Indigenous submarine escape suit by Diwali

Close to two decades after it first struck upon the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the technology was transferred to Pune-based Raksha Polycoats Private Limited which is gearing up for production. Sources in the DRDO said the suit, which was conceived in the early 1990’s, is designed to offer protection and help the crew to escape from abandoned submarines even at 100 metres below the sea.

The Navy after extensive trials last year had accepted the product developed by DRDO’s Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL). It has projected demand for about 400 suits which will contain a hydrosuit and closed-circuit breathing apparatus.
Speaking to Deccan Herald from Pune, Raksha Polycoats Managing Director Abhijit Sarkar said: “Now that we have the technology, we are looking at bringing out the first suit by Diwali.” The company has already put in place the required infrastructure and has also in place the testing equipment.

The hydrosuit and breathing bag are made from neoprene rubber coated on nylon fabric which is rodent repellant and is protected from cracking when it is folded. “It can be store at room temperatures,” sources said. The goggles, they said are made from polycarbonate material making it shatterproof with brass components made out of ‘Naval Brass’ which is corrosion resistant in marine atmosphere.

Sarkar, while stating that this technology is based on Russian technology, said: “As
opposed to the European model, which is based on open apparatus, this will have 95 per cent protection capability as opposed to the European one which gives only a 50:50 chance.”

Our technology, he said, will be a closed circuit full suit with controlled systems that do not force the submariners to ascend to the surface at great speeds affecting their ability to acclimatise. The submariners using this technology can gradually bring themselves up to the surface of the water with 30 seconds to one minute stops after every two to three metres. The suits are designed to save submariners from a maximum depth of 70m–100 m with maximum depth of submergence for working outboard the submarine being 20 m.
The weight of the hydrosuit, the breathing apparatus and the CO2 absorbent contained in canister is 11 kg, 14 kg and 1.7 - 1.8 Kg, respectively and the oxygen and gas mixture cylinder water capacity is one liter.

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