Sunday, March 23, 2008

Exerpts from "Transition to Eminence" - by Vice Admiral Hiranandani (Retd.)

Chapter 10 - Indigenous Submarine Construction - The SSK Project


- Preamble

- The Considerations That Led to the Selection of HDW

- The Considerations That Led to the Selection of HDW

- The May 1977 Delegation to Evaluate European Submarine Building Yards

- The May 1979 Policy Technical Delegation to Italy, Germany and Sweden

- Indo German 'Agreement on Technical Assistance'

- Contracts Signed on 11 December 1981

- Contracts Signed on 11 December 1981

- Teams Deputed to Germany for Overseeing Construction and Design Technology

- Submarine Construction Schedule

- Commencement of the Type 1500 Design by IKL

- Full Scale Submarine Model

- Transfer of Submarine Design Technology

- Construction of SSKs 1 and 2 in Germany

- MDL's Submarine Construction Facilities

- Construction of SSK 3 and 4 in Mazagon Docks

- Dropping of SSKs 5 and 6 and Discontinuance of Indigenous Submarine Construction


In the 1960s, the conventional wisdom, based primarily on Western naval journals, was that “Russian submarines were noisy and that Western submarines were quieter”. In the deadly game of hunter killer submarine warfare, where one submarine stalks another submarine deep under the sea, the quieter submarine has the advantage of being able to detect earlier, the noisier submarine.

As early as 1960s, the Navy started considering the construction in India of smaller SSK submarines specifically for submarine versus submarine operations.

By 1969, ideas crystallized to build small SSK submarines in India in collaboration with a European firm, on lines similar to what was being done for surface ships in the Leander Frigate Project. Discussions had been initiated with Dr Gabler, the reputed and experienced designer of German submarines during World War II.

What started as a project to build small submarines gradually ballooned into a larger coastal submarine. By the time Dr Gabler's design met the Navy's staff requirements, its cost had overshot the resources available. These discussions however, helped the Navy to understand the complexities of submarine design and the tradeoffs that had to be made in the 'staff requirements'.

Since foreign exchange was always a constraint on acquiring ships, submarines or aircraft from European sources, enquiries were initiated with the Soviet Union. Their response was that they did not have any submarines of the size and characteristics that the Navy wanted, but they could design one.

After the 1971 Indo Pakistan War, the project for indigenous submarine construction resumed momentum. In response to enquiries for constructing SSK submarines in India, proposals were received from the reputed submarine manufacturers of Europe.

Evaluation of these proposals helped to update the staff requirements for a SSK submarine of about 1,500 tonnes.

A delegation visited Sweden in 1973 to discuss the feasibility of collaborating with Kockums for building submarines in India.

The steep rise in oil prices after the 1973 Arab Israel War perpetuated the shortage of foreign exchange and the SSK project had to be deferred. Comparative evaluation continued of the various proposals.

A study was also carried out as to which of the shipbuilding yards Mazagon Docks in Bombay or Garden Reach in Calcutta or Hindustan Shipyard in Vizag should undertake the SSK project. Submarine fabrication required specialised heavy duty machines. For fabricating the hull, the shipyard had to have a Plate Bending Machine to bend the ring frames made of special, 35 mm thick, steel plate. The shipyard had to have Platter and Assembly Shops for profile cutting and edge preparation of these thick steel plates prior to welding. Highly specialised welding skills were required to weld these ring frames together to form a circular pressure hull, which would withstand the crushing pressure of the sea at deep depth.

Mazagon Docks in Bombay had some of these machines in its yard where oilrigs were being fabricated for the Bombay High Offshore oilfield. And Mazagon Docks was near to the engineering subcontractors in the Bombay industrial area to whom the machining and fabrication of non-critical jigs and fixtures could be entrusted. It was decided that Mazagon Docks was best suited for collaboration in the building of SSK submarines. MD started preparing for this project.

Also by 1979, the Navy was able to evaluate in great detail the pros and cons of the German HDW Type 1500 and Kockums Type 45, both of which were still on the drawing board. Kockums shipyard, despite being highly automated (all designing was done by computer, without the help of a scale model) and having excellent infrastructure, had not exported any submarines and their experience was limited to building submarines of 1,400 tons for the Swedish Navy. On the other hand, the HDW shipyard had built 130 submarines for the German Navy, had exported 60 submarines. It was building submarines for numerous countries and was backed by the design organisation IKat Lubeck. IKhad an efficient design facility founded by Dr Gabler and fully backed the HDW shipyard in submarine design.

The Considerations That Led to the Selection of HDW

In 1975, the Apex Defence Review Committee supported the Navy's proposal for constructing submarines. The Soviet Union had already indicated that it did not have submarines of the size that the Navy was looking for. In 1977, Government accepted the requirement for looking at alternate sources for building submarines.

The May 1977 Delegation to Evaluate European Submarine Building Yards

The delegation was led by Rear Admiral NP Datta and comprised three submariners Commanders (X) VS Shekhawat, (L) Thukraand (E) Chaudhury.

Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) NP Datta recalls:

“As DCNS, I was part of the delegation which went in 1977 to five European countries France, Germany (two shipyards in Germany), Holland and Sweden to evaluate the various types of submarines offered to us. We shortlisted two possible sources of cooperation. These were the two German shipyards and the Swedish Kockum shipyard.

“We ruled out the French Agosta primarily because it was too small for our requirement, it was not fully tropicalised and they had no great advantage in sensors and weapon systems over the Russian submarines that we had.”

Commander (later Admiral) VS Shekhawat (who had commanded submarines) recalls:

“I accompanied Admiral Datta to Europe in the early part of 1977. We visited shipyards in Germany, Sweden, Holland and France to see what they had to offer which could be compared with the earlier Swedish offer, both in technological terms as well as in financial terms, transfer of technology, support, documentation, etc.

“The visit to France was disappointing. They were reluctant to even show us their Agosta class submarine. After some pressure had been exercised, they agreed to take us to see an Agosta that was building in Cherbourg.

“As far as the Dutch submarine was concerned, it was too small for our requirement though they showed us two submarines of a very interesting design.

“Germany's HDW seemed well positioned to build submarines for us. They had already supplied a number of submarines to other countries. They had the background and experience of the German Submarine Fleets during the First and Second World War a considerable body of experience and data available from what were extensive seagoing operations. And German Industry, both prewar and postwar, had a reputation for engineering skills and thoroughness.

“Having studied the Kockums submarine theoretically and having had a glimpse of the HDW facilities and visited a submarine being built for a South American country, my own views were that eventually it did not very much matter which of these two submarines we went in for because the idea was that we should develop the capacity to design and build for ourselves.”

Captain M Kondath was the Director of the Submarine Arm and dealt with the SSK Project from 1977 until the contract was signed in 1981. He recalls:

“In the Directorate of the Submarine Arm, we analyzed the report of this 1977 delegation. When it was put up the Government, the Ministry suggested that every submarine building shipyard, including Russian, should be invited to offer their proposals. Britain did not respond except for offering their wire guided torpedoes.

“Formal proposals were received from:

- Howal Deutsch Werke (HDW) of Kiel, Germany for their Type 2091.

- Thyssen Nord See Werke (TNSW) of Emden, Germany for their Thyssen 1500/1700.

- Italcantieri of Italy for their 'Sauro' class.

- DTCN of France for their 'Super Agosta' class.

- Kockums of Sweden for their Type 45 B/Naaken.

- Nevesbu of Holland for their 'Swordfish” class.

- Vickers of Britain for the wire guided Tigerfish torpedo.

“A paper evaluation was carried out of these offers. Based on this initial evaluation, the shipyards were requested to indicate if they were prepared to modify their design or alternatively design a submarine to meet the Navy's staff requirements. Holland and France declined and withdrew from the list of contenders.

CCPA Approval in Principle

“Approval in principle' was accorded in February 1979 for the induction of four submarines from non Soviet sources, two to be built abroad and two to be built in India. The total outlay estimated at that time was Rs 350 crore (including Rs 275 crore in foreign ex­change). Mazagon Docks, which was to build the submarines, was to invest around Rs 10 crores on infrastructure. Approval was also accorded for setting up a Negotiating Committee.”

The May 1979 Policy Technical Delegation to Italy, Germany and Sweden

The Shipyards were informed of the points that the Indian side wanted included in an inter Government MOU:

- The foreign shipyard has the necessary authorization of its Government to sell submarines to India.

- The shipyard is authorized to collaborate with India for constructing submarines in India under license and with provision for incorporation of subsequent improvements and modifications.

- Assurance of the supplier Government for continued product support in alights aspects for the life cycle of the submarines or for 25 years.

- Similar assurance that no prohibitions or restrictions will be imposed by the supplier Government on the supply and services and continued flow of product support for that period.

- Authorizing the shipyard for transfer of the full range of technology for the construction of submarines in India.

- Transferring from the supplier's Navy the full range of design technology for the development of submarine design capability in India.

- Government clearance for sale to India of connected weapons, armament, sensors, machinery and systems.

- Support by the supplier Navy for the training of:

o Naval and Dockyard personnel for the operation, maintenance, repair and overhaul of submarines and the related systems.

o Naval crew in all aspects of submarine warfare including tactical doctrines and electronic warfare, consistent with national commitments.

o Indian personnel for the logistic support for the submarine and its systems.

- Quality control, certification, trials and acceptance of the submarine and its related systems by the supplier's Navy and supply of necessary documentation.

- Assurance by both sides regarding security of information and equipment.

- Consultations between the two Governments to resolve problems, if any, arising out of the implementation of the collaboration project.

Indo German 'Agreement on Technical Assistance'

As a policy, the German Government avoided defence supplies that might aggravate tension. After the 1971 Indo Pakistan War, the Indian subcontinent had been declared an area of tension. It was also reluctant to supply defence equipment to non NATO countries because such equipment might be used against their allies.

In the end 1970s and early 1980s there was skepticism in Germany, France, Britain and Italy, that if the scope of defence cooperation with India was enhanced, India because of its close relationship with the Soviet Union may not be able to protect NATO hi-tech information from Soviet espionage.

In view of these considerations, India considered it essential, as a measure of abundant caution, that before contracts were signed, there should be agreement at the Government to Government level to safeguard Indian interests. The 1979 Delegation had already informed the European shipyards of the safeguards that the Navy would like incorporated in an Inter Government Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Between June 1980 when the CCPA approved the collaboration with HDW for the SSK Project and December 1981 when the contracts were signed, there were detailed discussions to formulate the MOU. The best that could be achieved was an 'Agreement on Technical Assistance' between the German and Indian Ministries of Defence. This was signed in July 1981.

Contracts Signed on 11 December 1981

After detailed negotiations, contracts were signed in on 11 December 1981:

- To build two submarines at the HDW yard in Germany, where Indian personnel would acquire practical training in submarine construction techniques and Indian naval architects and overseers would learn how to design, understudy how to build and oversee the construction of submarines.

- To transfer technology and material packages to MDL for building two more submarines in India. MD personnel would acquire on job training in Germany during the period when the first two submarines were under construction.

- Giving the Indian side the option of ordering material packages for two more submarines before December 1982 at the same baseline cost as the first four submarines.

- Supply of wire guided torpedoes.

Subsequently, in 1985, a contract was signed for the SSK Simulator for installation in the Submarine Headquarters Complex in Bombay.

Teams Deputed to Germany for Overseeing Construction and Design Technology

The teams deputed to the HDW shipyard at Kiel were:

- Overseeing and Quality Control Teams of the two submarines to be built there.

- Key personnel of the commissioning crews.

- Base and Dockyard Teams to undergo training for manning, maintaining and repairing sonar, torpedoes, shafting, main diesel, compressors, auxiliary machinery, hydraulic systems, damage control, power generation distribution and propulsion, ESM, gyro and navigation aids, refrigeration and air conditioning, etc.

- Material Management and Logistics Group and the Documentation Cell.

The Submarine Design Team was deputed to IKat Lubeck and the Naval Armament Inspectors were deputed to Wede to inspect and accept the torpedoes.

Submarine Construction Schedule

- 12 months for planning.

- 6 months for preparation of detailed engineering drawings.

- 6 months for part fabrication and assembly of subunits.

- 12 months for complete fabrication.

- 6 months on the pontoon for fitting out.

- 6 months for sea trials escorted by a HDW vessel.

- Total time 48 months.

Commencement of the Type 1500 Design by IKL

IKL started work on the detailed design only after the conclusion of the contract because the weight and volume calculations could only be carried out during placement of orders.

Full Scale Submarine Model

To aid production by HDW, IK produced a finished model of the Type 1500 submarine. All equipment, machinery, cables and pipe fittings were modeled. Three Indian Navy shipwrights participated in the production of this model.

Transfer of Submarine Design Technology

The programme for the transfer of design technology was formulated through extensive discussion between IKL and NHQ. It was decided that the ideal method for achieving this would be in two distinct phases:

By a combination of formal lectures and discussions with IK experts, IK would give to the Design Team complete details of the design of the Type 1500 submarine.

To check whether the Design Team had fully understood the complexities of submarine design, it would, under the guidance and supervision of IKL's experts, develop de novo a new design according to the staff requirements specified by NHQ.

Design Training started in 1982. By mid 1984, 98% of the syllabus was completed and the Design Team became fully occupied with the de novo design.

Construction of SSKs 1 and 2 in Germany

Captain (later Rear Admiral) DN Thukral, an experienced submariner, was deputed to HDW as the leader of the Indian Naval Submarine Overseeing Team (INSOT) from 1982 to 1987 when the first two submarines were under construction in Germany. He recalls:

“In Germany, Professor Gabler was known as the 'Father of Submarine Design.' Ingeneer Kontor Lubeck (IKL), the design arm and Machinen Bow Gabler, the manufacturing arm, were located in contiguous premises he looked after both of these. While we were there, he turned 75, there was a big function, and he handed over charge of both the design and the manufacturing aspect to two directors who had been with him for a number of years. It was a very professionally run organisation.

“Our submarines were designed by Professor Gabler. He was with us throughout the period when HDW was constructing our submarines. There is no doubt that his experience was unbeatable. He treated the Indian Design Team with great respect because he realised that the IQ level of the technical officers that the Navy had sent was high. He was with them not only at the senior level, but also at the junior level when they were doing the design and doing mock ups. He would saunter into the Design Room and interact with our people. He really was a 'father figure'. I have a lot of respect for him.

“There were two separate contracts one for the submarines to be built in Germany and one for the submarines to be built by MDL. There was a dual responsibility. Firstly, to inspect the submarines being built in Germany and secondly to build the submarines in India.

“The task of building the submarines in India was that of Mazagon Docks. Their team was the first to arrive in Germany. They had been carefully selected to learn all aspects of submarine construction. MDL's team was also responsible for the inspection of the German material packages to be shipped to India for the 3rd and 4th submarines.

“Right from the initial planning stages, it was decided at Naval Headquarters that there had to be a dual presence in the shipyard at Kiel. The first was that of the Naval overseers who were directly from the Navy as the Indian Naval Submarine Overseeing Team. The second presence was of MD who had to learn how to build the submarine, how the material package was to be dispatched to India in a phased and timely manner and to ensure that the inspectors who were from the Navy would eventually transfer their expertise to MDL.

“In the overseeing team I had two categories of people. The first lot were there for approximately a year and a half they were supposed to learn their part of it, then go back to India and start the inspections for the first one and a half years of the MD programme. By this time, the rest of the Kiel team would have learnt the balance part of inspections and would go back to India and take on the specialised inspections of the latter half.

“My team had technical professionals from the Engineering, the Electrical and the Hull side. We laid down our own priorities. Quality was to be Number One priority because there is nothing like a 99% safe submarine; it has to be 101% safe. The second priority was Timely Completion. Most projects had the bad reputation of having time and cost overruns. Quality and Time were the two major aspects that we looked at, at every stage.

“I must highlight that we were concurrently learning and applying the knowledge to inspection. We were learning from the German Organisation called the BWB, which oversees quality assurance for the German Navy, as well as for a foreign Government if the foreign Government decides to use their facility. It was recommended by HDW that BWB were meant for this purpose and, for a small fee, one could use their facilities. So we had a presence of BWB in the shipyard.

“Initially, we learnt fro

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why wedding ring should put on the fourth finger??

Thumb represents parents
Second finger represents brothers & sisters
Center finger represents own self
Fourth finger represents your partner
Last finger represents your children
Really interesting

Why wedding ring should put on the fourth finger??
Pls follow the below step, really god made this a miracle (this is from a Chinese excerpt)

Firstly, show your palm, center finger bend and put together back to back Secondly, the rest 4 fingers tips to tips

Game begins....follow the below arrangement,

5 finger but only 1 pair can split.

Try to open your thumb, the thumb represents parents, it can be open because all human does go thru sick and dead. Which are our parents will leave us one day.

Please close up your thumb, then open your second finger, the finger represent brothers and sisters, they do have their own family which is too they will leave us too.

Now close up your second finger, open up your little finger, this represent your children. Sooner or later they too will leave us for they got they own living to live.

Nevertheless, close up your little finger, try to open your fourth finger which we put our wedding ring; you will be surprise to find that it cannot be open at all. Because it represent husband and wife, this whole life you will be attach to each other.

Real love will stick together ever and forever. . .

Friday, March 14, 2008

Few centuries ago, a Law teacher came across a student
Who was willing to learn but was unable to pay the fees.

The student struck a deal saying, "I will pay your fee
the day I win my first case in the court". Teacher agreed and proceeded
with the law course.

When the course was finished and teacher started
pestering the student to pay up the fee, the student reminded him of the deal
and pushed days.

Fed up with this, the teacher decided to sue the
student in the court of law and both of them decided to argue for themselves.

The teacher put forward his argument saying:

"If I win this case, as per the court of law, the
student has to pay me as the case is about his non-payment of dues. And if I
lose the case, student will still pay me because he would have won his
first case. So either way I will have to get the money".

Equally brilliant student argued back saying:

"If I win the case, as per the court of law, I don't have to pay anything
to the teacher as the case is about my non-payment of dues. And if I lose the case, I don't have to pay him because I haven't won my first case yet.So either way, I am not going to pay the teacher anything".

This is one of the greatest paradoxes ever recorded in history.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A new day , Perhaps a new life

Life for me has been a series of accidents. Peoples -->Dhempes-->PcClinik--> PCCE--> Megatrends--> GCQ--> GMC --> GCQ--> SSIMS and now the bus has taken yet another turn. From a student to a MBA and now to a corporate Manager at Pentair.

MNC or not my life has changed from this very first day at work. A day which showed that my days of bulshitting around and doing time pass are over and it now back to the same old rat race of a life . Hope that i continue with the yearly tradition of globetrotting . Till then this is goodby the student life and welcome to corporate life

Amey the student is now Amey the manager

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