The Indian Navy has conducted successful trials of the Sahayak Air droppable containers, developed by domestic research bodies, to boost its operational logistics capability.
With a test payload of 50kg, the containers, which can be air dropped, are equipped to carry spare equipment for ships up to 2,000km away from the coast. This capability ensures that vessels need not return to coast for spares, thereby improving operational logistics and increasing the deployment duration of vessels.
On 8 January, the containers were air-dropped from an IL-38 aircraft into the Arabian Sea with the help of a parachute.
Indian Navy Commander and Chief Public relations officer Mehul Karnik said: “Successful trials of Sahayak air droppable containers was undertaken from an IL-38 aircraft off the coast of Goa.
“This will reduce the requirement of ships to be close to the coast for collecting spares and stores, thereby increasing the duration of their deployment.”
Following the success of these trials, series production of Sahayak containers and parachutes will now be undertaken.
These cylindrical containers have been developed by domestic research bodies – the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) and the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
In December 2018, the Indian Navy inducted its first Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) in Mumbai, to be deployed off the west coast.
Another DSRV will be deployed on the east coast, in Visakhapatnam, to cut down the dependence on overseas navies for salvage and rescue operations.
With the deployment, the Indian Navy claims to join a league of few counties that have the capability to rescue their submarines.
Furthermore, the Indian Navy has been bolstering its logistics capabilities in the Indian Ocean through agreements with many friendly nations. Since 2016, India has signed logistics agreements with the US, Singapore, France and plans to sign similar agreements with Russia and Japan.