kmc_chacko wrote:We need 18-24 conventional subs to control 3 seas & we need 10-12 nuclear subs to counter any threat from Chinese and 7-8 boomers to hit back.
1. We have large maritime boundary to control & protect
2. We need to protect our commercial sea lanes, we are most dependent on Oil imports.
3. We need to counter Pakis threat with Chinese support
4. We need to secure Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal & Indian Ocean from String of pearls of China
5. We will have 3 AC in future and we will need subs to protect it
6. We need to make China feel that we can hit back if they cross their limits.
7. We need to protect our interests & Exclusive economic zones
Early apologies for the long post....
IMHO, we would need a big sub force if threats to all the above were subs only.
1. A SOSUS/SURTASS type surveillance between A&N-Varsha-south tips-Lakshadweep-Kadamba-Bhuj protects it better and acts as a massive defensive force multiplier. Once PLAN subs are detected, we can hit them with P8 under cover of land based assets. We can also block Mallacca for a long time with a few nuke subs backed by Carrier Group. This will be our Navy's primary role in a war with China. We will definitely not send them in South China sea in range of PLAN air groups and PLAAF.
2. Commercial sea lanes need to be covered by nukes. AIP can extend conventional submarine, not give it endurance of a nuke boat.
3. 12 Conventional subs is already an overkill for TSP, which is where I hope we use them.
4. OT alert: Chicom String of Pearls, IMVHO, is a paper dragon for psy warfare. Any military assets within easy striking range of our airforce is essentially lost to China. They can monitor us but they are of no practical use in an actual war. We can monitor them with nuke boats and satellites. No need for bases or additional vulnerability.
5. CSGs are best protected by nuke boats, diesels can't match the stay away time of a carrier group. Also most CSGs in the world deploy max 2 submarines with the group. The protection of the carrier is responsibility of surface assets. It would better to build more Kolkatta and Shivaliks. 3 Kol + 3 Shiv + 3 Tal + 2 nuke boats is enough escort for a CSG.
6. Also requires more nuke boats ... or more precisely boomers
7. #1 for nearshore, nukes for distant.
No VLS equipped conventional boats exists (Question: Did Project 629 / Golf have VLS). We have already built a VLS equipped nuclear boat which can launch ballistic missiles. USN converted Ohio class from a 24-Trident to 154 Tomahawk. Given that K-4 has 1/2 the range of Trident and Nirbhay is same and THawk, we should be (in theory) do a 1:3 and since Aridhaman already can launch 8 K-4, we already have the expertise to build such a sub.
I agree we may need to crank up the nuke boat count to 12 maybe more, but this is beyond 2030. In the near future by 2030) the below is more than enough.
6--> Scorpene (already on track for this)
6 --> P75I (preferably improved Scorpene)
2 --> Chakra 2
4-6 --> Arihant class with cm
4-6 --> Arihant class with bm (already on track for this)
We have Kilos till the nuke boats become operational in numbers.
And finally, once we have gained the experience of building a few nuke boats, we will not go back to conventional boats.
Edit: Corrected VLS info