SOURCE: ASHOK VERMA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
As China launches its first aircraft carrier built entirely on its own and now also has made its intention clear to develop and field Six aircraft carriers, last two being Nuclear powered long endurance Aircraft Carriers, India on other hands in its response to emerging Chinese Aircraft Carrier threat also has started working on ‘Carrier-Killer’ Missiles which has potential to disable or sink Aircraft Carriers.
Indian Military planners have already set the ball rolling and have initiated development of multiple anti-ship missile (AShM) projects and some with ‘Carrier-Killer’ capabilities to ensure that Chineses Aircraft carrier won’t be able to dominate over Indian Navy in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
1) PJ-10/BrahMos: When First Indo-Russian Joint venture PJ-10 was test fired in 2001 it was instantly was dubbed as ‘Carrier-Killer’ due to its ability to fly at supersonic regime which also had enough kinetic and firepower to take down ship as big as an aircraft carrier , but narration was quickly changed since at that time both Pakistan and China didn’t possess any aircraft carriers and the message could have been simply misinterpreted by Americans as a threat to their Super Carriers .
Regular Advancement and recent entry into MTCR regime have opened up its range limits and key improvements like S manoeuvre and Steep drive capabilities have only made it India’s potent ‘Carrier-Killer’ AShM system.
2) Project Pralay: DRDO has been asked to fast track development of a Naval variant of Cruise Hybrid Shaurya Missile which will have true ‘Carrier-Killer’ potentials and also will be first missile system developed specifically for taking down Aircraft Carriers. Pralay with reduced supersonic speed, unpredictable flight regime with the same range of 2000km will be specifically developed to search and hunt Aircraft Carriers. The missile system is also unique in nature since there is no direct parallel system in the world for comparison.
3) Project XX: BrahMos and DRDO have confirmed that they are jointly developing a Sub-Sonic Anti-ship missile system which will have a second stage to perform a supersonic sprint in the terminal approach to the target so that it will reduce the time that target’s defence systems have to react. New Missile under development cannot be specifically called ‘Carrier-Killer’ but will be very effective in overpowering other surface vessels like Destroyers and frigates which are part of carrier battle group (CVBG) which have the primary task to protect and escort aircraft carrier.
4) Naval Nirbhay: the Last block in India’s AShM family will be low-cost Cruise missile which can be launched from Surface and Sub-surface Naval platforms to target other warships. Delays in the development of Land-based Nirbhay has considerably delayed the program but the intention to develop a Naval variant of Sub-sonic Nirbhay cruise missile has been cleared by Indian Navy.
Conclusion: By the time Chinese Aircraft carriers are inducted into Chineses Naval fleet and start their deployment in Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Indian Navy will have enough fire power with the development of a family of multiple anti-ship missiles (AShM) which will ensure Indian Navy still remain king in its own backyard.