Indian Navy Developments & Discussions

Parthy

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Cochin Shipyard Limited was awarded an order worth Rs.1,500 crore to build twenty fast patrol vessels (FPV) for the Coast Guard, the company said here on Thursday. According to the shipyard, this is the single biggest contract executed by Coast Guard and would go a long way to beef up the coastal security of the country.

"This order has been secured under very severe competition from defence and private yards and has taken the present order book position of the company to 36 ships valued at Rs.6,000 crore," said the release. The order book consists of 15 offshore support ships for various international owners and the Coast Guard order for 20 FPVs.

Besides, the yard is executing the indigenous aircraft carrier project for the Indian Navy. Cochin Shipyard is one of the leading ship building and repair firms in the country. The FPVs have a speed of 35 knots and length of 50 metres. These are used for patrolling coastal areas.

Under the contract, the first ship is to be delivered within 20 months and one every three months thereafter.
 

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Request For Information Issued for Indian Navy Surveillance Aircraft, UAVs



Indian Navy is looking to acquire six to eight Medium-Range Surveillance Aircraft and High Altitude Long Range UAVs. Defence Ministry floated RFIs (request for information) for the surveillance aircrafts and UAVs newspaper reports indicated. Specifications for the Medium-Range Surveillance Aircraft require an operating range of over 350 nautical miles while the requirements for the UAV are service ceiling above 40,000 feet and endurance of over 25 hours.

These come in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attacks where Pakistan based terrorists used the sea route to reach Indian soil. India is also conducting a major upgrade for the Coast Guard.





http://www.india-defence.com/reports-4667
 

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INS Shakti, The New Indian Warship Launched In Italy

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has launched a new warship for Indian Navy. The launch ceremony was a colourful event with recitation of Vedic hymns.

The newly launched INS Shakti was showcased to the world at the Sestri Ponente yard in Genoa on Monday. In 2008, Fincantieri had signed a 300 million euro deal to build two vessels.

At the launch, the wife of India's Ambassador to Italy Debabrata Saha, Homai Saha was present and she inaugurated the warship.

Meanwhile, INS Deepak the other offering from Italy will also be launched soon. It is expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy at the end of 2010 as it is in the initial stages of trial.

It is reported that the special care has been taken in designing both, INS Shakti and the INS Deepak. Both the warships comprises of double hulls in order to provide high safety in the event of oil spillage.

http://www.india-server.com/news/ins-shakti-the-new-indian-warship-34348.html
 

vikramrana_1812

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India to Boost Ties with Vietnam

India Defence Online, New Delhi — India reflected its continued solidarity towards other Asian nations by taking part and contributing significantly in the recently concluded ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus Eight (ADMM+8) in Hanoi. ADMM+8 is a gathering of Asean Defence Ministers and their counterparts beyond the region including Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the US.

The current ADMM+8 in Hanoi was the first meeting and it provides an inclusive yet focused configuration which brings together the defence establishments of all the key players in the region. The group aims to take measures collectively to handle security issues such as terrorism, piracy, disaster relief and transnational crime. ADMM+8 will meet every three years subsequently.

During the recently concluded ADMM+8 in Hanoi, Indian Defence Minister A.K. Anthony confirmed his solidarity towards this effort and held promising bi-lateral talks with the top Vietnamese leadership including President Nguyen Minh Triet, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh. Various global and regional security issues were discussed and India's role in the forum was highly appreciated.

After concluding the meeting, the Indian Defence Minister has announced that he will provide support to Vietnam to enhance and upgrade the capabilities of its three services in general and it's Navy in particular. Besides upgrading various platforms for Vietnam, the Armies of the two countries will also cooperate in areas like IT and English Training of Vietnamese Army personnel and joint training in mountain and jungle warfare will be held in India next year.

The idea of a new security grouping such as the ADMM+8 has gained momentum in the past few years and a host of models are coming up. An Asia-Pacific Community (APC) that included the US, Japan, China and India is also being conceived by Australia. The new security set-up such as the ADMM+8 will also allow countries to cooperate in practical ways such as multilateral military exercises. The new structure will develop stronger links with counterparts from outside the region.

http://indiadefenceonline.com/2256/india-to-boost-ties-with-vietnam/
 

Parthy

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Air arm to highlight neglect at naval conference

The Indian navy's air arm will make a presentation, a copy of which is with DNA, at the ongoing biannual four-day naval commanders' conference in New Delhi, to draw the attention of the top brass to its neglect.

It will seek midlife upgrades, computerisation, additional air stations and acquisitions for sustenance. The naval commanders will talk new acquisitions, better and upgraded infrastructure for aircraft maintenance, repair, new naval air stations and enclaves.

The navy has also proposed an auto air traffic management system, much like Indian Air Force (IAF). It has a manual system for control of air traffic, but wants a computerised one to enable auto exchange of flight data, efficient communication interface and instant sharing of flight messages.

Upgrade of naval aircraft yards (NAYs) and material organisations (MO) on the lines of IAF's BRDs (base repair depots), repairs, maintenance and spares have been proposed, and, ministry of defence (MoD) is considering.

There are two NAYs, in Goa for eastern-origin aircraft, and in Kochi for western-origin aircraft.

MiG-29Ks, which were inducted into the navy in February and undergoing trials, will have one squadron each in Goa and Visakhapatnam.

Limited upgrade of Sea Harriers, according to the presentation report, has been completed, and a product support agreement concluded with BAE Systems till 2015. A proposal for spares support for five years is expected by next month. Repairs to a damaged Kamov-31 helicopter are on the anvil and six Kamov-28 choppers are due for overhauling and midlife upgrade, which includes fitting multi-function displays in cockpits and a complete change of avionics and sensors.

The navy has also proposed setting up five additional air stations in Belgaum (Karnataka), Ratnagiri (Maharashtra), Porbandar (Gujarat), Campbell Bay (Great Nicobar) and Shibpur (Bengal) for maritime reconnaissance by choppers.

The navy has seven air stations in Goa, Visakhapatnam, Rajali, Port Blair, Shikra in Mumbai, Kochi and Ramnad in Tamil Nadu. There is a case for setting up four air enclaves.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_air-arm-to-highlight-neglect-at-naval-conference_1458389
 

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With China making forays, Antony asks Navy to assert its hold over IOR

With China making frequent forays into the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday asked the Navy to assert its hold over the IOR and ensure it remained that way in the future.

Inaugurating a four-day Navy Commanders Conference here, Antony also wanted the maritime force to increase its contacts with the navies of other IOR countries to strengthen ties, mutual trust with them and to streamline joint operations.

"The complex maritime security environment in our region requires the Navy to maintain a state of perpetual readiness operationally. You must factor in the need to be ready at all times prominently, while planning for the future.

"At the same time, we need to maintain -- and even increase the momentum of our navy-to-navy contact with the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean. Such contacts strengthen professional ties, mutual trust and streamline inter-operability issues," he said in his address.

Noting that the navy's manifold responsibilities in the IOR were crucial as well as sensitive from the nation's economic prosperity, safety and security point of view, he said India's maritime interest must "guide and shape" the conduct of naval operations during peace and creation of futuristic capabilities.

The Navy commanders will during the conference discuss the idea of India being the "net security provider" for IOR and how it could take up this role in a much more assertive manner.

This debate comes at a time when China has been maintaining naval units in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations and its warships have been making frequent visits to IOR nations, apart from helping out Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in building ports.

Referring to piracy as "a major area of concern" in IOR, the Minister said navy's presence in the sea brigands-affected areas showed India's commitment and resolve to contribute its might in dealing with such threats.

Stressing the need for more contacts with other maritime nations in a calibrated manner, Antony said, "There is a need to sustain the momentum of cooperation with Sri Lanka to ensure peaceful fishing on either side of the International Maritime Boundary Line and to prevent a possible resurgence of the LTTE."

He also said New Delhi was committed to the continued deployment of ships and aircraft for enhanced surveillance off the coast of Maldives and Seychelles to ensure maritime security from piracy, who have of late ventured into those waters from the Gulf of Aden off Somali coast.

"We also need to engage like-minded African states in the western IOR such as Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya to enhance our strengths and contribute to peace and stability, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also in the entire IOR," he added.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/with-china-making-forays-antony-asks-navy-to-assert-its-hold-over-ior/703351/
 

Sridhar

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can this be India for P 15 A destroyers with Barak ?

First Deliveries of Israel Aerospace Industries' Multi Function Surveillance & Threat Alert Radar to a foreign customer


Oct 26, 2010

MF- STAR Defense scenario



Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) delivered it's first multi function surveillance and threat alert radar (MF- STAR) to a foreign customer. IAI will display a 1:2 scale MF- STAR model at the 22nd International Naval Defense & Maritime Exhibition and Conference, EURONAVAL 2010, October 25 to October 29, 2010 in Paris, France (Booth C24).
The MF- STAR is an advanced all-weather, day/night radar capable of performing various missions simultaneously such as multiple target tracking and identification, defense munitions guidance, and more. It provides a 360° defense against a wide variety of airborne platforms and munitions.
The MF-STAR, developed by ELTA Systems Ltd. d an IAI group and subsidiary, is the first fully digital operational naval AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) in the world. Fiber optic cables replaced the waveguide and coax cables which substantially reduced its weight so it can be installed onboard small frigates or corvettes. MF-STAR can create multiple simultaneous beams in different directions. The technology of the radar array electronics is implemented in tiles laid in parallel to the array thus providing significantly reduced antenna weight.
Nissim Hadas, IAI Corporate Vice President and President of ELTA, said:" ELTA has a great reputation producing maritime radar systems for diverse applications. We supply our customers with high quality, cutting edge technology, so their needs are fully satisfied and the challenges they face in different arenas, are answered".
http://www.iai.co.il/32981-41622-en/MediaRoom_News.aspx
 
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RFI issued for Indian Navy Surveillance, UAVs

Indian Navy to acquire six to eight Medium-Range Surveillance Aircraft and High Altitude Long range UAVs. Defence Ministry floated RFIs (request for information) for the surveillance aircrafts and UAVs newspaper reports indicated.

Specifications for the Medium-Range Surveillance Aircraft require an operating range of over 350 nautical miles while the requirements for the UAV are service ceiling above 40,000 feet and endurance of over 25 hours.

India is also conducting a major upgrade for the Coast Guard.

idrw.org
 

vikramrana_1812

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Brahmos SL will be integrated with Scorpion Submarines
Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos has prepared a new version of the same name by a supersonic cruise missile, which can be applied to submarines. About this Itar-Tass on passing this exhibition Euronaval 2010 "said managing co-director of the joint venture BrahMos Alexander Maksichev.

"The rocket is ready for use from submarines," – he said, recalling that the carriers of this variant of a cruise missile submarines will be like "Scorpion," the order for which the Indian Navy deployed in France. Maksichev noted that in the near future will be summed up the tender for another batch of submarines. "We have initiated work to a set of airborne weapons and submarines of the party was included missile complex" BrahMos ", – said Maksichev.
Cruise missile BrahMos are in service with Indian Army and Indian Navy surface ships. Batch of missiles in ground-based version and ordered the Air Force of this country. In addition, work on adaptation BrahMos to the Su-30MKI Indian Air Force.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=13675

http://idrw.org/?p=1071
 

vikramrana_1812

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Naval base to come up at Thoothukudi


NEW DELHI: Thoothukudi and Paradip would be developed into forward operating bases by the Navy as it seeks to strengthen its position on the eastern coast.
The move is aimed at reducing the turn-around time of the eastern fleet that depended only on Visakhapatnam and Chennai for replenishments.

The west coast is already packed with the navy having forward operating bases at Porbandar and Mangalore apart from major hubs at Mumbai, Kochi and Karwar.

The government has finally given nod to navy's proposal and these bases would now be developed in the next two to three years.

The issue of their development plan was discussed at the naval commanders' conference that got underway in New Delhi.

It would not be a difficult task as Paradip and Thoothukudi are already major ports and would be able to meet navy's logistical demands, said officials.

Along with developing new bases, the navy will also seek to engage the Indian Ocean countries in a far more aggressive manner in a move to counter China's growing footprints in the region.

Defence Minister A K Antony told naval commanders to concentrate on this area and extend every possible help to smaller nations.

The effort has already begun with New Delhi gifting basic patrol aircraft to Seychelles.

Antony said India is committed to deploying ships and aircraft for surveillance of seas near Maldives and Seychelles.

Navy has been asked to concentrate particularly on friendly African countries in the western Indian Ocean region particularly Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. Under the same plan, navy had organised a three-nation exercise earlier this year involving Brazil and South African off the African coast.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=13676
 

vikramrana_1812

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Indian Navy To Boost Contact With Littoral Countries
NEW DELHI - Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony has asked the Navy to increase Navy-to-Navy contact with the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean. This move comes five years after the service incorporated preparation for littoral warfare as part of Navy doctrine.

Addressing the top commanders at a meeting here Oct. 27, Antony said, "The complex maritime security environment in our region requires the Navy to maintain a state of perpetual readiness operationally. You must factor in the need to be ready at all times prominently, while planning for the future. At the same time, we need to maintain, and even increase, the momentum of our Navy-to-Navy contact with the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean. Such contacts strengthen professional ties and mutual trust, and streamline interoperability issues."
Related Topics
The Indian Navy has been acquiring sea-based assets for littoral warfare, including purchase of landing platform docks and long-range maritime surveillance aircraft, and plans to acquire at least three aircraft carriers in the next five to seven years, in addition to other assets.
India has increased its defense cooperation with Indian Ocean countries, especially Maldives and Seychelles.
Antony said New Delhi is committed to the continued deployment of ships and aircraft to improve surveillance off the coast of Maldives and Seychelles to ensure maritime security from piracy.
Naming some countries with which the Indian Navy should increase contacts, Antony said, "We also need to engage like-minded African states in the Western Indian Ocean Region, such as Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, to enhance our strengths and contribute to peace and stability, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also in the entire Indian Ocean Region," said an Indian Defence Ministry news release.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4983998&c=ASI&s=TOP
 

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Navy to buy anti-submarine bombs for aviation fleet

To strengthen its anti-submarine warfare capability, the Indian Navy will soon buy bombs that can be air-dropped to hit enemy vessels lurking in the dark underwaters.

The defence ministry has issued a request to original equipment manufacturers and vendors for information on such bombs, which could be USED by Navy's fixed-wing aircraft.

"The defence ministry intends to procure air-dropped underwater bombs for fixed wing aircraft (in service), to be used as an urgent attack weapon against submarines," a navy officer said in New Delhi.

"The bomb should be capable of being dropped from an aircraft for engaging a submarine in deep waters as well as those on surface and periscope depths," he said.

"We also are looking for bombs that could be launched from rotary wing (helicopters) platform too," he said.

The navy is searching for bombs that are effective in sinking submarines in tropical conditions that prevail in the Indian Ocean region in depths up to 1,000m.

"The bombs should have sufficient high explosive to destroy target submarine at proximity distance. The conventional warheads' shelf-life should be about 30 years," the officer said.

Apart from the bombs for war-time deployment, the navy will buy its practice version too, but it will be an operational bomb in all respects except the warhead, which would be replaced by inert material.

"We require the practice version to validate and train the air crew in bomb drop procedures. These versions will be reusable," he said.

If the navy decides to go in for a global tender for the deal, then the contract would entail an offset clause.

Under the clause, the winning contractor should plough back 30% of the deal amount back in Indian industries by either buying or making defence equipment here.

The navy's aviation wing currently operates Sea Harrier and MiG-29K fighters, Tupolev Tu-142 bomber, Dornier and IL-38 patrol aircraft, apart from Kamov, Sea King, Dhruv ALH, Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=13701
 

RPK

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http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?700621

Portuguese Navy Ship to Reach Goa on Nov 12


Portuguese navy's decorated sailing ship, NRP Sagres will be touching Goan shores on November 12, amidst warning given by freedom fighters against any celebrations to mark completion of 500 years of arrival of Vasco-da-Gama in Goa.

"The tallest ship of the Portuguese Navy, NRP Sagres is visiting Goa as a part of its 2010 circumnavigation of the world," Portugal's Consul General in Goa Dr Antonio Sabido Costa said.

The ship and its crew will be received in Mormugao port by Rear Admiral Sudhir Pillai, flag officer commander of Goa. It will be docked there from November 12 to November 16.

Costa said that the visit of the ship is to mark "the arrival of the Portuguese to the Orient and Extreme Orient, 500 years ago."

The freedom fighters in the state have warned the state government or any organisation against hosting any such celebration to mark arrival of Vasco-da-Gama in Goa.

Portuguese explorer Vasco-da-Gama was the first one to touch the land for trade. Later the Portuguese had captured this part of India and made it as their colony, which got liberated on December 19, 1961 by the Indian Army.

Meanwhile, the organisation of freedom fighters, who were jailed and even martyred during the liberation struggle have strongly objected to any celebration commemorating arrival of Vasco-da-Gama.

"We will protest. Let the state government put us behind bars and celebrate the occasion," said Naguesh Karmali, President, All Goa Freedom Fighters association.

Without referring to arrival of the ship, he said that no celebration would be allowed. Freedom fighters have decided that neither the state government nor any other institution will be allowed to celebrate the year.

Karmali, who was imprisoned during liberation struggle, said that the entire Portuguese rule was marked with oppression, harassment and torture.

"How can anyone celebrate the arrival of oppressors?" he questioned.

Freedom fighters have also demanded that names of Portuguese nationals given to various roads should be scrapped before December 19, 2010.

Karmali said that the roads are named after Portuguese leaders, who had unleashed terror on Goans.

The association has also taken strong objection to corporation of city of Panaji's recent move to name renovated garden as Garcia de Orte
 

Parthy

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Why India needs to opt in for Nuclear Submarines?

India's nuclear legend Dr Homi Nusserwanji Sethna (1924-2010) passed away on 5th September in Mumbai aged 86. In May 1974 Dr Sethna as Chairman of India's Atomic Commission(AEC) which was set up in then Bombay, had ordered preparations for India's plutonium Pu-239 based, peaceful nuclear explosion(PNE) at Pokhran and was camping in New Delhi. Dr Raja Ramanna Director BARC was on site immersing the cores in the deep tunnels constructed by Indian Army engineers and with some help from an NRI company, and connecting the detonating cables with DRDO help. The bomb's architect Dr Sethna reportedly briefed Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi on the preparations, "I am pushing in the device (bomb) tomorrow and after that, do not say remove it because I cannot. You cannot tell me to stop."

"Go ahead", Indira replied, " Are you frightened ?," she asked. "I am not. I am only telling you there is no going back now. That is all," Homi answered in his no nonsense manner, that he was known for..

Homi Sethna a nuclear legend of India, was educated as a chemical engineer in Ann Arbour Michigan and took over in times when Dr Homi Bhabha and Dr Vikram Sarabhai had passed away and left a void. Earlier in his career, he was responsible for setting up of the thorium extraction plant at Alwaye in Kerala for separation of rare earth from Monazite sands, and came in to contact with naval officers in Cochin, including then Commodore SG Karmarkar Commodore in Charge Cochin (COMCHIN). Later Sethna set up the plant for the production of nuclear grade uranium metal at Trombay, and also set up the Plutonium Reprocessing Plant(PRP) there itself in 1959. India Strategic is proud to recount Dr Sethna's support to the Indian Navy and what is now Indian Navy's ambitions to build and operate nuclear submarines. The story of Indian Navy's quest for nuclear submarines needs recounting.

NUCLEAR SUBMARINES ARE INESCAPABLE FOR NUCLEAR DETERRENCE

The Indian Navy has always looked ahead, and its ambitious horizons have always included plans to acquire, build and operate nuclear submarines. Sethna supported that, and it is essential to appreciate why India needs expensive home built nuclear submarines like the 6,500 ton INS Arihant (ATV) which is being readied for sea trials and deep diving trials at the Ship Building Center(SBC) at Vishakapatnam. The DRDO-Navy project is being directed by Director General ATV Vice Admiral DSP Verma, a former Chief of Material of the Indian Navy, from the offices of Akshanka( means Hope) in New Delhi, under the control of a board in PMO with the Prime Minister as its head. Another large classified establishment under Akshanka, the Directorate of Marine Engineering Technology (DMET) at Hyderabad has pioneered and tested all engineering equipment inducted from Indian industry for the INS Arihant, and continues to seek suppliers for sea going machinery that goes in to a submarine but its activities are classified, despite all suppliers having all the details. It's a dichotomy.

A large 8,500 ton nuclear Akula class submarine of Project 971, the Nerpa is also being taken on lease from Russia for training and the Indian crew is likely to commission the boat later this year, if all is equal. The boat had suffered a fire and explosion and the damage has been repaired at Vladivostok. The nuclear submarines are planned to augment the Navy's long grey line of 32 warships and 6 diesel propelled Scorpene submarines including two aircraft carriers that are under construction, and on order in India and abroad. A nuclear boat with its organic under water launched nuclear missiles, is stealth at its best and is the most proven form of deterrence against another nuclear armed adversary. India has two nuclear neighbors.

The world's five nuclear weapon NPT states USA, Russia, France, UK and China, continue to maintain and design nuclear submarines capable of launching nuclear tipped missiles besides, air and land launched nuclear missiles. UK and France have admittedly reduced their land and air launched nuclear assets, but they are on course to build newer nuclear submarines despite the burden on their defence budgets, that this class of nuclear boats impose. A nuclear submarine costs around $2 bill a piece, is expensive to maintain, but it is an essential and vital strategic asset of a nation.

India has yet to achieve a credible 'Triad' deterrence capability to protect its national interests which includes its growing economy slated to grow faster in the coming decades. The Chinese PLA Navy has been pursuing a vigorous programme to build up its Han, Xia(093), 094 and 095 class of nuclear submarines which can launch short range missiles from SSNs, and long range 5000km ICBMs like the JL-1 derived from the DF-31 from SSBMs, and if India is to join the big league which is now on the cards, then it has little option but to have a line of SSN and SSBM nuclear submarines to ensure deterrence, akin to insurance against nuclear states. One however hopes, the use of nuclear weapons is never resorted to.

Politicians, the public at large and even business leaders in India have to appreciate that if you do not have security, then you will have no governance or business in a growing economy. National security is a national pre-requisite, and this is what late Dr HN Sethna who when he was working as Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Center Bombay in the 1960s producing weapon grade plutonium(P-239) from waste from nuclear reactors, always emphasized in conversations with naval officers in Bombay. His education in USA had fired his imagination on security and nuclear issues. He often visited the USO club's golf course which was close to the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research(TIFR) in Colaba. TIFR was constructed on naval land adjacent to Navy Nagar, and a number of 'hush hush research projects' were conducted there and a few technical naval officers took short courses at TIFR.

Rear Admiral SG Karmarkar, the first Indian officer who had commanded British officers on INS Kistna had by then become Flag Officer Bombay(1963-65). Dr Sethna was known to him from his Cochin days and hosted him at Northbrooke House next to the Atomic Energy Commission Office in the Old Yacht Club premises at Apollo Bunder near the Taj Mahal Hotel. Sethna took the Admiral to visits to Tarapur Nuclear Power project and BARC, and this writer as Flag Lt accompanied the Admiral on one visit to Tarapur when a reactor was being commissioned. Dr Sethna who had served under Dr Homi Bhabha is acknowledged is as being the prime architect of India's nuclear weapons programme with Dr Raja Ramanna. They both successfully demonstrated capability to build indegenious nuclear bombs in May 1974 and 'Smiling Buddha' took under his stewardship when he was the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, but he was a modest person and never hogged the lime light and diligently pursued his tasks and interests.

NUCLEAR PROPULSION AND WARFARE

Many naval officers recall Sethna tell young naval officers in Mumbai to dream of nuclear propulsion. He did this in times when officially Indian Armed Forces were not taught offensive nuclear doctrines. Nuclear and nuclear warfare in India's context was not in India's toxilogy or lexicon as a subject in Indian staff colleges, but it is less known that all major Indian Naval ships have always been fitted to fight through and defend themselves against a nuclear explosion. All major naval ships have 'citadel capability' to button up the ship and re-circulate internal air and generate oxygen like a submarine does. Every major warship can pre- wet the whole ship structure to cleanse nuclear fallout. A warship's raison d'etre is "To Float, To Move, To Fight' even thorough a nuclear explosion at sea.

Every IN navigator is taught to steer the ship away from the centre of a nuclear bomb explosion at sea. The Fleet regularly exercises nuclear explosion drill and ships are required to calculate a moving geographic position called 'Roaming Romeo'(the centre of explosion and fallout) depending on the direction of the wind, and steer a safe course to evade the nuclear fallout at high speed, with the ship's company sealed breathing circulated and re-oxidised air.

Nuclear warfare drill has been taught to every naval officer since the 50s, and officials from Bharat Atomic Energy Centre(BARC) at Mumbai where India's plutonium nuclear bombs(cores) are currently stored, regularly gave lectures on board ships on how to check radiation levels, apply radiation cleansing techniques and calibrate the naval ships fixed and portable electromagnetic Rontogen X-radiation meters. Nuclear bomb effects and methods of delivery is bread and butter to the youngest of Indian naval officer at sea, as it forms a part of the inspection routine by the Fleet Commander. It is a legacy of the British ships Indian Navy acquired after partition.

It is to Dr Sethna's credit that he as AEC Chairman he opened the secret portals of India's nuclear establishment BARC in 1976 which was under Dr Raja Ramanna then and accepted a team of four naval officers led by then Capts PN Agarwala and Bharat Bhusan both very bright engineer officers trained at the Royal Naval Engineering College at Manaden Plymouth, to form a Diesel Propulsion Research Team(DPRT) at BARC. DPRT was a subterfuge for designing a nuclear propulsion plant. Cdrs Gurmit Singh and Cdr BK Subbarao were also in the team, and in later years Subbarao designed a submarine nuclear power plant but crossed swords with Dr Raja Ramanna. Bhusan later headed the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) nuclear project and subsequently many naval officers were trained in nuclear engineering at BARC and transferred to the the DRDO-Navy classified ATV project, which fructified in the launching of INS Arihant by PM's wife Mrs Gursharan Kaur on 22nd August,2009 at Vishakapatnam.

INS Arihant a 7,000 ton medium sized nuclear propulsion technology demonstrator submarine and is being readied to go to sea and will be fitted with the 700km Sagarika K-15 solid fuel nuclear tipped missile, and it will possess India's first underwater launched deterrent, if all is equal. India already has air and land launched nuclear arsenals, and two of Navy's four off shore patrol vessels (OPVs) INS Subhadra and Suvarna can launch one 350km liquid fuelled nuclear tipped Dhanush missile each. These launch platforms operate on surface and can be located from visual and radar observations and from satellites and are vulnerable.

ADMIRAL SERGIE GORSHKOV SUPPORTED LEASE OF INS CHAKRA

It needs recall that at a nuclear session at India International Center three years ago, when India's nuclear deal was being pursued with USA, the speakers included India's doyen nuclear analyst K Subrahmanyam, Raja Mohan of the Indian Express and others. Former PM I K Gujral shared an anecdote which holds relevance for the Indian Navy's plans and ambitions to possess nuclear submarines with under water launched long range missiles. IK Gujral unveiled how in 1979 when he was Ambassador in Russia and C Subramaniam and K Subrahmanyam were the Defence Minister and Defence Secretary (Production) respectively in MOD, he was tasked to meet Admiral Sergei Gorshkov and seek help and guidance on India's quest for nuclear submarines, which were prompted by the Indian Navy, and supported by Dr Raja Ramanna. Admiral of the Fleet Sergei Gorshkov known to be a supporter of the Indian Navy and officially acknowledged as the 'Benefactor of the modern Indian Navy' was one of the finest naval minds of the last century. When Shri Gujral met him he made him look at the chart/map of the Indian Ocean and went on to explain to Gujral how India was hemmed in by the Straits on both sides and said China has nuclear submarines and so India must also have nuclear submarines. That was the time when relations between Russia and China had soured. That led to the birth of the ATV and later the lease of INS Chakra.

From 1983 under the guidance of late Dr Raja Ramanna who worked under Dr HN Sethna , the ATV project took off and a former roommate of Dr Raja Rammana, Vice Admiral M K Roy, when they were living together in digs in London was made the first DG. The rest is history, and INS Chakra was given by Russia on lease to the Indian Navy from 1987 to 1991 despite rumblings in the West, and the IN cut its teeth in nuclear submarine operations and handling with the full support of BARC which opened its portals and a large number of naval officers hold M(Tech) degrees in nuclear engineering from BARC. The nuclear reactor in INS Chakra was maintained by Russians on board and all activities kept secret, including those of the ATV even from other service chiefs, and senior officers of the Indian Navy.

It was only six years ago that then Defence Ministers of India Pranab Mukherjee and Sergei Ivanov of Russia, jointly acknowledged the ATV project in pubic in Moscow for the first time and wowed to complete it. India also secretly clinched the deal to take Akula nulcear submarines on lease on the lines of the INS Chakra, but with full control. Many feel Russia readily agreed, as the funding for rejuvenating the Akulas, Nerpa and Jaguar came through the advances for the 1000X 2 Kundankulam nuclear power projects, and they needed the business. A few thousand of crores has also been spent on INS Arihant which has Russian assistance and equipment makes it the next most expensive DRDO project along with the LCA. Possibly the most expensive.

NUCLEAR SUBMARINES AND DIESEL SUBMARINES A COMPARISION

A nuclear Submarine force is the right option for countries with large oceans to patrol and though this issue has never been debated in India, it must be stated that nuclear submarines are very expensive technological toys. The cost of buying or building nuclear submarines is approximately 50 % to 75% higher per unit than diesel- electric powered boats but has greater capabilities. Nuke boats cruise three times faster , have a greater sustained speed underwater, and an unlimited range. For this reason larger number of diesel units are required for the same duty. Higher speeds by diesel propelled boats for very short period deplete their underwater batteries in few hours, and without resorting to recharge they then become incapable and vulnerable to the point of helplessness. PNS Hangor under then Cdr Tasneem of Pakistan almost suffered this fate in 1971, after attacking INS Kuthar which Hangor's torpedoes missed, but sunk INS Khukri with the loss of 168 souls. However the Captain of Hangor made an ingenious get away by daring to navigate in shallow waters, to escape the Indian Navy ships and submarines that were deployed off Diu. Nuclear submarines cannot do that in shallow waters.

Diesel submarines are warships of position, whereas nuclear submarines are vehicles of maneuver. Diesel subs are suited for small shallow seas with straits to block like the Malacca Straits and the Baltic hence Singapore has opted for small submarines, but when rapid movements over long ocean distances are required, nuclear propulsion is the desired choice and India must afford it. A conventional boat needs to be in the vicinity of its target . A nuclear boat can be dispatched to intercept or can track and attack when ordered. The sinking of the Argentinean's cruiser General Belgrano in the Falklands war is the most recent demonstration of the capability when HMS Conqueror which was dispatched at full speed for 8000miles submerged all the way. Went and intercepted the Argentinean Navy's cruiser. No conventional submarines could have achieved this feat and bottled up the whole Argentinean fleet. Unlike the diesel electric boats, which have to surface to recharge batteries about 20 percent of their time at sea, the nuclear submarine does not have to come up and surface and then effectively broadcast its position with noisy engines for sonars to detect it. The motto of nuclear submarines is 'Run Deep, Run Silent, Run Long'.

The diesel–electric submarine can be a useful weapon provided it can get to the right place at the right time. Conversely a nuclear powered boat, which can stay submerged indefinitely run at high speeds indefinitely, has enormous flexibility. A nuclear powered boat running silent , fast and deep can be switched very quickly from, for example , a wartime role of barrier patrol against hostile submarine in a specific area to convoy escort ships across an ocean, or land saboteurs secretly.

In its frequent surfacing, the diesel- electric submarine is highly vulnerable to visual, acoustic and radar detection and thus open to attack by other submarines, aircraft and surface ships. The nuclear boat's reactor also produces much more electrical power than diesel electric submarines and makes its 'pear shaped hull' possible to operate at much higher speeds for its highly powered sonar detection systems , provide more oxygen re-generation and unlimited water supply. The mere threat of a nuclear powered submarine in an area inhibits an opponent and acts as a powerful deterrent. Very rigorous safety standards have to be followed by navies building and operating nuclear submarines and most have ensured nuclear accident free operations. The US Navy for example has used nuclear propulsion for more than 40 years and accumulated more than 3600 reactor years of operation.

CONCLUSION

The importance of nuclear propulsion and nuclear submarines needs publicity. Once the importance and inescapable need for nuclear submarines is accepted by India and the Indian Navy becomes confident and masters nuclear propulsion along the way, the nation's Navy should be encouraged to think of nuclear propulsion for all its major naval warships of the future especially aircraft carriers that the Indian Navy is planning for the second decade of the 21st century. This will be a tribute to Drs Homi Bhabha, Homi Sethna and Raja Ramanna who showed the way. The cost of fossil fuel is set to rise exponentially and India which is a net importer of hydro carbons has to plan for alternate fuels and savings. Navies are large consumers of oil. The Government has maintained overt secrecy over all the equipment fitted in INS Arihant and kept a veil over the Indian designed and Indian built small nuclear reactor in the boat, which was a joint effort by BARC and Indian industry. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh admitted that Indian industry has largely contributed to the building of INS Arihant and names of companies like Larsen& Toubro Ltd, Walchandnagar Industries Ltd, Bharat Heavy Elecriclas Ltd, Bharat Electronics Ltd, Tata Group and pump makers like Khosla and Kirloskar Pumps Ltd and some small suppliers and fabricators are known, but not their deeds. These need to be made public as it is reported two more larger Arihant class with modifications to take additional missiles is on the cards.

http://frontierindia.net/why-india-needs-to-opt-in-for-nuclear-submarines
 
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