Why did INS Sindhurakshak sink? An expert opinion

Over a week after a massive explosion  on submarine INS Sindhurakshak at Mumbai's Navy dockyard, some questions still remain unanswered.

While the government has ordered a board of inquiry to look into what went wrong on the submarine, Firstpost spoke to C Uday Bhaskar, former director of Indian Maritime Foundation to get a larger picture of the Navy's worst peace time tragedy.

Former director Indian Maritime Foundation C Uday Bhaskar.

Former director Indian Maritime Foundation C Uday Bhaskar.

According to Bhaskar, it is crucial for the Navy to keep up with modernisation as every  platform has its own operational life. If not, the Navy will have to conduct its operations only with available resources.

"You're trying to do more with less.  If your numbers (of platforms) are static or dwindling, then you get pushed beyond the required norm."

Throwing light on the kind of security protocols in place, Bhaskar said there were two standard alerts - sub-miss and sub-sunk which are transmitted back at a certain intervals. "In the event one does not get the sub-miss alert at the scheduled time, the first anxiety would be that the sub is missing. In the case of sub-sunk alert, there are global protocols any capable Navy has to adhere to, keeping in mind the geographical location."

"If there would have been any nuclear dimension to the Sindhurakshak tragedy then it would not have remained confined to any geographical location. We need to look at this in a very holistic way," Bhaskar said.

The former director also suggested that there perhaps was a lapse in the first compartment of the submarine where the armaments were stored.

"If you look at the cloud of smoke above the sub, it was orange in colour. This can happen only if there were high explosive materials that combusted. In this case, there could be two possibilities - missiles and torpedoes, as they were both stored in the first compartment..this was also confirmed by Defence Minister AK Antony," he said.

Updated Date: Aug 20, 2013 09:38 AM

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