China's SSN deployment threatens India's second-strike capability

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by Yusuf, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher, British Admiral and First Sea Lord who rapidly built up the Royal Navy before the Great War, wrote nearly a century ago, "It is astounding to me, perfectly astounding, how the very best amongst us fail to realize the vast impending revolution in Naval warfare and Naval strategy that the submarine will accomplish."

    Nearly a century later, the most enthusiastic proponents of his words are located in our part of the world. Reports of Chinese submarines venturing into the Indian Ocean seem to indicate they are getting uncomfortably close. So what? Surely if the Chinese have nuclear submarines, the Indian Ocean is obviously one of the Oceans where they can logically be expected to operate. Many among us would like to deny this, believing that the Chinese are still stuck with technology issues that preclude such a possibility. While we in India are still struggling to put our first "indigenous " nuclear submarine to sea, we would like to extend our own inabilities and inefficiencies to the Chinese - therefore they cannot deploy. Much like the US admiral who dismissed submarines in the late 19th century, 'The Holland boats are interesting novelties which appeal to the non-professional mind, which is apt to invest them with remarkable properties they do not posses"

    In addition to the SSBNs the Chinese have a robust SSN and conventional submarine building programme. Their 091, 093 and 095 SSN programmes have turned out about eight submarines in the past four decades. This is sufficient to master the adopted technology and fix glitches in the design (possibly with external assistance). The very fact that the Chinese have built greater number of submarines and operated them means their technical expertise and operating experience is substantially greater than ours. Add to this the Chinese capability of deploying 1000 km range tube launched cruise missiles and other shorter range missiles and torpedoes.

    A Chinese SSN operating in the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea can pose a substantial threat to our Navy.

    The ability of the Vikramaditya Carrier Battle Group to establish and sustain sea control even in our own backyard will be seriously challenged. Anybody with elementary knowledge of naval tactics can figure out the clear and present danger that a SSN with missile and torpedoes present. In addition the SSNs can mark our SSBNs which may have to transit to the South China Sea, compromising our assured second strike capability. There are at least three broad areas we would need to rapidly build up:

    a)Submarines
    We need to have adequate force levels of SSNs and SSBNs if credible minimum deterrence under the averred policy of 'No First Use' (NFU) is to have any credibility at all. In order to be able to deploy SSNs and SSBNs we need to develop the ability to design and construct these submarines in India. We wasted whatever little experience we had had in submarine construction by in-advisedly and prematurely shutting down the HDW programme after commissioning INS Shankul in 1994. While we were building these submarines in Mazagoan Docks, even before commissioning the first submarine, we inducted the 877 EKMs.-as if predetermined to stop submarine construction in India. We started our learning process all over again with the Scorpene programme in 2005, and the manner in which it is progressing, we seem to be slow learners. Instead of consolidating our skills and developing the industrial base required to sustain submarine building we seen to be intent upon diversifying the submarine production lines. The sad truth is that our conventional submarine production capability, which could have provided substantial support to indigenous SSN and SSBN building, is nonexistent. If we have to deter the Chinese we need to be able to deploy at least 6 -8 SSNs and a number of SSBNs depending on their weapons capability.

    b) Surveillance and Reconnaissance
    The main stay of airborne ASW surveillance was based on the IL38s and the TU142s obtained from the Russians. It took the Navy many years to convince the government of the need to move away from Russian technology especially with regard to ASW and C4I issues. The induction of the P8Is may bring in a qualitative jump in our air ASW capability. While surveillance efficiency may have improved, the problem that the exploitable vastness of the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea still pose great challenges in the initial detection of submarines. Initial detection is always the vital first step in ASW.

    c) Strategic ASW
    In order to be able to improve the probability of detection of submarines we need to have sustained surveillance efforts both in the spatial and temporal domains. The only cost effective method is the deployment of sea bed arrays to augment air borne ASW. Though NPOL have worked on this programme it has so not reached the deployable stage. So is the case with the indigenous long range sonobuoy and Nagin towed array systems.

    We are nowhere close to mastering crucial technology areas of submarine design and construction and the development of strategic ASW systems. We are still struggling to send the Arihant to sea. The indigenous conventional submarine building programme is in a limbo- with the delays in the Scorpene programme and the Hamletitude in decision making on the Project 75i. There are no visible signs of an SSN construction programme.

    In the world of strategic deterrence , credibility is established only by capability and reinforced by posture and resolve. If we do not have capability there can be no deterrence. If we do not have the capability to challenge or riposte we will become so fearsome of the enemy capability that we will have no bargaining chips to negotiate. We will become self deterred by our incapacity. A Nuclear submarine poses a considerable threat. A few of them can cut off our lines of communication to our island territories and place at risk critical targets which lie within 800 kms of the coast.

    The immediate need is to create capability to give credence to our policy. It was envisioned that the submarine building capability would be achieved through the "consortium approach by a web of public-private partnership." This web of capability building has so far remained knotted in the confused web of decision making. The MoDs priority in trying to keep PSU and defence shipyards afloat appears to be at cross purposes with the requirement TOestablish, consolidate and imbibe submarine design and construction capability.

    China's SSN deployment threatens India's second-strike capability
     
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  3. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    There are news reports of Russia helping China acquire a new class of advanced 5th generation submarines (Kalina Class submarine). India should also ask for the same technology from Russia so as to counter Chinese SSN threat in the Indian Ocean..

    Russia to give China more advanced submarine technology
    Staff Reporter, 25-03-2014. wantchinatimes.com

    LINK: wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20140325000079&cid=1101

     
  4. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    What we really need to do as I've been saying forever on this forum now is to have multiple lines of production we need to have the Scorpenes being built simultaneously in France and In India(Mazagon docks) while Amurs are built Simultaneously in Russia and CSL. Along with the SSK lines we need to have multiple SSN lines open with SSN's being built at the L7T yards at chennai while our SSBN's are built at Vizag.Without this breakneck building speed we will stand little chance against the PLAN.
     
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  5. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    On 12 September 2011, it was announced that Pipavav Shipyard, a shipbuilding company in Gujarat entered a joint venture with Mazagon Dock Limited to collaborately build warships and submarines using Pipavav's facilities. The deal will free up the congested order book of Mazagon shipyard and will give Pipavav a much needed boost in defence shipbuilding. It is one of the largest and leading shipbuilding company in India, spread over 500 acres (2.0 km2). It has access to over 720 meters of exclusive waterfront.

    Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipavav_Shipyard
     
  6. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Russia To Provide China With Kalina-Class Submarines

    And why is it that so many on DFI are in love with Putin?
     
  7. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The issue being that this collaboration came to naught as the whole process of redistributing orders has been stuck in red tape till date .
     
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  8. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    As there is a saying goes by, ' Best anti-submarine system is another Submarine .. '

    We can make our own SSK under 1000 tons without AIP, This can be done at very fast rate ..

    We have tot from HDW-209 submarines and our own experience from Arihant class SSNB ..

    Such small submarine can be effective for regional defense, Where as bigger SSK will can be deployed beyond control waters ..

    This is an another option we have ..
     
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  9. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    Great comment:thumb:

    Unfortunetely we don't have peoples like you heading MOD , Armed force , NSA on top of that Parliament cabinet

    we are just happy blameing each other & playing at safer size jepordizing defence prepardness:sad:
     
  10. xuxu

    xuxu Regular Member

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    My god, don't make Chinese looks as a stupid, if attack India, China will never use nuke missile from subs, why?

    Bcs from land is more comfort than from subs, from land only cheap 1000km range missiles can reach most cities of India and more safe; from subs, let subs in danger overseas after fire missiles and wast the 8000km range nuke missiles; If China's subs go in to Indian Sea, that means hold strength in deep sea from deep South China Sea, subs from South China Sea to Indian Ocean then Cruise to Pacific Ocean,and then come back; difficult to enter Pacific Ocean since the shallow water and the anti-subs net in first island chain.
     
  11. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Few Notes :

    1. No one talking about SSBN but SSN & SSK ..

    2. At this discussion we are not concern about PLAN SSN, They are most louder SSN at present ..

    3. We are busy criticizing our own system ..

    I hope you read the title and article so does comment before posting a reply ..

     
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  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Duh we are not talking about SSBNs we are talking about SSKs and SSGNs. We are worried about our carriers and other ships that will be vulnerable if we don't have our own killer subs.
     
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  13. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    How will you fit that into the budget?
     
  14. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    There is a simpler, cheaper solution to the problem: simply sign the damn agreement formalizing the LoAC, trade basing rights at Sanya for basing rights at Mumbai, and set up joint anti-piracy patrols with the PLAN along China's trade routes in the IOR.
     
  15. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    we can have cheap solutions to counter china. Put those pontoon all along Indian Coast and in lakes with missiles and live nukes. 20 -30 of these will be enough it will second strike capability till 5-8 ATV become operational.
     
  16. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    OFF Topic!!
    You mean Aksai Chin should be handed over to India :suspicious:
     
  17. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    We are ready to sign right after you hand over Aksai Chin, Shaksgham valley and recognize Arunachal Pradesh as part of India and give up all claims over it. Simple. Do when do we sign?
     
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  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    They will not cost much. Its a great idea to get HDWs back into production using our ToT plus our know how on scorpene and Arihant. Make them in numbers. They can be the LCAs of the navy. Cheap and in numbers for area defence while bigger boats go on other mission
     
  19. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    You are going way off topic and inviting flame to your well placed post , Do you understand this .. ?

     
  20. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Doing what he suggested requires an additional $10bn outlay on a $40bn defense budget - or a tripling of the Navy's capital budget. Where are you getting that money from?
     

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