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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Indian Navy’s maiden nuclear, biological and chemical training facility inaugurated in Lonavla

Admiral Lanba was on a two-day visit to INS Shivaji, on the occasion of the platinum jubilee of the establishment, wherein he commissioned Abhedya

pune Updated: Mar 26, 2019 14:33 IST
Shivani S Singh
Shivani S Singh
Hindustan Times, Pune
Admiral Sunil Lanba (centre), chief of Naval staff at the inauguration of the nuclear, biological, chemical training facility at Lonavla on Monday.
Admiral Sunil Lanba (centre), chief of Naval staff at the inauguration of the nuclear, biological, chemical training facility at Lonavla on Monday.(HT PHOTO)

The nuclear, biological and chemical training facility ‘Abhedya’ at INS Shivaji has special significance for the Indian Navy because now we will be able to provide holistic training in all three disciplines to our personnel on board a ship,” said Admiral Sunil Lanba, chief of Naval staff, during the inauguration of the facility in Lonavla on Monday.

Admiral Lanba was on a two-day visit to INS Shivaji, on the occasion of the platinum jubilee of the establishment, wherein he commissioned Abhedya.

Abhedya, a one of its kind training facility in Asia, means ‘impenetrable’ and symbolises the protective cover that is provided on naval ships fitted with nuclear, biological and chemical detection and protection systems.

The facility, initiated in 2016 and executed by the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) will provide realistic training to naval personnel in detection, protection against and decontamination of nuclear, biological and chemical agents.

“INS Shivaji has grown from strength to strength over 75 years and it has state-of-the-art training facilities. I am happy to commission it here. We had two simulators for damage control and fire fighting on board a vessel, and now, we have commissioned the nuclear, biological and chemical simulator,” added Admiral Lanba.

Simulators are equipped with advanced sensors, which can detect and measure the exact contamination of NBC components in water and air, and can be used for training on how to nullify ship compartments and operate in case of a nuclear, chemical or biological attack. The facility at INS Shivaji will help train naval officers and sailors with respect to nuclear, biological, chemical aspects on board vessels and the duration of the training can vary from two days to six months depending on the courses - basic, advanced or refresher.

“The simulator is unique across Asia. It would enhance the Indian Navy’s operational capabilities. The training facility building will house a modern NBC simulator and well-equipped, sophisticated NBC laboratories for creating real-life scenarios,” said the PRO of INS Shivaji.

The facility is a part of INS Shivaji which imparts training in nuclear, biological and chemical aspects, damage control and fire-fighting to navy personnel.

Even though almost all of Indian Navy’s combat ships are nuclear-chemical-bio weapons hardened (have all facilities, sensors and suits to deal with an adverse situation if the vessel moves through a hostile NBC environment) and necessary equipment to tackle such threats, earlier there used to be only theoretical training about how to deal with such situations.

“Now, with this facility we will actually be training on live sources (we have Cobalt 60 which is a live source) and the training will be realistic. Likewise, we don’t have chemical agents or biological agents, but we have simulators which can be used for training men (how to and what precautions have to be taken). We have got a dedicated library for such agents and the system will automatically tell you what the agent is. So, with this facility, the men would be better equipped and trained and will deal with real-time scenarios,” said the project director of the facility at INS Shivaji.

It is imperative in this nuclear age for our personnel to be trained properly on how to operate in such adverse situations, the project director added.

The event was also attended by Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Chief of Materiel and other senior officers and dignitaries of the Indian Navy.

INS Shivaji already has modern damage control and fire simulators. Specialised courses related to NBC will be conducted from now at the school.

During the platinum jubilee celebrations, the Admiral also launched the Shivaji website on the Indian Navy’s portal and released the platinum jubilee logo with the theme ‘Propelling the Indian Navy since 1945’.

Platinum Jubilee Celebrations

INS Shivaji, Lonavla, will be celebrating 2019-20 as the ‘Platinum Jubilee Year’. The premier Cat ‘A’ training establishment of the Indian Navy, commissioned as HMIS Shivaji in 1945 has entered her 75th year of commission. It imparts training in engineering discipline to personnel of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and several friendly foreign countries.

What is NBCD school?

Established as the ‘Atomic, Biological, Chemical Defence (ABCD) School’ in 1953, as a first of its kind in the country, the school was re-christened as ‘Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Defence including Damage Control and Fire Fighting (NBCD) School’, in 1964. The NBCD School is mandated with two core tasks, the primary task being conduct of NBCD training for personnel from the Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Coast Guard, Defence Civilians and international trainees. The secondary task of the school is to conduct functional trials of new induction equipment and acceptance trials of NBCD equipment fitted on new construction ships.

To fulfill its primary task, the school is equipped with state-of-the-art simulators

1) ‘AKSHAT’ for damage control

2) ‘AJAR’ for fire fighting

3) ‘ABHEDYA’ for NBC training

Damage control simulator

The facility, a training simulator constructed for the Indian Navy by Goa Shipyard Ltd, simulates ship motions, compartment flooding, failure of electrical power and machinery, thus providing a real- time environment for Naval officers and sailors for carrying out urgent repairs to damaged underwater hull and ruptured pipelines of ships at sea.

Fire fighting training

Training imparted to deal with five classes of fire on board a naval vessel.

First Published: Mar 26, 2019 14:33 IST