Posts Tagged ‘Indian Navy’

Indian Navy: The tragic, the good, the bad and the ugly

August 14, 2013

The Indian Navy’s diesel submarine, INS Sindhurakshak, experienced an explosion and fire while at port in Bombay and has sunk with 18 sailors trapped and possibly dead.

The Indian navy's Sindhurakshak submarine in Visakhapatnam earlier this year. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/Reuters

The Indian navy’s Sindhurakshak submarine in Visakhapatnam earlier this year. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/Reuters

Accidents happen, everywhere but there is always the real possibility with accidents in India that institutional or individual “negligence” has a significant part to play. The negligence is often institutional in that processes and routines are lax or ill-defined or incomplete. It is not only in construction and repairs that India often exhibits the “last mile syndrome” where the last 5% of anything just does not get done!. Cost or budget considerations are a very common excuse for not making the final quality checks – whether in processes or in products.

In state owned establishments – like the Navy – institutional weaknesses can also arise because political considerations and politicians can subvert the processes. Individual negligence is not unknown and is usually a case of incompetence at some level. Not least because of the incompetence of the recruitment, training or supervision of the individuals concerned. In the Defense Services (and not just in India), seniority very often overrules competence in the making of appointments. Indian military appointments – and especially senior appointments – have been the subject of much (idiotic) litigation. Unfortunately even the Indian Courts give little importance to competence and have enshrined the appointment of the “most senior”. For fears of being accused of nepotism it is always easiest to appoint the “most senior” rather than the “most competent” or the “best suited” candidate for an appointment.

Of late the Indian Navy has been the subject of many news articles ranging from today’s tragic story to stories of achievement but also of decadence and dissolution.

All these stories are just from the last 30 days:

Navy sex scandal: wife of official arrested

A 25-year-old estranged wife of a navy officer, who rocked the Indian Navy earlier this year by accusing her husband of forcing her to get “sexually involved” with his colleagues, has been arrested by the south Delhi police on charges of cheating and fraud.

First Indian nuclear submarine set for open sea trials

India announced Saturday that its first indigenously-built nuclear submarine is ready for sea trials, a step before it becomes fully operational, and called it a “giant stride” for the nation. India unveiled the 6,000-ton INS Arihant — Destroyer of Enemies — in 2009 as part of a project to built five such vessels which would be armed with nuclear-tipped missiles and torpedoes.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was “delighted to learn that the nuclear propulsion reactor on board INS Arihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, has now achieved criticality”.

Indian SSBN Arihant Achieves Milestone, Govt Messes Up By Releasing Photo Of US Navy Submarine

The Indian Information & Broadcast Ministry has just released this Youtube clip which contains a single still photograph of what it wants you to believe is the INS Arihant SSBN, which reached a milestone today with its pressure water reactor finally going criticial. Well, guess what. Even on a day like this, the government didn’t mind filching a photograph of a US Navy Ohio-class submarine in an officially released video.

Indian-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant launched

India has unveiled its first home-built aircraft carrier from a shipyard in southern Kerala state. The 37,500 tonne INS Vikrant is expected to go for extensive trials in 2016 before being inducted into the navy by 2018, reports say. With this, India joins a select group of countries capable of building such a vessel.

Massive Explosion Sinks Indian Submarine At Berth, Salvage On

A huge explosion inside Indian Navy Kilo-class submarine INS Sindhurakshak late last night sunk it in its berth at the Mumbai naval dockyard, with just a tiny portion visible. A major fire spread inside the submarine post the explosion. The navy put out a statement a short while ago to say that 18 personnel were on board when the explosion ripped through the submarine, but doesn’t say yet if they’ve been rescued. Salvage and rescue operations are on right now, and have been through the night.

Launching of INS Vikrant August 12th 2013 – image Livefist

Pakistan Navy photoshop fail

March 9, 2011

Advertising agencies are supposedly very creative but much of their output is little more than plagiarism.

The Indian and Pakistani Armed Forces share a common past before 1947 but are the most intense rivals and virtually paranoid about each other. But it seems that the Pakistani Navy (or their advertising agency Orient Advertising) is a little short of stock photographs and imagination. Photo-shopping provides a cheap alternative.

Reminiscent of the Chinese publicity film about their new generation fighter aircraft which had spliced in images from “Top Gun”!

In an embarrassing goof-up, an advertisement issued by the Pakistan navy on Tuesday for a multinational exercise prominently featured images of Indian Navy warships even though India is not among the participating countries.

The full-page advertisement for the Aman-11 exercise in the Arabian Sea, which appeared in The Nation and Nawa-e-Waqt newspapers, featured photographs of Indian Navy’s Delhi, Godavari and Talwar-class warships. The insert also featured images of US warships under the slogan: “Together for peace” .

Warships, aircraft, Special Forces and representatives from 39 countries are participating in the exercises for fostering peace in the region and enhancing cooperation to counter maritime threats like piracy.

Within hours of the advertisement being posted on websites of newspapers, blogger Shahid Saeed posted the original image of American and Indian warships from the Malabar 2010 exercise that was used in the advertisement . There was no official word from the Pakistan Navy.

The Advertisement (with 2 ships removed, one helicopter removed and one ship added)

Photoshopped advertisement in The Nation

The original picture from the Indo-US Naval Exercise, Malabar 2010:

Indo-US Naval Exercise Malabar 2010

Shahid Saeed has another example of an incompetently photo-shopped image of UN envoy Ellen Margrethe Løj apparently pinning UN Medal to a Pakistan Army Doctor during a Special Award Ceremony held for Pakistani UN Peace Keeping Mission serving at Minrovia, Liberia. (23-2-2011), but which is remarkably careless with the bodies and limbs of people in the background.

German freighter sinks Indian Navy frigate

February 4, 2011


Cargo Ship Nordlake IMO 9057173 by MSC Michi

Cargo Ship Nordlake 22,450 tons

A German cargo ship has slammed into an Indian frigate in the port of Mumbai, causing the military vessel to catch fire and eventually sink.

The ocean liner Nordlake, based in Hamburg and managed by the Klaus E. Oldendorff shipping company, crashed into the Indian navy vessel Vindhyagiri in a narrow navigation channel at the entrance to the port of Mumbai on Sunday, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported.

The nearly 400 people on board the Vindhyagiri – including the ship’s crew and their visiting families, who were celebrating Navy Day – were successfully evacuated before a massive fire broke out on the vessel some 12 hours later.

A preliminary investigation found that the Nordlake was exiting the harbour as theVindhyagiri was navigating its way in. The Nordlake swerved to avoid another ship and subsequently struck the Vindhyagiri.

INS Vindhyagiri 2682 tons

The Indian navy called the sinking of the Vindhyagiri India’s greatest peacetime casualty, noting that a frigate has never been sunk by a civilian vessel. Built in 1981, the Vindhyagiri suffered extensive damage, but the navy said the ship could possibly be repaired and eventually brought back into service.

The nearly 180-metre-long Nordlake, which flies a Cypriot flag, did not sustain any serious damage. The freighter supports an international crew, and no Germans were on board at the time of the crash.

“We are happy that, to our current understanding, the accident has caused neither environmental harm nor any human casualties,” Peter Rybarczyk, chief executive of the Klaus E. Oldendorff shipping company, told Hamburg broadcaster NDR.

The Director General of Shipping in Mumbai has ordered an inquiry into the collision, NDTV reported, while the navy has also filed a complaint that argues the ship from Cyprus did not follow standard operating procedure.

The Nordlake has a deadweight of 22,450 tons and almost ten times greater than the standard weight of INS Vindhyachal at 2682 tons.

Photo: DPA

Mumbai harbour after collision: photo DPA


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