Winter 2018

JFD's Indian Navy contract reaches milestone

Just over two years into the major £193 million contract with the Indian Navy, the JFD team has reached a significant milestone and is already breaking new records with its cutting-edge subsea technology.

This is one of the largest contracts ever won by any company in the James Fisher group, secured after an unprecedentedly rigorous negotiation process.

The contract will see JFD supply two 3rd generation submarine rescue systems plus a full programme of on-going maintenance and training, but the team has already successfully completed sea trials for the deep search and rescue vehicle (DSRV) part of the first submarine rescue system. This means it is now ready to be fully mobilised and provide rapid rescue to submarines in distress.

Early conversations between JFD and the Indian Navy began back in 1982 and continued on and off for over thirty years. 

Ben Sharples, India DSRV project director at JFD explains:

'Negotiations were complicated, but we persisted because we knew this contract would confirm JFD as a true world leader in submarine rescue.'

'We continually upgraded our marketing offering as the Indian Navy's requirements developed, and as their need for a rescue capability developed, so did our ability to deliver it.'

'The decision to entrust JFD with the supply of two submarine rescue systems is testament to the breadth and depth of our engineering expertise, and the diligence with which our submarine escape and rescue teams deliver these services.'

he added.

For the sea trials, the DSRV carried out underwater mating with a bottomed submarine at a depth of over 300 feet, JFD and the Indian Navy then carried out a safe transfer of personnel from the submarine to the DSRV.

During the trials, the teams conducted two record dives: the deepest ever hatch opening (at 655msw) and the deepest ever rescue submersible dive (at 666msw). This means that JFD can safely rescue submariners stranded at depths that would once have been considered unattainable and shows why JFD is widely thought of as the world's number one for submarines in distress.

For the trials, the Indian Navy provided the commercial mothership and associated trials consort vessels. Its West Coast-based rescue team, which will operate the system when in service, actively participated throughout this phase of the trials. The Indian Navy's fly away configuration can be rapidly mobilised from the naval base at Mumbai by air, land or sea, and this direct involvement at trial stage ensures everyone is equipped with the skills and expertise to conduct safe and efficient submarine rescue operations, should the need arise.

The two systems form a central part of the huge Indian Navy contract which also includes launch and recovery systems equipment, Transfer Under Pressure systems, logistics and support equipment, as well as a 25-year all-inclusive annual maintenance contract.

A spokesperson for the Indian Navy says:

'India now joins a select league of nations with the capability to search, locate and provide rescue to distressed submarines.'

Stop press!

The second submarine rescue system has also just passed pre-delivery inspection and is being shipped to Vizag on the South East coast of India for trials early in 2019. Watch this pace for more news!


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