|India's brand new nuclear sub.|
India vs China - India is builing up their military to counter China and other regional powers.
India has formally commissioned a nuclear-powered submarine into its navy, rejoining the elite club of nations with such a weapon.
The $1bn (£630m) Russian-built vessel is being leased by the Indian navy for the next 10 years. It was handed over to India in eastern Russia in January reports the BBC.
India previously operated a Soviet nuclear submarine until 1991.
It now rejoins China, Russia, the US, the UK and France as an operator of nuclear submarines. India is also developing its own nuclear-powered submarine which is expected to be ready by the end of this year.
The 8,140-tonne Akula II-class submarine, built by the Russians as the K-152 Nerpa, has been renamed by India as the INS Chakra II.
The submarine was formally commissioned into the navy by the country's Defence Minister, AK Antony, at a ceremony in Vishakhapatnam, on India's east coast off the Bay of Bengal
"This will be a big boost for the Indian navy," Mr Antony told reporters after the ceremony.
"The INS Chakra will ensure security and sovereignty of the country," he said.
Indian military planners are thrilled at this massive boost to India’s power and reach in the Indian Ocean region. While China enjoys military advantages on the land frontier, India’s ability to choke Chinese shipping at straits like Malacca and Hormuz constitutes a powerful strategic lever. And, nothing performs such “sea denial” missions as effectively as a nuclear attack submarine, known by its acronym, the SSN.
Making the SSN a game-changer is its ability to remain submerged indefinitely. Stealth is a key attribute in a ‘sea denial’ mission to shut down, for example, the Strait of Malacca. A submarine must slip undetected (which means underwater) into the patrol area and lurk in ambush for days on end, listening through its sonar for propeller sounds that give away the presence of a ship. Then, it must launch torpedoes to destroy the target and escape at high speed before the enemy can come and destroy her.
The Chakra’s capabilities are provided by a 190-Mw nuclear reactor, powerful enough to light up a medium-sized city. It is armed with the versatile Russian Klub anti-surface missiles that can strike a ship almost 300 kilometres away. It also has four 533-mm and four 650-mm torpedo tubes.
(Broadsword) (BBC News India)
|India has been investing more and more money in growing their navy.|