Indian Navy to Buy Mine Laying Equipment

By admin • July 16th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi – In order to augment the current capabilities of the diesel-electric submarine fleet, the Indian Navy has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to vendors of Submarine Mine Laying Equipment (SMILE).

As per the RFI, the design of the SMILE should be able to lay 24 ground mines from the submarines. It should have the capacity to withstand maximum underwater speeds of the submarine. The basic design of the SMILE should comprise components and sub-systems such as two independent magazines capable of housing at least 12 mines each. Each magazine must have a glass-reinforced plastic casing designed to fit the contours of the submarine.

The RFI further states that each magazine must have an independent hydraulic station for engaging and disengaging the SMILE with the submarine and also for the loading, unloading and launching of mines.

It must be also capable of adequate ballasting and de-ballasting arrangements to embark and disembark the SMILE equipment with the submarine alongside. Each mine trunk should have suitable mechanisms for arming the mines prior to their deployment. The laying of ground mines should be controlled from the submarine through cable connections from the mine laying control unit inside the vessel. Each mine must be separately laid in armed and unarmed mode, through an arming device unit. In case of an emergency, the complete mine saddle should be capable of being released. The RFI also states that it must have a mandatory in-service life of 15 years.

According to sources, India requires at least 16 of these systems to equip its fleet of submarines. The SMILE system is expected to be split into two different sub-types since the platforms on which they will be used have different designs with different hull contours. Currently, the Indian navy has 16 conventional submarines and the “Scorpene” submarines will be added soon. The “Scorpene” is currently being built by Mazagon Docks and will be ready for induction soon.

source: India Defence Online

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