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Indian submarine Sindhurakshak catches fire at a naval dockyard

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by Rock n Rolla, Aug 14, 2013.

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  1. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    "If it was sabotage, only an insider could have done it"

    The fully-armed submarine was to go on a long patrol

    While the jury is out on what really triggered the crippling blasts that wrecked the naval submarine INS Sindhurakshak in Mumbai on Tuesday night, chances of a sabotage causing it are giving the Navy the jitters.

    Given that the fully-armed submarine was at the high-security Naval Dockyard in preparation for a long patrol on Wednesday evening, only an insider could have done some foul play, if that was the case, indicate Navy sources.

    The severity of the twin explosions that gutted the forward area of the kilo-class submarine, which was handed over to India after a $ 150-million upgrade in January this year, points to torpedo burst, as the flame bore an unmistakable orange hue, sources say.

    Hydrogen the trigger?

    Live ammunition was being loaded on the boat till 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday in view of the patrol on Wednesday. "There must have been frenetic activity going on. Hydrogen released while charging its 800 kg batteries could have caused the first explosion, which would have set off the torpedo burst," said an officer.

    While the Navy Chief Admiral D.K. Joshi did not fully rule out sabotage, seasoned submariners like Vice-Admiral (retd) K.N. Sushil, former chief of the Southern Naval Command, consider the scenario "very very dangerous."

    "I don’t even want to think of such a possibility," said Mr. Sushil. It would mean someone had penetrated the crew, which was highly unlikely.

    He said if there was just a hydrogen blast, it would not have been this disastrous and damaging. But if that were the case, it somehow caused the oxygen torpedoes [torpedoes having oxygen compressed to 200 bars instead of compressed air as fuel oxidizer in its propulsion system] to explode. It could also be conjectured that electric short circuit or something caused the oxygen to blow out. Shockingly, the sequence of events hardly explained anything, he told The Hindu.

    The missile warhead couldn't have gone off as missiles "are loaded into the torpedo tubes in nitrogen-pressured containers." To a question on chances of sabotage, he said someone adept at handling torpedoes executing it could not be ruled out.

    Vice-Admiral (retd) A.K. Singh, who commanded nuclear submarine INS Chakra and headed the Eastern Naval Command, told The Hindu that there could be two surmises. "Submarine batteries give out hydrogen while charging. There are devices to neutralise hydrogen thus released, as its concentration above 4 per cent can set off a blast. Two decks above this is the weapon compartment and the fire caused the warheads to explode. Another possibility is that something went terribly wrong while arming the boat," he said.

    Former Vice-Chief of the Navy Vice-Admiral (retd) Raman P. Suthan termed 'highly unlikely' the sabotage theory, citing that access to submarines was highly restricted.

    If it was sabotage, only an insider could have done it - The Hindu
     
  2. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    This Is The End, My Russian Friend
    by James Dunnigan
    August 3, 2013

    In the last twelve months Russia delivered the three Talwar class frigates India ordered (for $1.6 billion) in 2006. The 4,000 ton P-17 project Talwar's are 124.5 meter (386 feet) long, carry 24 anti-aircraft and 8 anti-ship missiles, 4 torpedo tubes, as well as a 100mm gun, short range anti-missile autocannon, a helicopter, and anti-submarine weapons (depth charges and missiles). The ship has a very complete set of electronics gear, except for a troublesome Indian sonar. There is a crew of 180. All of the Talwars are equipped with 8 Indian BrahMos anti-ship missiles each. The Talwar is a modified version of the Russian Krivak IV design.

    The P-17A "stealth" frigates are the same size as the original three Talwars India ordered in the 1990s. The Stealthy Talwars have their superstructure changed so as to reduce the radar signature (making the ship less likely to show up on enemy radars). Improved weapons and electronics are installed as well, making it a more formidable warship than the original Talwars. India is not ordering any more warships from Russia, as it has developed the capability to build what it needs locally. This now includes aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.
    This Is The End, My Russian Friend
     
  3. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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  4. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Guys Back to topic Please.
     
  5. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    The 18 Indian Navy Men In INS Sindhurakshak

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    Defence Ministry releases names of missing sailors in submarine tragedy

    The defence ministry late on Thursday released the names of the 18 sailors and officers who were aboard the submarine INS Sindhurakshak that sank here the day before after explosions.

    The three officers are - Lt. Commanders

    • Nikhilesh Pal

    • Alok Kumar

    • R. Venkitaraj

    The Sailors are -

    • Sanjeev Kumar (POUW-I)

    • K.C. Upadhyay (POUW-I)

    • Timothy Sinha (POUW-I)

    • Kewal Singh (LSUC-I)

    • Sunil Kumar (SEA I UW-III)

    • Dasari Prasad (Mech-R 2)

    • Liju Lawrence (LEMP)

    • Rajesh Tootika (LME)

    • Amit K. Singh (STD-I)

    • Atul Sharma (SEA-I)

    • Vikas E (SEA-I)

    • Naruttam Deuri (ME-I)

    • Malay Haldar (EMR-II)

    • Vishnu V (RO-II)

    • Seetaram Badapalli (LS RP-I)

    Of the 18, eight were married.

    The Indian Navy is continuing round-the-clock efforts to ascertain the status of these sailors who were trapped when the tragedy struck the submarine following explosions and fire.

    Late on Wednesday, a team of navy divers succeeded in entering the sunken submarine but the trapped personnel were neither sighted nor rescued, a defence ministry statement said.

    The divers' efforts were hampered by poor visibility inside the submarine filled with water, restricted spaces and displacement of most equipment from their original location.

    Heavy duty pumps have been deployed to pump out sea water.

    Defence Ministry releases names of missing sailors in submarine tragedy
     
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  7. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    Dutch help sought to salvage Sindhurakshak

    Indian Navy is understood to have sought the assistance of Dutch company SMIT for salvaging INS Sindhurakshak — the Kilo-class submarine that sunk in the Mumbai harbour on Wednesday — as it has shown signs of a rupture with water ingress despite multiple pumps employed at the Naval dockyard.

    Experts from the Singapore office of SMIT, one of the largest companies worldwide for emergency maritime response, are expected to be at the accident site by Friday.

    SMIT along with another Dutch firm Mammoet, had salvaged Russian nuclear submarine Kursk after it exploded and sank in the Barents Sea in August 2000 with its 118-member crew and nuclear warheads on board.

    The navy had earlier sought the help of a Singapore-based firm to recover INS Vindhyagiri that sank in January 2011 after colliding with a merchant vessel off the Mumbai coast.

    "It looks unlikely that we will be able to 'dewater' some compartments on Sindhurakshak. For that, they need to be made watertight first, which may not be possible due to the extensive damage the sub has suffered," a senior navy official said.

    Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi is expected to submit a detailed report on the accident to defence minister AK Antony by Friday evening, who will then possibly make a statement in Parliament on Monday.

    Top government sources said naval divers were able to open the upper and lower hatches of the conning tower as well as the forward hatch of the submarine, but they were not able to pump out water from the vessel.

    "This could be due to a rupture in the hull because of the explosions or there was sea water ingress through open pipes. Another inexplicable event was that the conning tower hatch was fused due to heat. This hatch is always kept open when the boat is in harbour," said a senior navy officer.

    While the reasons for the disaster are still unclear as the submarine batteries were replaced three days before the accident, the needle of suspicion is on the armament with either a booster charge or a pyro cartridge exploding in the close confines of the vessel.

    Dutch help sought to salvage Sindhurakshak - Hindustan Times
     
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  8. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    INS Sindhurakshak tragedy: Veteran submariners suspect sabotage

    NEW DELHI: Veteran submariners are suggesting that the Navy should not rule out the possibility of sabotage in the sinking of INS Sindhurakshak, even as indications are emerging that the vessel was preparing for "a war patrol" with armed torpedoes and cruise missiles close to Pakistani shores.

    Their suggestion that the just-ordered naval board of inquiry (BoI) — chaired by a senior officer from the submarine wing — should thoroughly probe the sabotage angle stems from the fact that warheads of the torpedoes and missiles have several layers of security features built in to avoid inadvertent blasts aboard the vessel.

    "The warheads, whether heavy torpedo warheads or relatively smaller missile warheads, are designed with highest levels of inbuilt safety. These multi-layered measures added together ensure almost foolproof levels of safety," said Dean Mathew, a former Navy Commander and research fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), who was a guided weapons specialist.

    Mathew and several other submarine veterans said the possibility of a "cook off", where warheads start exploding under high temperature, too, is almost impossible. Submarines like INS Sindhurakshak have mechanisms such as sprinklers that get activated in case temperature in the torpedo bay shoots up.

    "So this should have worked if there was a fire in the battery compartment beneath and the temperature was shooting up in the torpedo bay above," a veteran said. For TNT, which is the main explosive filling in a torpedo, just high temperature is not enough to cause an explosion under normal circumstances. The exception could be if TNT is expired, and its chemical structure has become unstable.

    Based on their own personal experiences, these veterans are arguing that explanations for the tragedy have to be more than simple answers of material failure or standard operating procedures (SOPs) not being followed.

    Given the history of INS Sindhurakshak, the first explosion could be fuelled by hydrogen gas fuelled from the battery compartment. However, they suspect that the subsequent explosions — given the enormity and scale — are almost certainly some warheads — either of the combat torpedoes or missiles stored onboard. "The fact that these explosions ruptured the hulls of the submarine and sank it strongly points to the warheads exploding as they are meant to do exactly the same when used against an enemy submarine or ship," one former officer said.

    Even when a submarine is out on a war patrol, the exploder unit, which triggers the warhead explosion in a torpedo, is stored separately from the warhead and assembled into it only on explicit orders from the commanding officer to "arm" the torpedo in preparation for an imminent war situation. The exploder unit is never mated with the torpedo in the harbour, while it is preparing for patrol.

    The next level of safeties are that even with the exploder unit assembled, the unit gets active only once the torpedo is launched from the submarine and travelled out a safe distance away from the submarine. There are many more levels of inbuilt safety nets that make sure that the warhead doesn't go off just like that, veterans argue.

    In case of missiles on board, their safety and arming unit (SAU) ensures that the warhead is not ready for explosion unless the missile is powered, launched and travelled a safe distance away. These information are fed to the missile by the submarine's combat information console, it can even be mimicked to make the missile feel that it is ready. If a missile has exploded, the question is, "did anyone get any of the missiles onboard 'ready' inadvertently or otherwise?" asks a submariner.

    Another officer asked why was that the first explosion and fire couldn't be brought under control? "Clearly there is a human element that was involved directly or indirectly," he said. Another former submariner pointed out that the recent explosions onboard Indian submarines — on the same submarine and on INS Sindhuvijay — were both limited. On Sindhurakshak one sailor had lost his life in 2010 and in the case of Sindhuvijay an officer was injured. "The warheads doesn't go off like that," he argued.
     
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  9. Devil

    Devil Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    so it has been recently refit and back from Russia. Did they not do anything right

    Anotherthing who is responsible possible failure to following the orders correctly
     
  10. tunguska

    tunguska Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Very well technically explained all points & this article is certainly giving different angle to this whole episode. And this is really a serious matter.
     
  11. rcscwc

    rcscwc Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    A little consideration will show that fire is the deadliest enemy of a submarine, nearly impossible to put out. Second, there are multiple levels redundancies built into safety measures. Third, ordnance like war heads, bombs etc do not go off easily. There are instances when a even a nuke accidently does not go off.
     
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  12. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    If it was sabotage, only an insider could have done it, so there is a possibility of anti-national elements in our Armed forces. It's a worrisome possibility & should be looked into.

    Armed forces should routinely check for any anti-national elements that might have gotten themselves recruited. Armed forces should have some mechanism to monitor soldiers.
     
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  13. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
     
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  14. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Great rely. :tup:
     
  15. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Indian divers find another body on stricken submarine

    Indian navy divers have recovered another burnt body from a submarine that exploded in Mumbai as they battled against the odds to find 12 remaining crewmen, the navy said Sunday.

    [​IMG]

    MUMBAI: Indian navy divers have recovered another burnt body from a submarine that exploded in Mumbai as they battled against the odds to find 12 remaining crewmen, the navy said Sunday.

    The diesel-powered INS Sindhurakshak exploded and sank in a military dockyard early Wednesday, dealing a setback to India's naval ambitions just days after it unveiled its first domestically made aircraft carrier.

    Eighteen crewmen were on board when the submarine went down.

    "They located and brought up the body of the sixth crew member just forward of the control room despite" poor visibility "and mangled metal", the navy said in a statement, adding that the body was discovered late Saturday.

    Divers also gained access to the forward compartment, which was destroyed in the fire, by "breaking open jammed hatches", the statement said.

    The state of the bodies and conditions within the submarine have led the navy to conclude that finding any surviving personnel is unlikely.

    The ship, which had been returned by its original maker Russia earlier this year after a major refit, sank after it was engulfed by a fireball that lit up the Mumbai night sky.

    The first bodies were retrieved from the submarine on Friday. Samples from the bodies of all six found have been sent for forensic tests and finger printing to establish their identities, Sunday's statement said.

    Samples have also been taken from family members of the crew and forwarded to the same testing laboratory.

    The navy, which has been providing emotional support to the families of the victims, said divers would continue to make "repeated entries" into the submarine in the coming days for a comprehensive assessment of the damage.

    "The present state of the submarine and various options for salvage are being assessed," it added.

    The navy also suggested that some bodies might never be found because of the fierce temperatures generated in the fire, during which some of the weapons on board -- cruise missiles and torpedoes -- ignited.
     
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