The submarines deployed in forward areas to showcase India’s interest in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is critical but the underwater operations carry many risks. However, seawater profile for detection of underwater routes by the submarine’s navigational sonars etc., are a matter of concern.
Denial of access to unauthorised vessels inside India’s Offshore Development Area is a major challenge, with warships and submarine involved in the robust surveillance arrangement.
These submarine operations can provide high-quality ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) information during peace times and this capability comes from the submarine’s ability to enter an area to watch, listen and to collect the information because it can operate stealthily close to the action they can capture many elusive signals.
In recent times, Chinese military and commercial facilities have emerged along its sea line of communication through strategic investments in several Indian Ocean ports (like Gwadar, Hambantota, and Colombo etc.).
This potential Chinese intention in the IOR is geopolitically known as String of Pearl’s theory. The protection and safeguard of all present or evolving economic assets fall within the ambit of Indian Navy’s Flag Officer Defence Advisory Group (FODAG).
The FODAG’s role is to advise various ministries — Defence, Petroleum & Natural Gas and Shipping on all planning and policy aspects of offshore security and defence covering EEZ, territorial waters and other Maritime Zones of India.
Diving Support Vessels
Indian Navy regularly conducts deep sea diving operations, including in the IOR, with an aim to undertake submarine rescue exercise, actual undersea inspection or salvage operations.
The Saturation divers are specialized deep-sea divers who carry out such highly complex diving operations, usually with the assistance from a Diving Support Vessel (DSV).