Editorial

Issue: 5-2021 By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

At the outset, SP’s Naval Forces congratulates Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar on his appointment as the next Chief of the Indian Navy. Presently he is the FOC-in-C Western Naval Command & will take over as the 25th CNS of the Indian Navy on November 30. He has had an outstanding career of 39 years with the Indian Navy, during which he has commanded the guided missile destroyer INS Ranvir and the aircraft carrier INS Viraat. He has made it amply clear that apart from operational readiness, naval modernisation will be high on his agenda. We all at SP’s Naval Forces wish him a very successful tenure!

There are two articles on submarines in this issue - the first one gives out the relevance of submarines in naval warfare, gaps in Indian Navy’s force level & suggests methods to accelerate the induction pace of submarines. The second article gives a historical perspective of submarine warfare, voids in India’s capability & updates the readers to the current situation.

The first article by Admiral Sunil Lanba, former CNS, defines the role of a modern submarine. Dwelling on the submarine induction plan, he brings out that during 1999 the Government approved a 30-year programme for an induction of 24 conventional submarines for the Navy. This has now been modified to 18 conventional & six nuclear powered Sub Surface Nuclear (SSN) boats. Unfortunately, the 30-year programme is running behind schedule by about 20 years. He stresses that the plan of 24 submarines through the 30-year plan need to be given urgent impetus, with timely approvals and budgetary support to ensure that this vital capability is bridged in a timely manner.

The second article by veteran Submariner Vice Admiral K.N. Sushil emphasises on the growing relevance of the submarine. The Cold War security strategy was based on Nuclear Deterrence thus the Sub Surface Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN) became the most reliable platform due to its unmatched stealth and endurance with assured second-strike capability which is so vital for deterrence. The author then brings out relevant historical perspective of submarine warfare including submarine technology & lessons we could derive from it.

Then there are two articles on AUKUS security agreement amongst Australia, UK & US. The first article by Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha explains the origin & reason for AUKUS & its implications. In the second article, Saloni Salil gives out the comparison between AUKUS & QUAD, & then gives out the Chinese perspective which is almost rabid as China feels that it is been surrounded by AUKUS & QUAD to choke its legitimate expanding strategy in its region & the Pacific.

There are other brief reports on what is happening in the Naval environment & as usual this issue wraps up with the News Digest & Flag appointments. Happy reading & please take care all you discerning readers!