>> Also note its primary Cold War role was SSBN tracker
actually that role was with the SSNs of USN which were tasked with shadowing each and every SSBN of soviet navy deployed in their bastion. P3C's duty was responding to subs (not necessarily SSBN) already detected by other assets.
it's effective only when either a) patrolling probable areas of sub activity (GIUK for instance) or
b) someone else has already detected the sub's location. for that you would need capable sub and surface fleet or even better, something like the SOSUS. even ASW helo's are better than fixed wing aircraft at sub detection.
here's a nice analysis of the threat from P3C orion from IN perspective, written by a retd Commodore at SAAG. http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers ... r1235.html
>As far as the Anti Sub marine operations are concerned, the range of Passive, Active Directional sonobuoys and the Magnetic detector that the aircraft carries provides it the wherewithal to keep probable areas of enemy Submarine deployment under active surveillance. [Note : NOT detect SSBN in the wide open ocean]The threat to the P3C would indeed be minimized as it would be operating close to its own shore and would be well with in its shore based fighter cover. [far away from where SSBNs will be deployed. ties in with my understanding that P3C would be deployed near paki coast to defend shipping and naval assets] On detection and localization, the aircraft has array of weapons including torpedoes and depth charges which could be released with great accuracy enabled by onboard sonic processors and mission computer systems.
reading through the article, it's apparent that the retd Commodore considers the P3C to be primarily a threat to surface assets rather than subs.
Rahul M wrote:I continue to have serious doubts about this angle of discussion, that P3C orion was being paired with nuke to take out arihant. arihant is based far away from pakistan under ENC, counter force strike against arihant by TSPN would be too ambitious. that's not how pakistan works because it's impossible for them to achieve. they would rather try to attack targets like jamnagar refinery and mumbai. the best weapons for that are the agosta launched exocets and of course the nuke-tipped harpoons. the orions would be needed to defend paki shipping and naval assets from IN hunter-killer subs.
I agree broadly with this but I would like to call a halt to this discussion of a Pakistan nuclear tipped Harpoon.
The Harpoon has a warhead weight of less than 400 kg and a missile diameter of 34 cm. Getting a nuclear warhead that is 30 cm in diameter AND less than 400 kg in weight is something that only the US is known to have achieved. A minimum of 5 kg Pu is needed for a bang by all open source estimates. Forget Uranium. 5 kg Pu is an 8 cm ball. Add some more to that for a tamper and a hollow pit for neutron generation. Add conventional explosive and a casing around that and you cross 30 cm diameter rapidly. The US had the time and opportunity to experiment and probably developed some interesting designs - maybe an ovoid or cylinder of some linear shape. But Pakistanis doing that?
agreed, it was a loosely made comment, I continue to be skeptical about mating harpoon with nukes. more importantly, what are the chances that TSPA and fizzle ya will even trust TSPN with the family jewels ?