Sunday, July 26, 2009

That's Quite a Name

India has launched their first nuclear-powered submarine, although it won't go into service for a couple years:

India launched its first nuclear-powered submarine on Sunday, officials said, underlining the military advances made by the rapidly developing nation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called it a "historic milestone in the country's defence preparedness" as the 6,000-tonne INS Arihant (Destroyer of Enemies) was named in the southern city of Visakhapatnam.

The submarine, the first of five planned, is powered by an 85-megawatt nuclear reactor and can reach 44 kilometres an hour (24 knots) underwater, according to defence officials.

It will be armed with torpedoes and ballistic missiles, and carry a crew of 95 men.

Any shipping that travels through the Indian Ocean will be vulnerable to Destroyer of Enemies.

I'm sure that China, with their energy supply lines crossing this ocean, has taken notice.

UPDATE: Pakistan noticed, too:

[A] spokesperson for the Pakistan Navy Commander Salman Ali told Dawn on Monday the Indian move would have far-reaching destabilising effects on the security environment not only of Pakistan but also of all the littoral states of [the] Indian Ocean and beyond. He said the induction of [the] 6,000-tonne INS Arihant in the Indian Navy had the potential to trigger a nuclear arms race in the region and all littoral states, including Pakistan, would have to take appropriate safeguards.

While the boat has vertical launch tubes, this does not make it an SSBN. The tubes are too small for ballistic missiles, as I understand it. perhaps Indian short-range cruise missiles capable of mounting an atomic warhead can be installed (I don't know that but it makes sense, and I don't feel like googling for the information. Sorry.)

Paksitan can't compete with India and needs to accept that India is looking to the east these days as it calibrates its defense policies. India is stronger than Pakistan. That's a fact of life. Luckily for Paksitan, India doesn't want to conquer Pakistan and has bigger fish to fry.

India will never keep their defenses low enough not to rattle Pakistan given the needs to match the larger China.

Pakistan has to learn not to be rattled by India. And work up a little rattle over their domestic jihadis, as long as I'm looking for that pony I asked for.