Sunday, 8 September 2013

INS Sindhurakshak- assessing damage, again

Via livefist defence

Quoting the Navy officer involved -
  • The submarine still has weapons on board, possibly both torpedoes and missiles. These will need to be attended to on priority to make sure they don't pose a threat during salvage.
  • The pressure bulkhead areas in the forward and mid sections are completely warped/destroyed.
  • A hull rupture in the forward section means pumping out the viscously oily sea water inside the boat is impossible.

Regarding the first point - it almost sounds as though they're unclear what weapons were loaded on board the submarine, which is ridiculous. Perhaps the modifier "unexploded" should have been placed to make the situation clearer. Are missiles and torpedoes stored interchangeably on the same racks? Where exactly did the initial explosions begin? All of this is crucial - and it's hard to say whether or not the Navy actually took the trouble of checking out the front of the submarine. As dangerous as it would be to check the front of the submarine, it would make sense to look into the wreck of the torpedo room and try to count the warheads.

The second point indicates a truly colossal explosion. From the wording, I would guess that compartments one through four were breached and vented to the sea. No word on compartments 5 and 6, and whether anyone managed to lock themselves up when the front of the submarine blew to kingdom come. Damage from bulkhead cable penetrations and the shaft seals would have flooded the entire submarine in a couple of days even if the stern was sealed. Was any air leaking from the rear of the submarine? None of the images visible show air leaking, and there is no mention of air leaking from the stern. The stern was most likely flooded long ago - it seems very unlikely that compartment 6 is still watertight and filled with air (and, grisly as it is to say this, corpses of the submariners)

Point three seems rather pointless - given the magnitude of the blast, of course pumping seawater out is impossible. The structural damage assessment is still on, although it seems somewhat tardy given that the submarine is sitting right there at the dock. This really shouldn't be.

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