Navy thwarts attempt by Indian submarine to enter Pakistani waters

Karachi: The Pakistan Navy (PN) on Tuesday said it had thwarted an attempt by an Indian submarine to enter Pakistani territorial waters.

The latest development comes after an increase in tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

“The Pakistan Navy is always ready to guard its territorial waters and is capable of responding to any kind of aggression with full force,” said the navy.

“This great achievement has been a proof of Pakistan Navy’s superior capabilities.” The armed service further said that this is the second time since November 2016 that naval forces have caught the Indian Navy trying to enter the country’s territorial waters.

“The Indian submarine was not targeted keeping in view Pakistan’s policy of peace,” said a spokesperson from the PN and added that India must learn from this incident and “move towards peace”.

The video of the Indian submarine was made when it came upto periscope depth, however, the PN would have been tracking it for a longer time with the assistance of aerial anti-submarine warfare assets.

India’s undersea fleet

The bulk of the Indian Navy’s undersea fleet is composed of diesel-electric Kilo-class submarines, known as the Sindhughosh-class, and the Scorpene-class, known as the Kalvari-class.

The Indian Navy also operates a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), the INS Arihant, which was manufactured locally after decades of delay.

Possible mission

Since the two countries are not at war, the Indian submarine was probably tasked with gathering intelligence and maintain station inside Pakistan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). If it had remained undetected, it would have been well-positioned to carry out aggressive actions against Pakistan’s maritime assets in the case of open hostilities between the two countries.

SSBNs are not tasked with such mission profiles as they are highly-valued assets. The Indian Navy would have tasked a Sindhughosh or a Kalvari-class submarine for the mission.

Being diesel-electric submarines, the submarines have the ability to reduce their sonar signature by running on their batteries, the downside being they need to surface to snorkel depth to recharge their batteries and use their diesel engines for propulsion and power needs – increasing their acoustic signature.

A senior PN officer who served on submarines, Vice Admiral (retd) Ahmed Tasneem also agreed and said the Indian submarine “surfaced as it had probably exhausted its batteries”.

Earlier in 2016, the PN successfully repelled an Indian submarine from entering the country’s territorial waters.

The unsuspecting submarine was detected and localised south of Pakistani coast on November 16, 2016. Despite the submarine’s desperate efforts to escape detection, it was continuously tracked by navy fleet units and pushed well clear of Pakistan waters.

AlamulKhabar Pakistan