Voice of Russia dismisses theory that Indian submarine disaster has anything whatsoever to do with Russian technology. Nope. Must be human error by Indians. Couldn’t possibly be faulty Russian technology.
Three reasons behind Indian submarine disaster
India has ordered a review of its submarines’ weapons safety systems, after initial investigations showed arms on board the INS Sindhurakshak may have played a role in its sinking. The Voice of Russia has reviewed three possible reasons that led to an explosion on board Indian submarine in Mumbai dockyard on August 14.
First version – sabotage or terrorist attack
The INS Sindhurakshak exploded and sank in the Mumbai port on August 14, on the eve of India’s Independence Day. Most likely, this circumstance stirred a discussion about a possible terrorist attack. Theoretically, extremists might have planned to carry out a “demonstrative subversive act” ahead of the national holiday. However, at the very begging of the investigation into the accident in Mumbai port, the Indian authorities and the majority of local experts dismissed such a version saying that the port and the submarine were guarded around the clock, and a well-organized plot was needed to commit the sabotage.
Second version – technical failure and defect in design
The INS Sindhurakshak was built at the Admiralteiskue Shipyard in St. Petersburg in 1995, and two years later, it was handed over to the customer. In the late 2012, it underwent planned repair and was upgraded at the base of the Zvezdochka Shipbuilding Centre in Severodvinsk which is specialized in repairing the 877 Project submarines. After Indian organization accepted the submarine, it sailed some 10,000 nautical miles and reached the Mumbai port. It has been on combat duty twice. According to Indian media, the night before the accident, Sindhurakshak ended preparations for another outward bound. According to an official at the Zvezdochka Shipbuilding Centre, the specialists of the guarantee group visited the submarine on the eve of the accident, and all systems under their control were completely operable.
In short, from the experts’ point of view, technical or design defect cannot be examined as an apparent reason that led to the accident.
Third version – human factor: violation of safety standards and engineering instructions
A. As part of this version, experts are discussing first and foremost possible violations by the crew during the recharging of the submarine’s accumulators.
Hydrogen emits during the charging and exploitation of batteries, and when its concentration increases, an extremely explosive mixture is formed in the air. In this case, submarine is equipped with a hydrogen burner that is aimed at neutralizing a possible threat of an explosion.
In an interview with the Voice of Russia, retired Commodore Parambir Singh Bawa pointed to the possibility of exploding hydrogen. Several Indian dailies said that there were three explosions on board the submarine: originally, a small blast and then two powerful blasts occurred on board the submarine causing a fire. Then the submarine sank. It was suggested that originally, hydrogen exploded, and then ammunition might have exploded.
However, some experts dismiss possible explosion of hydrogen and diesel fume.
B. According to several Indian dailies, short circuit triggered by a sailor’s mistake might have caused the explosion on board the submarine.
C. Addressing the parliament Defence Minister A.K. Antony said that preliminary investigations had indicated that blasts on INS Sindhurakshak submarine were caused by “possible ignition” of armament.
The cause of ignition, has not established yet.
The Indian Defence Minister said that this would be possible only after the partially submerged submarine is afloat and dewatered.
At present, the Defence Ministry has ordered to check security systems of all submarines of the Indian Navy.
According to several local experts, if a warhead had really exploded on board the submarine, then the submarine’s forward end was completely destroyed because a warhead of a Club anti-ship missile contains 400 kilograms of powerful explosive. Most likely, the entire hull is destroyed, and it will not be expedient to repair the submarine.