Key maritime capabilities lost: Ex-navy chief on submarine blast

    By IANS,

    Dabolim (Goa): In losing INS Sindhurakshak, the India Navy may have lost certain key maritime capabilities, but “nothing is insurmountable”, said retired naval admiral Arun Prakash Wednesday.

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    Prakash, who retired in 2006 as naval chief, also said that drills and security procedures should be reviewed to ensure that such a tragedy does not recur.

    “As far as the long-term implications of such an incident are concerned, in losing INS Sindhurakshak, we may have lost certain capabilities, but nothing is insurmountable,” Prakash, who resides in Dabolim, 30 km from the state capital, told IANS.

    The 69-year-old former naval officer also said that caution should be exercised by all while speculating about the immediate reasons of the accidents.

    “It is too premature to comment. No one really knows what has happened as of now. We will know only when an enquiry is completed. Until then speculations should be avoided,” Prakash said.

    In a major accident Wednesday at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, the INS Sindhurakshak, which was docked alongside another submarine, was rocked by an explosion onboard, which caused the vessel to sink.

    A statement issued by the Indian Navy said that there were 18 naval personnel onboard the submarine, including three officers, when the accident happened Wednesday morning.

    The former naval pilot who was decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2001 also said that in the time between losing INS Sindhurakshak and rolling out its replacement, India will have to learn to “make do with what best we have”.

    “The new subs will start rolling out in a couple of years,” Prakash said.

    The Indian Navy has already ordered an enquiry into the incident, which comes a few days after India rolled out the country’s first indigenously built submarine, INS Arihant, with nuclear capabilities.