This successful procedure confirmed the high flexibility of the system to adapt to very harsh recovery situations and means the Indian Navy has now joined a select group of nations with the sovereign capability to rescue submariners in a transportable or 'fly-away' kit that is easily mobilised.
Working in partnership with the Indian Navy, which in March accepted delivery from JFD of the first of two free-swimming submarine rescue vehicles, JFD’s team of highly-skilled personnel oversaw and helped achieve the following:
- Deepest ever submarine rescue dive of 666 metres;
- Deepest ever submarine hatch opening of 655 metres; and
- Deepest ever JFD remotely operated vehicle dive of 750 metres.
This means that JFD can safely rescue submariners at depths that were once considered unattainable and further shows why it is the world’s triple-0 number for submarines in distress.
JFD Australia managing director, Toff Idrus said, "The system was tested in particularly challenging conditions, not unlike those you would see in Australia.
"It is a similar capability to the one JFD provides to the Royal Australian Navy from our advanced manufacturing base at Bibra Lake, in Perth and as we prepare for the annual Black Carillon ocean exercises off the West Australian coast in early November where similar scenarios will be conducted, it gives us great confidence," Idrus said.
The records came during final testing of the submarine rescue system’s capability in challenging conditions off the coast of Mumbai which included a mock rescue from a disabled submarine on the ocean floor.
After finding and then attaching to the submarine, JFD and the Indian Navy carried out a safe transfer of personnel from the submarine to the rescue vehicle.
"Time to the first rescue is critical in operations of this nature and from our base here in Australia and at other locations, which now include India, we are “rescue ready” and able to respond within 12 hours to a disabled submarine anywhere in the world," Idrus explained.
JFD is a underwater capability provider, serving the commercial and defence markets with innovative diving, submarine and hyperbaric rescue, technical solutions and services.
The company is at the forefront of Hyperbaric Rescue, along with being the leading supplier of commercial and defence diving equipment and saturation diving systems to the commercial industry.
JFD was created in 2014 through the merger of James Fisher Defence and Divex. In 2015 JFD acquired the National Hyperbaric Centre to further boost the services offered to its customers. In 2016 LEXMAR was acquired to enhance the capability and offering within JFD’s diving capability and suite of saturation diving systems. JFD acquired diving and recompression specialist Cowan Manufacturing in February 2018.