(This was originally posted in The Tribune)
India is looking to pursue underwater unmanned technologies. The US has made rapid advances in this field and given some exposure to India of technologies and systems that the Indian Navy wishes to pursue, said the Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh at a seminar.
He cited the discovery of ‘Chinese-origin’ autonomous underwater gliders in Indonesian waters as an indication to the extent to which technology has progressed. The seminar ‘Trends and Technologies in Underwater Vehicles’ was organized by the Directorate of Naval Design (Submarine Design Group) in partnership with the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).
Admiral Singh listed ‘underwater domain awareness’ as one of the most critical areas for the Navy, adding that complexity of modern warfare meant that enablers such as ‘artificial Intelligence’ would be essential for efficient and effective use of underwater systems. At the same seminar, the Vice Chief of the Indian Navy, Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, said the Indian Navy, had understood the importance of unmanned solutions and recently envisioned a detailed roadmap for itself in this realm. The Navy intends to share with the industry what is needed, when and at what cost and in what numbers. Underwater vehicles bring in results which are too prominent to be ignored, the Vice Admiral said.