COMBATING UNDERWATER THREATS WITH UNMANNED SOLUTIONS
Geopolitics|December 2021
For navies, Saab is a major platform supplier, building the most modern submarines and warships. Saab also designs and builds many other enabling systems like radars, electronic warfare, communications, training and simulation, etc. that define supremacy in naval operations

The Indian Navy plans to acquire a sizeable number of unmanned aerial and underwater platforms in the next few years to significantly ramp up its surveillance capability. The acquisition is supposed to be a part of India’s roadmap on unmanned platforms. It is quite clear that the Indian Navy is set to enhance surveillance capability to focus on acquiring new-age technology.

In an interview late last year, the Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh had said “Underwater domain awareness and underwater capabilities are the key focus areas of mine and the Indian Navy. We are focusing hard on getting more awareness of warfighting within the underwater space”.

Among the biggest concerns in the underwater domain for any navy is sea mines which don’t make much impact on the public consciousness because they’re unremarkable-looking, iron-encased explosives, most often placed under the water’s surface (buoyant mines) or on the seabed (ground mines). There they float or sit silently for weeks, months or years, until a ship or submarine strikes them directly, or produces the right magnetic, acoustic or pressure signal to set them off. The resulting explosion can be every bit as devastating as, say, a missile.

Sea mines are an inexpensive but low-tech weapon that can cause havoc with trade and communication. The Indian Navy recently unveiled the unmanned roadmap that outlines the phased transition of manned to manned-unmanned hybrid to fully unmanned.

Modern mine reconnaissance and mine disposal demand a multifunctional Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that can operate in extreme environments and cope with advanced mines. Saab offers a vast range of unmanned underwater systems that provides operational possibilities across the scope of mine countermeasures, antisubmarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, counterterrorism and civilian systems.

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