SOURCE: Anand SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
After nearly 40 years of Research and Development, India’s less talked about Nuclear submarine program finally seems to have hit expressway after it recently launched its Second Nuclear ballistic missile Submarine and have plans to launch 2 more improve Arihant Class Submarines in next 5 years which will further strengthen India’s Nuclear Triad.
Indian Naval chief recently also confirmed to Indian media that ground developmental work for developing Six Indigenous Nuclear Attack Submarine has already started and this one will have a quick turnaround time and will not take decades to become fruitful.
Local development of Nuclear Arihant and Conventional Kalvari Class submarine in India has created enough technical manpower and expertise in India that now India is planning to launch first of the lead class nuclear attack submarine in next Seven years.
After mastering technology to develop Nuclear ballistic missile Submarines, India keeping in mind Chinese aggressive moves in the Indian ocean and their ability to chuck out submarines at much faster rate has selected easiest and logical route of using Arihant-class submarine has a template to develop a new Nuclear attack class submarines.
Converting Nuclear ballistic missile Submarines into a Nuclear attack class submarine will not be easy but it is also quickest and cheapest route currently available to India before we can gradually start plans to develop a new bigger class of attack submarines.
New SSN’s design internally will feature smaller cruise missiles launch tubes in their hump which might be able to carry 6-7 Sub-sonic cruise missile per launch tube. To prepare submarine for conventional missions, Internally submarine will need to include extensive modifications to its mission planning, command, control, communications and prep areas.
The submarine will also need to accommodate few of Indian Navy’s Marine Commandos or MARCOS and also have the ability to launch small unmanned submersible to support their missions. To deploy special operations forces behind the enemy lines, submarine will also require improved command and control suite.
Since Nuclear attack Submarine are required to bypass an enemy’s anti-access/area denial capability and deploy its subsonic cruise missiles towards high-value targets of the rivals, submarines will require a much higher degree of stealthiness then a Nuclear ballistic missile Submarines.
SSN’s are also in charge of other conventional missions like surveillance, electronic eavesdropping and even anti-surface, anti-submarine and anti-mine warfare which all requires improved attack capabilities and superior next-generation weapons.
Nuclear Attack Submarine is a most powerful and most feared conventional weapons platform which any country can deploy to provide sustain firepower to destroy high-value targets but also be used for special operations campaigns to cripple enemies command and ground stations. A Nuclear Attack Submarine works in most inhospitable territories in the world where rivals too are using their Conventional and Non-Conventional Submarines to locate and destroy this killer Hunters in the sea. For an Attack Submarine, a brilliant crew and technological edge are all that decides the fate of the war and I am confident that Indian Navy will do its best to design and develop an ultimate Nuclear attack submarine which will not allow any aggressor come in its India’s backyard.