarine
INS Sindhuvir - S58 - Kilo-Class Submarine - Indian Navy - 01 - TN
Unless specified, all image source -