As the latest collaboration between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and the Indian Defense Force, the Indian Navy has taken help from the country’s largest private sector company to shoot underwater videos of the TRV 72.
The TRV 72 is a torpedo recovery vessel that sank on November 6th approximately 38 nautical miles off the coast of Visakhapatnam. 4 persons on this vessel including an officer and 3 sailors are still missing.
RIL’s Role in Assisting Recovery Initiatives of the TRV 72 Wreck
The videos can be taken by deploying a Remotely Operated Vessel (ROV).The chartered vessel of RIL, MV Olympic Canyon that is essentially used for offshore work in the Krishna-Godavari Basin is equipped with a ROV and has the ability of operating even at 1000 meters below sea level.
According to the initial reports, the wreck of the TRV 72 has been looked at in an upright position at the depth of approximately 370 meters. The Indian Navy will now perform an analysis of the video footage and chart out a course of action.
While addressing the media on board INS Jalashwa, about 20 nautical miles of Visakhapatnam coast, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, Rear Admiral A.B. Singh said, “The footage could give us a clue about the missing persons and as well as the reason for the ship’s sinking.” He made this address during the ‘Day at Sea’ programorganized by the ENC, as part of its upcoming Navy Day celebrations.
He added, “About 15 ships and a number of helicopters and planes were used in the operation. We covered a large area and have found some debris to the coast of Mahabalipuram. The current is very strong during this part of the year, and there is all possibility for the debris to drift up to Karaikal.”
The search and rescue operations were called off after the Indian Navy covered a large area of the ocean over a period of 10 days.
Upgrading Defense Infrastructure
While talking about the deployment of the ROV from RIL’s chartered vessel, the Admiral admitted that the Indian Navy is not currently equipped with the technology used for deep sea operations such as salvaging sunken ships. He acknowledged the need to depend on other sources for such infrastructure.
Recently, the Government of India got rid of the foreign investment rule that expected a single Indian entity to hold at least 51% stake in a defense venture. This helped RIL’s Reliance Aerospace to acquire licenses to manufacture weapons and combat aircrafts. The removal of this rule also allows engineering company Punj Lloyd to manufacture rocket launchers, torpedoes and combat vehicles.
In October, the government made an official statement saying that a committee has cleared 19 proposals for licenses of defense manufacturing made by a host of large Indian corporate houses such as the Mahindra Group, Bharat Forge Limited and Tata Group.
Even before the changes in the foreign investment rules, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion had reduced the list of items within the defense sector that required licenses.