INDIA: Two Diving Support Vessels (DSV)- Nistar and Nipun, being built by Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), located at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, were launched by Mrs Kala Hari Kumar in the presence of Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, who presided the ceremony as Chief Guest, on Thursday.
Mrs Kala Hari Kumar, President of the Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA), performed the traditional honor and named these ships. The ships received a thunderous cheer from a jubilant gathering as they embraced the welcoming waters of the Bay of Bengal.
Vice Admiral RB Pandit, Commanding-in-Chief, Strategic Forces Command, Vice Admiral Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral Kiran Deshmukh, Controller Warship Production and Acquisition, and other senior officers from the Indian Navy and Ministry of Defence and others attended the launching ceremony.
Indigenously designed and built at HSL, these ships are a true testimonial to ‘Aatmanirbharta’ (self-reliance). They are autonomous platforms that can operate at sea for prolonged durations, an Indian Navy statement said.
DSVs equipped with an array of complex Diving Support systems and a Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) will be deployed for deep sea diving and submarine rescue operations. Furthermore, the ships will be capable of conducting Search and Rescue operations and carrying out Helicopter Operations at sea.
This project is being executed with support from the Indian industry, primarily MSME firms which have supplied Yard material, equipment, and services. The shipyard extensively uses the Government e-Market (GeM) portal to procure the project’s materials and services. More than 120 MSME vendors across India have actively participated in the project.
“Nistar” and “Nipun” were launched by achieving approx 80% indigenous content, a major step towards ‘Self Reliance’. DSV project has generated local employment opportunities and promoted indigenization which will boost India’s economy.
Addressing the gathering, CNS Hari Kumar said that these sophisticated and key platforms, once commissioned, will serve as INS Nipun and INS Nistar. They would herald a new era in our deep ocean diving operations and enhance the Indian Navy’s stature as a credible force & First Responder to undertake critical operations such as submarine rescue operations in the Indian Ocean Region.
“I want to particularly complement HSL for remaining a profitable Shipyard since 2016. Completion of projects on time or even ahead of time has been a notable achievement of the HSL”, Hari Kumar stated.
In its previous avatar as a Submarine Rescue Vessel, “INS Nistar” was commissioned in 1971 and played an instrumental role in conducting diving operations on the Pakistan Navy submarine, “Ghazi”, which sank outside Vishakhapatnam harbour during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
The induction of these versatile ships will boost our Search and Rescue capabilities and serve as a powerful tool supporting India’s Deep Ocean Mission. The niche capabilities offered by these platforms reassure our stature as the ‘First Responder’ to partners and Friendly Foreign Countries across Indian Ocean Region and are aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region, Hari Kumar said.
The major recipient of the Navy’s capital budget investment is Indian shipyards. Of the 45 ships and submarines presently under construction, 43 are being built at shipyards across the country. In addition to direct economic ‘plough-back’, these indigenous shipbuilding projects also catalyze significant employment generation and skill development since many people also get employment outside the shipyard.
Approximately 80% of the DSV project’s equipment is indigenously sourced from more than 120 MSMEs across India. This is another step towards the Navy becoming 100% AatmaNirbhar (Self-dependent) by 2047 – an aim we have set for ourselves, Hari Kumar stated.