New Delhi: The Navy is planning to buy Submarine Mine Laying Equipment (SMILE) to augment existing capabilities of its conventional fleet.
It has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to vendors and manufacturers seeking details in this regard, a Navy officer said here today.
The Navy at present has a fleet of 16 conventional submarines, but is in the process of adding a few more when the Scorpene submarines currently being built by Mazgaon Docks are ready for induction and a follow-on project of the type is ordered.
The SMILE, according to the RFI, should be capable of laying 24 ground mines and withstand maximum underwater speeds of the submarine.
The basic design of the SMILE should comprise components and sub-systems such as two independent magazines capable of housing at least 12 mines each.
Each magazine should have a glass reinforced plastic hull and needed to be attached to the submarine. Its design should suit the contours of the submarine for a snug fit.
The magazines should have its independent hydraulic station for engaging and disengaging the SMILE with the submarine and also for loading, unloading and launching of mines with ports and mechanisms for the same.
It should have adequate ballasting and de-ballasting arrangements to embark and disembark the magazines on the submarine in an afloat condition.
The mine magazines should have suitable hoisting and lifting mechanisms to handle the SMILE while embarking, disembarking and transporting the magazines at the submarine berth.
Each mine trunk should have suitable mechanisms for arming the mines prior to their deployment.
Laying of ground mines is controlled from the submarine through cable connections from the mine laying control unit inside the vessel.
Each mine is separately laid in armed and unarmed mode, through an arming device unit. In case of an emergency, the complete mine saddle can be released.
The SMILEs would have an in-service life of 15 years. Once the vendors submit their information, the Navy will call them for presentations on their product.