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Indian P8I tracking Chinese submarine, headed for Karachi after Lanka “No”

Defence news: As reported earlier, Colombo refused Chinese submarine entry to it’s port, the same sub is likely to head for Karachi. The Yuan-class conventional submarine is being tracked by Indian Navy’s Poseidon-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft. This happened when it crossed the Malacca Strait on April 19th.

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Reuters file photo of a Chinese Navy submarine

PLAN has been  sending its nuclear and diesel-electric submarines on a regular basis to the IOR  to extend its strategic reach in the region. Both diesel and nuclear submarines have been visiting the Indian ocean region regularly. The Indian Navy Navy has tracked seven Chinese submarines, first being a Shang-class nuclear attack submarine (SSN) from December 2013 to February 2014. “Two Chinese submarines, a nuclear one alternating with a diesel-electric one, are coming for three months each to the IOR every year. They usually pass through the Malacca Strait, where they have to surface due to shallow depth, and exit through the Sunda Strait,” said a defence ministry source, “The pretext is anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden. But what role can submarines play against pirates and their dhows?”

PLAN has not yet fielded it’s latest Jin-class advanced nuclear submarines to the region so far. India is far behind China with  13 old diesel-electric and two nuclear submarines. China has well over 50 submarines on the other hand.

India has been building bridges with Navies and countries in the region, engaging them in exercises. Conducting joint operations, making port calls and extending cooperation. India is also engaging in co-operation and joint operations with US Navy in order to keep a balance with Chinese intentions towards India and other countries. China has been militarizing Islands in south china sea after reclaiming land, thus compromising freedom of navigation. Many expert see this as Chinese aggressive expansionist behavior. But according to China, they are just “traditional fishing grounds”. Coming July anti-submarine warfare will  be a major thrust area during the forthcoming Malabar exercise among India, the US and Japan. This exercise will be conducted in the bay of Bengal.

After the induction of eight P-8I aircraft, spending a $2.1 billion deal on the US planes in 2009. The Navy can now keep an eye over the Indian ocean. Another four P-8Is, updated with sensors and weapons for anti-submarine warfare, will join the Indian Navy from July 2019 onwards at a cost of another $1.1 billion.The US p8A and P8I are considered the best platform for submarine hunting. Despite the Indian navy’s deficient submarine arm which is being slowly replenished, these eyes in the sky have been instrumental in being aware of China’s intentions.

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments please.

Written by Vikram Aryan

Vikram Aryan is known for his planning and management skills. It would be wrong to say he works for someone. As people are rather known to work for him. He writes for us just for his love for India and his flair for writing on defence matters in which he has unique insights.

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