ramana wrote: I like C Uday Bhaskar but disagree with his above article.
His article is seeing things from a naval perspective and not a national perspective.
I would say it is from a strategic perspective. The long range vision of the journey and not the focus on the immediate milestone.
ramana wrote:PM Modi has declared the triad to be operational and he knows his stuff.
You have to be extremely careful in parsing these words. As many times, what is not said or not specified is as or more important than what is said. And PM Modi is an extremely careful politician who knows what is better not specified and what words to use.
As CUB rightly says a triad is based on
- Airplanes :IAF SU-30MKI and Mirage 2Ks This was written so many times WOP Chngappa, Press reports justifying Su-30MKI purchase in mid 1990 decade
- Land Based Missile: Various land based missiles from Prithvi, Agni -I , Agni-II/IV, Agni-III, and Agni V All operational with SFC
- Submarine based : INS Arihant
So the triad is there. Live and kicking and with the SFC.
Next lets come to range of missiles on Arihant.
The choice is K-15 or K-4. His article is based on the assumption that K15 short range are the missiles deployed.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INS_Arihant
- INS Arihant was launched in 26 July 2009 (10th anniversary of Kargil War conclusions)
- Commenced Sea trials from 2012 .
- Final development of Sagarika/ K15 tested in Jan 2013
- Arihant reactor critical in Aug 2013
- Extensive Sea trials in 2014
- Test missile K 15 fired in Nov 2015
- We hear about K-4 testing at least twice in April 2016 Hemant Rout the gold standard of missile test reporting *Link
- More Sea trials and commissioned by Modi in Aug 2016.
You have carefully omitted the links and reports of later K-4 development failures in 17 Dec 2017 (still from a pontoon), and K-15 being declared operational following August 2018 tests from Arihant.
Now it is your absolute right to insist that these are obfuscation, but to omit these datum points ltogether lacks integrity - it makes it appear that you pick and choose your data for your conclusion or that you are non-expert. This is not worthy of you.
For open source links, see my prior post, or heck, even see wikipedia.
ramana wrote:- Next we heard about sea water damage due to open and underwent repairs.
- In Nov 2018 first deterrent patrol completed.
So what do we know:
- Arihant has been tested with K-15 and K-4 missiles
- K-4 allows the sub to be deployed in far away deep waters and can reach targets in both challengers (Pak and China)
Now tell me whether IN commanders are born yesterday to carry a short range pen knife (K 15) to a missile fight?
Nor are IN commanders born who broadcast 'deficiencies' to a watchful enemy, especially when one should expect that this would undercut the prime minister and the program whereby these will anyway be made up in long run. It is immaterial whether one calls it a dog or not, as long as it bites. And it is in the national interest to maintain uncertainty on when it can bite. (eg During Kargil, the national security council headed by mr vajpayee decided not to go on all-out attack against pakistan - they feared pakistani nukes. In hindsight, one learnt that said nukes had not been operationalized at the time. This is not a failure of Mr Vajpayee or Indian security council - they made the right decision with the information they had - this is success of the obfuscation.
And patrol is anyway needed to build up competencies - to make the triad more real. It is not critically important in the short run whether it was with K-15 or K-4. If with K-4, then by most accounts K-15 was ahead - when did the operationa lpatrol with K-15 occur if not now ?
ramana wrote:K-4 allows them to hide in deep waters away from long range detection resources.
I think the hatch repair was used to refit with K-4 tubes.
Ah, now you come to the heart of the matter. The hatch story always seemed to not quite fit. Your assumption is a perfectly legitimate one. But it is an assumption. The flip side is that it could also have been a true operational accident, (which has be-deviled far more accomplished navies than ones with India's track record) or a cover for something else. The operational issues with the Chakra,with the diesel Kilos, with submarines in the yard, and many more including surface vessels, let us know that the Indian Navy is not perfect
, that operations can sometimes indeed be a real concern. Of course, it still can't guarantee that the hatch was not a cover job/disinformation. But
So I think the Arihant first deterrent patrol carried K-4 missiles and not the K-15.
And CUB says it sailed from Vizag which makes sense that it carries the K-4 missiles.
Now next quibble will be only 4 missiles!
To this I say the early Soviet Golf Class had 3 missiles.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf-class_submarine
The trial was carried out with the support of the personnel of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) while the DRDO provided all logistics. The missile was fired from 20-meter deep and it pierced into the sky after breaking the water surface. INS Arihant had first successfully fired a prototype of K-15 (B-05) missile in November last year.
The K-4 missile was fired from onboard silos of the ship submersible ballistic, nuclear (SSBN) submarine demonstrating the capability of the newly built underwater warship to fire long range nuclear capable missiles and the killing efficiency of the most advanced state-of-the-art weapon system.
“Having an operational range of nearly 3,500 km, the missile was fired towards north for a shorter range. It covered more than 700 km before zeroing on the target with high accuracy reaching close to zero circular error probability (CEP),” informed the source.
In other words they tested it from Vizag towards the Balasore area and used lofted trajectory to achieve the 700 km range with that high energy 3500 km missile. Far from prying eyes.
Honestly 3 missiles or 4 or 8, doesn't change qualitative strategic deterrence. A single nuke landing in a major city can spoil one's day.
The lesson I take away from the Golf is that the Soviet Union had these relatively easily detectable diesel submarines,with short range nukes - barely 270 km nuke missile range - requiring them to get right up to the enemy coast. [later 1000 or 1600 km] and they did not hesitate to send them out on patrol.
Nations do what they can.
One thing you should also think about is whether the 3 K15 launches in August 2018
from the Arihant were not actually K15 user trials, but that one or more may actually have been K-4 launches.
The December 2017 failed K4 test would have been the 4th
as per Sandeep Unnithan, with more scheduled thereafter. (24 Mar 2014/30m depth/3000 km range, 7 Mar 2016/20m underwater platform/pontoon, 31 Mar 206/20 m underwater/Arihant/700 km depressed trajectory)
I figure that there are actually too few launches overall for development tests, integration tests, user trials and that the K-15 was ahead of the K-4. So the official timeline makes sense to me - and that would have the Arihant voyaging with K-15 on deterrent patrol - this
But as always, additional information could always cause me to change my mind/assumption.
The desire of us all all too often is to wish things were so - and I recommend that this should be guarded against or meticulously tested, before one comes to whatever decision one does come to.
I also figure that triad is not necesarily on/off- create enough uncertainty in the mind of your opponents - and it could be effective enough. At the same time,we are faced with professionals whose life is to figure out how to degrade the actual effectiveness of the triad. You see the USA trying various exercises with differin degrees of success against the Soviets & Russians and vice versa.
The Mirage, Jaguar and Sukhoi MKI (with Brahmos) could conceivably sport a nuke delivery, but so could Pakistan's supposedly de-plumbed F-16s in 1980 - before they came up with gravity bombing techniques. The limitation is that the Mirage, Jaguar and Sukhoi are not super survivable for deep penetration of china and may lack the range to hurt the populous chinese heartland on their east coast. But that's a matter of degree - like I said, there is a range of capabilities and confidence.