The Indian Navy has inducted its first deep submergence rescue vehicle for downed or disaster-struck submarines at high sea.
Navy Spokesperson Capt DK Sharma said India has joined a select group of countries that have the capability to locate and rescue "distressed submarines".
"Indian Navy joins select league of nations with capability to search, locate and provide rescue to distressed submarines by induction of first Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) and associated kit in fly away configuration," he said.
The DSRVs are also used to lay cables on the sea bed. Some DSRV vessels are air transportable in very large military cargo.
Capt Sharma said it can be mobilised from the naval base in Mumbai to nearest mounting port by air, land and sea.
The second DSRV is expected to be inducted at Visakhapatnam in 2019.
Navy sources said the induction was part of efforts to enhance operational capabilities when China has been ramping up its maritime presence in critical sea lanes which are of strategic importance to India.