India’s Navy on big hunt for quantum sensors

Published on : 07:39 PM Dec 04, 2021

Among the disruptive and niche military technologies, the India Navy is focused on acquisition of quantum sensing tools which will make oceans transparent and submarines redundant, writes Sanjib Kr BaruahIndia's Navy on big hunt for quantum sensors

New Delhi: The Indian Navy is looking ahead to develop and acquire futuristic quantum sensors which could revolutionize modern military and naval warfare by making the oceans transparent and submarines redundant.

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“Among disruptive technologies, we are looking at quantum sensors and a lot of research activity is taking place both in the private and public sectors. This niche technology will ensure that submarines have no place to hide,” a top Indian Navy official told ETV Bharat on the sidelines of the annual Navy Day media press conference.

Submarines are among the most advanced military platforms today that are capable of multirole operations. Their potency lies in their stealth capability due to which they can prowl around in the oceans undetected besides being the most survivable nuclear second strike force. Advertisement

Quantum sensors, based on the behavior of atomic and subatomic particles, can detect and track motion in the absence of GPS capabilities such as deep underwater or up in space.

Underlining the importance of such disruptive technology in modern warfare, Indian Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said in his address at the event that he aims to seek “disruptive technology to find better ways of doing our job at sea”.

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Admiral Kumar took over from former chief Admiral Karambir Singh just three days ago on November 30, 2021.

Citing instances, Admiral Kumar said: “In the last year, we have supported, funded and hand-held more than 35 startups and MSMEs for various projects towards developing niche technologies or products for the Navy.”

“Additionally, 17 Technology Development Fund (TDF) projects are being pursued by the IN in partnership with DRDO for developing niche technologies that will form the kernel of equipment to be fitted onboard our platforms.”

Since last year, the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) has engaged young scientists in a cutting-edge laboratory in Mumbai to conduct research and development activities ably guided by a select team of senior and experienced scientists and academicians.

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The assertions are significant in the backdrop of a comprehensive study by the National Security College of the Australian National University (ANU) which concluded that even after accounting for the fact that the next generation of nuclear-armed submarines become deployed through the 2030s and beyond, the oceans of the world will become transparent by 2050 and the submarine era will likely come to an end in the 2050s.

On the India-China front, the CNS said that the Indian Navy was perfectly capable of confronting any security threat even as he fully backed the ‘theaterisation’ effort that included setting up of a maritime theatre command which “maybe finalised by the middle of next year.”

Stating that the PLA Navy had been present in the Indian Ocean region since 2008, the chief said: “We are aware of the developments of the Chinese Navy. They have built 138 ships in the last 10 years. Every nation is entitled to have its own capability development. We keep an eye on all developments in our area.”

On China’s rapid increase in the number of naval assets, Admiral Kumar said: “It is not just the numbers that matter. It is also about people, how you employ the weapons that you have, your strategy and your operational plans etc. There are a whole lot of issues.”

Admiral Kumar said that Acceptance of Necessity (approval) has been accorded for 72 projects worth Rs 1,97,359 crore for the Navy and out of which 59 projects worth Rs 1,74,027 crore will be implemented indigenously.

He pointed out that despite the complex security situation in South Asia mainly due to a tense relationship between India and China and the adverse impact of Covid-19, the Indian Navy, as a cohesive team, maintained the operational tempo and ensured the security of the country.

Admiral Kumar also said that women officers have been appointed on board every major warship of the Indian Navy.

Read: Indian Navy gets new chief, Admiral R. Hari Kumar assumes office

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