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Zarvan

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Moving in elite company in Exercise Malabar, Indian Navy warships are hamstrung by dire shortfalls

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 21st Nov 20


The quadrilateral Exercise Malabar, involving the American, Australian, Japanese and Indian navies, terminates on Saturday and, by the accounts of India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), has been a thumping success.

With two aircraft carrier battle groups participating – one American and one Indian – the three Indian capital warships that exercised, along with an Indian Scorpene submarine and a P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft, got a valuable opportunity to train with the best equipped navies of the world.

Yet, there is concern in South Block at the poor state of readiness of the navy’s 140-odd warships, which face severe shortages in sonar equipment, helicopters and torpedoes – equipment critical for a warship’s survival and combat power.

Like almost every Indian warship built after 1997, the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and the two destroyers, INS Kolkata and INS Chennai, participated in Malabar without “advanced towed array sonar” (ATAS), essential for detecting enemy submarines in the shallow Arabian Sea where the peculiar temperature and salinity gradients sharply limit the effectiveness of conventional sonars.

Without ATAS, enemy submarines can sneak up to within 50-80 kilometres of these warships and launch their torpedoes from standoff ranges.

Most Indian warships also function without another vital anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platform: Naval Multi-Role Helicopters (NMRH), which fly low over the sea and lower “dunking sonar” into the water in order to listen for audio signals from enemy submarines.

While the navy signed a contract for 24 MH-60 Romeo multi-role choppers in February, it is currently left with just about 10 obsolete Seaking helicopters, of which no more than four-to-five are usually operational at any time. In addition, there are eight Kamov-28, of which four-to-five are available. These 10-odd choppers must be distributed amongst the navy’s 40-odd capital warships.

Sonars

In 2014, towards addressing the dire shortage of ATAS sonars, the MoD signed a contract with German marine electronics leader, Atlas Elektronik, for six advanced towed array sonar. Six years later, just two ATAS have been installed on warships so far. One major reason is that the navy keeps changing the warships on which they are to be installed. For example, with INS Mysore going into medium refit and likely to be out of action for a couple of years, its ATAS is being transferred to the destroyer, INS Delhi.

Transferring an ATAS from one ship to another is costly and painstaking. Cutting the helicopter deck to install the winch inside could take three months. Another six months or so are spent on pre-harbour trials harbour trials and field evaluation trials.

Nine more ATAS sonars are being procured from Atlas Elektronik in a contract that is before a cost negotiating committee. Even though this is a “follow-on contract” to the six ATAS already bought, the Defence Acquisition Procedure requires that it goes through the entire procurement procedure, except for field evaluation trials (FET). Were there an options clause in the earlier contract, the next tranche of procurement would be classified as a “repeat contract”, and would have followed a greatly simplified procedure.

Another four ATAS sonars are going through the glacial procurement procedure for the four Project 1135.6 Krivak-class frigates, the first two of which are being manufactured in Russia and the other two in Goa Shipyard Ltd, India. Bids have been submitted for the first two sonars, but the process drags on.

Torpedoes

Given ongoing tensions with China, the navy urgently needs to equip its submarines with state-of-the-art torpedoes. But the heavyweight torpedoes (HWT) needed to equip the navy’s frontline Scorpene submarines have not been procured.

The urgency of this requirement was underlined in August 2014 when the on-going procurement of 98 Black Shark torpedoes for the Scorpene from Italian marine specialist, Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquel (WASS), was scrapped after its parent company, Finmeccanica, was banned by the MoD in the wake of the VVIP helicopter scandal.

When the Black Shark contract was put on hold, it became obvious that India’s vintage arsenal of 98 old SUT torpedoes, would be required to arm the Scorpene-class. The SUT torpedoes were bought in the 1980s and 1990s for the navy’s four Type 209 submarines. However, with some modifications, they could be used from the Scorpene as well.

Atlas Elektronik was called in to carry out a life-cycle extension that would extend the service life of 64 SUT torpedoes by 15 years. This week, another contract was signed by the Indian Navy with Atlas Elektronik to extend the life of the remaining 32 SUT.

With the army facing off against China in Ladakh, New Delhi has urged Atlas to hasten the life-extension of the remaining 32 torpedoes. However, Berlin requires mandatory procedures, such as the issue of a contract, for granting an export licence.

Meanwhile the procurement of new HWTs drags on, the choice reduced to a two-horse race between Atlas Elektronik’s Seahake torpedo; and French firm, Naval Group’s F-21.

As defence minister, Manohar Parrikar pushed in 2015-16 for a straightforward government-to-government arrangement with Berlin to buy Atlas Elektronik’s Seahake. That was scuttled by his return to Goa as chief minister in 2017. Arun Jaitley, who succeeded him, was too preoccupied with his finance portfolio. Nirmala Sitharaman, the next defence minister, took time to settle down, by when the elections took place and Rajnath Singh replaced her. He has reverted to pursuing a global tender.

However, the procurement has been derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The technical evaluation of the torpedoes has been completed, but the live testing, which has to be done in Germany, is held up since no foreign visitors are being permitted into German military facilities.

Submarines

Also floundering is the Project 75I project to construct six submarines with air independent propulsion (AIP) in India. With slow progress, the navy is considering upgrading and giving life cycle extensions to the Kilo-class, Type 209 and Scorpene submarines, to maintain capability till the Project 75I submarines are inducted.

Many believe it is unrealistic to plan to fit lithium-iron batteries and AIP into these old submarines. Even so, this is now probably inescapable since, even if the RFP is released immediately for Project 75I and the procurement goes according to plan it would still be 10-12 years before the first Project 75I submarine becomes operationally available.

 

The Maverick

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Why these countries x 4 have joined forces

THE QUAD IS A LONG TERM MILITARY ALLIANCE against China

Why these countries x 4 have joined forces

THE QUAD IS A LONG TERM MILITARY ALLIANCE against China


All 4 NATIONS have powerful navys BUT combined they are FORIMDABLE and will prevent Chinease agression & expansion often seeng bullying smaller natons like Vietnam Korea and Indoneasia
My hope is India becomes a good puppy to them.
This is not an alliance, this is a slave and master relationship.

so you referring to Australia and Japan as slaves.

they are,rich clean modern countries standing on their feet....

This,is a strategic Alliance with 4 powerful players, and I am delighted that India has the good,sense,to join.

India will benefit from naval doctrine. will buy more usa weapons and learn how to fight modern naval battles in western way.

finally it gives India powerfully allay in trade and voice and backing in United's nations

it's,all very beneficial and clearly aimed at China,
 

Neurath

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Pity is that China and Australia are sovereign nations, they are not ruled by online Bhakts who want them to fight wars with China for the US and India. Their foreign policy agendas are to improve relations with China, and try to solve all the issues they are facing diplomatically.

Training and exercises keep happening between allies, of course they do, it doesn't show a proper military alliance especially considering that their goals differ at the end of the day.
Don't even get me started about Japan, theirs and China's economies are intertwined, literally.
Bhakts saying that Japan or Australia will directly help the Indians or the US in the event of a war are just like those Pakistanis that think Russia and the Arabs would help them in their wars.
Its never gonna happen,
Keep dreaming.
All 4 NATIONS have powerful navys BUT combined they are FORIMDABLE and will prevent Chinease agression & expansion often seeng bullying smaller natons like Vietnam Korea and Indoneasia



so you referring to Australia and Japan as slaves.

they are,rich clean modern countries standing on their feet....

This,is a strategic Alliance with 4 powerful players, and I am delighted that India has the good,sense,to join.

India will benefit from naval doctrine. will buy more usa weapons and learn how to fight modern naval battles in western way.

finally it gives India powerfully allay in trade and voice and backing in United's nations

it's,all very beneficial and clearly aimed at China,
He wasn't referring to Japan and Australia as slaves, he's referring to you lmao. Being the puppy of the West seems very cool in the beginning, but it ends up somewhat near to US-Pakistan relations today, filled mistrust and one's own interests.
What do you think huh? After done with China, what do you think would be the West plans?
They'll be directed at you as you would've become a large economy at the time, threatening their superiority and as you don't have a network of allies, in fact no major ally in the East at all, it would be a good show to watch as your country begins faltering.
Use your brain kid, the West works in secretive ways, no permenant alliances only interests.
Plus, 90% of the people in the Western Far-right and conservative circles, who Indians surprisingly worship, still considering Indians as "Street shitters who rape women and worship stones."
Think about it, where does India want to end? Back towards their western masters like the 1800s because it does seem like so.
 
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rent4country

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My hope is India becomes a good puppy to them.
This is not an alliance, this is a slave and master relationship.
You must be mistaking these guys (Indians/Aus/Japanese) for Chinese, to call them slaves. It's you that have a slave-master relationship with the CCP, from the cradle to the grave :yes4: . A NATO-like alliance means they pay their way for their own military, and nor do we loan shark them with Chinese like debt traps. :wave:

They still don't get it. :lol: After centuries of being a white colony they still kissing white feet.
NATO alliance is a military partnership agreement where every member pays membership dues and is responsible individually for it... no loans or debt traps are given to them to take over their sovereign lands. There is no colonial environment period. Unlike you who have been colonized by the CCP and told how to speak, behave, act.
 
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rott

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You must be mistaking these guys (Indians/Aus/Japanese) for Chinese, to call them slaves. It's you that have a slave-master relationship with the CCP, from the cradle to the grave :yes4: . A NATO-like alliance means they pay their way for their own military, and nor do we loan shark them with Chinese like debt traps. :wave:


From the time you are born, you kiss the CCP feet, speak, behave, act as they tell you. NATO alliance is a military partnership agreement where every member pays membership dues and is responsible individually for it... no loans or debt traps are given to them to take over their sovereign lands. There is no colonial environment period. Unlike you who has been colonized by the CCP
:lol::lol::lol::lol:
 

The Maverick

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Pity is that China and Australia are sovereign nations, they are not ruled by online Bhakts who want them to fight wars with China for the US and India. Their foreign policy agendas are to improve relations with China, and try to solve all the issues they are facing diplomatically.

Training and exercises keep happening between allies, of course they do, it doesn't show a proper military alliance especially considering that their goals differ at the end of the day.
Don't even get me started about Japan, theirs and China's economies are intertwined, literally.
Bhakts saying that Japan or Australia will directly help the Indians or the US in the event of a war are just like those Pakistanis that think Russia and the Arabs would help them in their wars.
Its never gonna happen,
Keep dreaming.

He wasn't referring to Japan and Australia as slaves, he's referring to you lmao. Being the puppy of the West seems very cool in the beginning, but it ends up somewhat near to US-Pakistan relations today, filled mistrust and one's own interests.
What do you think huh? After done with China, what do you think would be the West plans?
They'll be directed at you as you would've become a large economy at the time, threatening their superiority and as you don't have a network of allies, in fact no major ally in the East at all, it would be a good show to watch as your country begins faltering.
Use your brain kid, the West works in secretive ways, no permenant alliances only interests.
Plus, 90% of the people in the Western Far-right and conservative circles, who Indians surprisingly worship, still considering Indians as "Street shitters who rape women and worship stones."
Think about it, where does India want to end? Back towards their western masters like the 1800s because it does seem like so.

Your comparing USA Pak relations WITH USA/INDIA relations is like comparing grapes to water melons.

India is way larger . way more powerful and influential a strategic partner then pakistan could ever hope to be for USA and the WEST in general.

Why else is it that every USA president from Clinton to Triump fly striaght over pakistan to New Delhi.
India never was and never will be puppy to anybody

The benefits of a $3 trillon GDP and forex reseve of $560 bilion are numerous and give india international clout prestige and negotiation leverage only available to handful of nations

Your have to grow up and stand up on your feet to win a seat on these strategic partnerships
If you have nothing to bring OR are a dead you sit on side lines with the losers
What india brought to malabar

1605981155525.png


indengious indian built guided missle destroyers

1605981250277.png


Indenguious indian designed and buillt shivailk class frigates

1605981320742.png
1605981326099.png


Karmota class indengiuos Covette

FOR THE RECORD

India is currently building at various stages over 40 warships emplying tens of thoudsands of indians keping indian rupee in india

India is and will remain true blue water navy and play a huge role in indian ocean arabian sea and malacca straights this is our aera of trade and is vital the worlds 5th largest economy .

NO PUPPY MY FRIEND BUT a major regonal power A FACT
 
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Neurath

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Your comparing USA Pak relations WITH USA/INDIA relations is like comparing grapes to water melons.

India is way larger . way more powerful and influential a strategic partner then pakistan could ever hope to be for USA and the WEST in general.

Why else is it that every USA president from Clinton to Triump fly striaght over pakistan to New Delhi.
India never was and never will be puppy to anybody

The benefits of a $3 trillon GDP and forex reseve of $560 bilion are numerous and give india international clout prestige and negotiation leverage only available to handful of nations

Your have to grow up and stand up on your feet to win a seat on these strategic partnerships
If you have nothing to bring OR are a dead you sit on side lines with the losers
What india brought to malabar

View attachment 689949

indengious indian built guided missle destroyers

View attachment 689951

Indenguious indian designed and buillt shivailk class frigates

View attachment 689952 View attachment 689953

Karmota class indengiuos Covette

FOR THE RECORD

India is currently building at various stages over 40 warships emplying tens of thoudsands of indians keping indian rupee in india

India is and will remain true blue water navy and play a huge role in indian ocean arabian sea and malacca straights this is our aera of trade and is vital the worlds 5th largest economy .

NO PUPPY MY FRIEND BUT a major regonal power A FACT
You didn't answer to my post, all you did was brag about India.
Plus I wasn't comparing current US-Pakistan relations with India, I was saying that Indian relations with the US and the West after the threat of China has been dealt with will be similar to Pak-US relations.
Go take an English class first and try to understand whats being said, before opening your Bhakt gallery.
And yes, even if you don't like it India is in fact the puppy of the West, keep denying it but it is the truth.

Moreover, please leave online forums and try to learn and understand the English language. I've noticed all your replies to be completely irrelevant to everything being said or asked.
 

The Maverick

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You didn't answer to my post, all you did was brag about India.
Plus I wasn't comparing current US-Pakistan relations with India, I was saying that Indian relations with the US and the West after the threat of China has been dealt with will be similar to Pak-US relations.
Go take an English class first and try to understand whats being said, before opening your Bhakt gallery.
And yes, even if you don't like it India is in fact the puppy of the West, keep denying it but it is the truth.

Moreover, please leave online forums and try to learn and understand the English language. I've noticed all your replies to be completely irrelevant to everything being said or asked.

India relations with USA will never be similar to pakistan......... Which part of grape to water melon is difficult for your to understand ......... We are enormous power relative to you . Why is this hard to comprehend .

Explain HOW india is a PUPPY
USA is our largest trading partner and we have a $30 billion trade suplus.
They allow indians in USA with top jobs
We have indians influencing whitehouse in strategic decision making
They sell u top line weapons
Want o move F16 & F18 production to india

WHERE IS THE PUPPY buddy

explain in your english languge .
 

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