Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Navy Takes Measures to Secure Warships after a Series of Accidents

INS Betwa. Photo Courtesy Indian Navy

The Indian Navy is taking measures to prevent its warship from running aground or colliding with boats and other objects following a series of embarrassing mishaps.

The latest incident occurred around February 1, 2014, when a Magar-class Landing Ship Tanker(LST) ran aground off the coast of Vishakhapatnam and suffered damages.

Earlier in January 2014,  INS Betwa was damaged while entering Mumbai harbor after returning from anti-piracy operations. The India Navy said that the dome on the ship's sonar scraped an underwater object and suffered a hairline crack that led to ingress of sea water.

Recently, the Navy released a RFI for the overhaul of the propeller of a medium sized warship. It's not known if the two incidents are connected.

In October 2013, INS Kamorta, the Indian Navy's first Project-28 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata ran aground during sea trials off the Hooghly near Geonkhali in East Midnapore.

Navy ships have so far braved muddy waters and heavy silting in ports and along the shore, as well as the heavy fishing boat traffic, but the recent spate of accidents have led it to seek technical solutions.

The Navy has released a RFI for a commercial off the shelf (COTS) Radar that will serve as the primary navigational radar on major and minor war vessels, for the presentation of navigational situation and to assist in ensuring the ship’s navigational safety in harbors, other restricted sea areas and in open seas.

The Navy wants a system that can:

  1. Display clear raw video of all moving and stationary contacts, coastline, creeks, navigational buoys and marks, harbor installations, jetties etc. 
  2. Determine coordinates of the detected contacts. 
  3. Track the detected contacts. 
  4. Solve relative velocity problems, for collision avoidance. 
  5. Assist in the ship’s pilotage and maneuvering in restricted waters. 
  6. Provide Surface surveillance. 

The Navy has also shown interest in procuring 12 ‘Boom Defense Systems (BDS)’.

A Boom Defense System is used to prevent sabotage/ clandestine attacks by surface crafts and divers on ships in harbor and anchorage. It provides a physical barrier (in the form of nets etc) against surface crafts and divers.

The requirements to be met by the system are as follows:-
  1. Provide protection for ships at anchorage. 
  2. Provide protection to ships in harbor in both Naval and Commercial berths. 
  3. Should have a portable component which can be deployed by individual ships using limited resources viz ships boat and personnel. 

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