Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.
New Delhi, 18 November 2016
Four Naval Systems developed by DRDO are handed over to the Indian Navy by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today at a function, here at DRDO Bhawan. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba formally took over the systems from the Defence Minister which include ABHAY – Compact Hull Mounted SONAR for Shallow Water Crafts, HUMSA UG – Upgrade for the HUMSA SONAR System, NACS – Near-field Acoustic Characterisation System, and AIDSS – Advanced Indigenous Distress SONAR System for submarines. Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr S Christopher was present on the occasion.
The systems have been designed and developed by NPOL, a Kochi based premier laboratory of DRDO (Watch NPOL Short Film at URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWOQAstddtQ) which has outstanding contributions and achievements in the design of SONAR systems for the Indian Navy to its credit. ABHAY is an advanced Active-cum-Passive integrated SONAR system designed and developed for the smaller platforms such as shallow water crafts and coastal surveillance/patrol vessels. Designed using the latest technology in hardware architecture and advanced signal processing algorithms, the SONAR is capable of detecting, localizing, classifying and tracking sub-surface and surface targets in both its active and passive modes of operation.
The prototype of this compact SONAR ABHAY installed onboard a nominated Naval platform has successfully completed all user evaluation trials to demonstrate the features as per the Naval Staff Qualification Requirements. Indian Navy has proposed to induct this SONAR on three of the ABHAY class ships. Intensifying the command over the high seas is the HUMSA-UG that is designed for upgrading the existing HUMSA SONAR system of the Indian Naval platforms. The hardware architecture is based on the state-of-the-art open architecture processor technologies that will enable smooth upgrade of the system capabilities. This system is proposed to be installed on seven ships of three different classes of ships.
NACS determines the in-situ performance of the SONAR systems which are used to find the frequency-dependent 3-D transmission and reception characteristics of the SONAR. It is also used to measure the magnitude and phase characteristics of the SONAR transmission and reception electronics and the transducers. The NACS has been integrated with the HUMSA-NG SONAR array and proved onboard Naval platforms and this will be fitted on all frontline ships.
NPOL has also developed AIDSS, a distress SONAR that is an Emergency Sound Signaling Device which is used to indicate that a submarine is in distress and enable quick rescue and salvage. It is a life-saving alarm system designed to transmit SONAR signals of a pre-designated frequency and pulse shape in an emergency situation from a submarine for long period, so as to attract the attention of Passive SONARS of Ships or Submarines in the vicinity and all types of standard rescue vessels in operation. It is also provided with a transponder capability. With the induction of these four systems, the underwater surveillance capability of the Indian Navy will get a boost, besides providing a fillip to the quest for self-reliance in this critical area of technology.
NOPL is a naval testing laboratory of Indian Naval Physical Laboratory (INPL) established in 1925 at the Naval Base, INS Kochi. The laboratory is ‘System Laboratory’ of DRDO engaged in the development of SONAR (Sound Navigation And Ranging) and allied technologies. The thrust areas of R&D of the laboratory are Signal processing, Electronics, Engineering systems, Transducers, Materials and Oceanography. The laboratory has developed hull mounted sonars for ships and submarines, towed array sonars and airborne sonars. NPOL’s work in this area has helped the nation achieve self-reliance in this vital area.