SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
US intelligence report indicates that China has started to put its longer-range JL-3, a third-generation intercontinental-range submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) into PLA Navy’s six Jin-class submarines, replacing the older Chinese second-generation JL-2 SLBM. JL-3 enjoys a superior range of over 3000km which puts its range around the 10000km mark that has raised several eyebrows in the US Navy circle but it should equally concern India for various reasons.
Despite its impressive long range, the JL-3 cannot hit anywhere in the United States but it can hit targets all over India without even entering Indian Ocean Region (IOR). China already has a credible land-based missile that can hit various targets in India but JL-3 enforces China’s nuclear triad that India still has achieved partially with its SLBMs.
India’s longest SBLM till now has been the K-4 which had a range of 3500-4000km which makes it more Pakistan-centric since it allows Indian submarines to hide deep in the Indian ocean away from its coastline ensuring India’s nuclear triad remains intact but the same can’t be said for China since the range of the K-4 won’t be enough.
India has been working steadily towards that realization and is working on K5 and K6 which will have a range of 5000-8000km but it needs SLBM with more range so that the Chinese navy that will be deployed in IOR to hunt for Indian submarines that will require to operate farther way from its coastline.
India should strive to achieve SLBMS that can be over more than 10000km so that the Chinese are well aware of India’s credible nuclear triad that is in place to remove nuclear options away from China in case of full-fledged war or border dispute between both countries in future.
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