Chief of Naval staff Admiral D.K. Joshi resigned from office after accepting moral responsibility over the INS Sindhuratna mishap which saw seven sailors taken in seriously ill and another two still missing.
The Defense Ministry accepted his resignation with immediate effect and Vice Chief of Naval Staff has been asked to step up and assume office till a permanent replacement is found.
“Taking moral responsibility for the accidents and incidents which have taken place during the past few months, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi today resigned from the post of Navy Chief,” defence ministry said.
Although the exact cause of the accident us yet to to be ascertained, it is believed that a short circuit in one of the battery compartments may have led to the fire which eventually filled up the submarine with smoke.
A probe has been ordered into the recent series of under water mishaps which has taken the reputation of the Indian Navy to an all time low. The tally has gone upto 11 only in seven months signalling one of the worst phases in the history of Indian Navy.
INS Sindhurakshak, the 815 Cr kilo-class submarine, suffered a massive accident last August blowing up all the eighteen sailors inside leaving no survivors. The accident prompted the Parliament to question the Navy about the accident only six months after the highly expensive upgrade.
The Indian naval fleet would be left with a meager six submarines while China have 45 of them entirely operational, including two ballistic missile ones. The Chinese government are also in the process of sanctioning construction of another 15 type 041 (Nato code name: Yuan class) submarines.
The first of the Scorpene class submarines which are built in Mumbai based on technology from french firm DCNS would only be available earliest by 2016. India faces a staunch task in revamping their naval resources especially with the possibility of having same number of subs as Pakistan by 2015 looms large over their heads.