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Thursday, 11 November 2010

From Today's Papers - 11 Nov 2010

Adarsh Housing Scam CBI probe not to lower troops' morale
Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 10 Breaking his silence on the
Adarsh Housing Society controversy that saw Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok
Chavan being axed from his post on Wednesday, Defence Minister AK Antony
today said the CBI probe ordered yesterday would not bring down the morale
of the forces. "It is not a political decision but (the probe) has been
ordered on the recommendation of the Army Chief (Gen VK Singh). The Army
Chief, after analysing the matter, had said the issue was so complex and
serious that we must have a CBI inquiry," the Defence Minister told
reporters. Antony also rejected senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh's
contention that the CBI inquiry into the scam would dampen the morale of the
armed forces. Jaswant Singh is a former officer of the Army and was a former
Defence Minister too during the BJP-led NDA regime. Notably, Antony ordered
a CBI probe into the alleged scam yesterday to look into the circumstances
under which a no objection certificate was issued to the Adarsh Housing
Society to construct the 31-storeyed building at Colaba in Mumbai. The land
was in the "de facto" possession of the Army. The Defence Minister came
down heavily on the Defence Estates officials, some of whom are
beneficiaries in the project. Antony said: "We are giving more attention to
Defence Estates. A new Director General has joined and I told him that his
first task is to clean up the organisation." The Defence Estates is the
custodian of the 7,000 square km defence land. The names of former Army
Chiefs, including Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen NC Vij, besides former Navy
Chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh, have figured in the list of allottees in
the housing society. About 40 officers from the armed forces and Defence
Estates, too, had got flats allotted in the society.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101111/nation.htm#2
Stand up against wrongs in the force, says Army Chief
Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 10 Stung by the lack of conviction
on the part of senior Army officers in opposing wrongs like the Adarsh
Housing Society scam, Chief of the Army General VK Singh has asked Army men
that they should fearlessly stand up against wrongs in the force. "You will
get my full support.the system will protect you," he told the army men.
Speaking to a news channel here tonight, the Army chief asserted that
"institutionally there is nothing wrong with the Army as a whole. It is the
action of individuals that has brought a bad name". Narrating how he was
lifting up the morale, the General said: ".We are telling our people that we
cannot allow such a thing to happen ever again.If they find something is
wrong they should speak up.and not sign documents which someone has asked
them to sign on".
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101111/nation.htm#3
Another MiG-27 crashes
Tribune News Service & PTI New Delhi, November 10 An Indian Air Force
MiG-27 fighter crashed near Jodhpur in Rajasthan today shortly after taking
off for a routine sortie. The pilot, however, managed to eject safely and
there was no damage reported to life or property on the ground either, an
official said. An IAF spokesperson said Flight Lieutenant A Patni was "on a
routine training mission" when the aircraft crashed 60 km south of Jodhpur.
Patni "ejected safely and no damage to civilian life or property was
reported on the ground", the spokesperson said. The crash took place 15
minutes after the take-off at two-kilometre height, according to the
official. The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the mishap -- the fourth crash
of a plane of this type in the country this year and crucially the sixth
after the entire fleet of MiG-27 was upgradeAjit Pawar is new star of
M'rashtra NCP Defence Minister AK Antony later said: "We have viewed the
matter seriously." Notably, the entire fleet of about 100 odd ground attack
fighters comprising five squadrons had been grounded in February this year
following a fatal crash over Hashimara in which a squadron leader was
killed. A major engine snag was stated as the reason when the fleet was
grounded. The flaw seemed to have crept during the overhauling of the
aircraft by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), it is said. In June,
the fleet was made airborne after clearing various tests. And in July, the
second crash of the year occurred -- near Jalpaiguri in West Bengal; three
civilians died. The third crash occurred in September near Kalaikunda in
West Bengal. Notably, India had procured 120 of the fighter aircraft from
Russia in the late 1980s and had started production in India at Nashik HAL
factory. The IAF has lost close to 35 of the aircraft to accidents in the
past two decades.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101111/nation.htm#6
RIC meeting on November 14-15 India expects Chinese backing for UNSC seat
Ashok Tuteja Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 10 Armed with
America's support to India's candidature for a permanent seat on the United
Nations Security Council, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna is likely to
take up the issue of UN reforms with his Chinese Yang Jiechi when the two
leaders meet on the margins of the Russia-India-China (RIC) meeting in the
Chinese steel city of Wuhan on November 14-15. Officials in New Delhi today
said they had taken note of the Chinese foreign office's statement yesterday
in which Beijing favoured 'reasonable and necessary' reforms in the UN while
reiterating its stand that it understood India's aspirations to play a
greater role in the UN. Sources said India looked forward to an explicit
endorsement of India's quest for a permanent seat at the high-table from
China. Beijing had recently voted in favour of making India a member of the
Security Council in the non-permanent category for 2011-12. In recent years,
top Chinese leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabo, have gone on record saying
they wanted to ensure "a greater role for India in the UN, especially in the
Security Council. However, all these pronouncements have fallen short of
India's expectations. With US President Barack Obama endorsing India's
candidature, New Delhi is quite sure that the process of reforms in the
world body will gain momentum. Though initially China was opposed to the
expansion of the Security Council, recent history shows that its support for
New Delhi at the high table has turned from negative to neutral to positive,
apparently in view of growing economic ties with India. The sources believe
that tension with China over a spate of political issues will not come in
the way of China backing India's case. The two countries are going to hold
a series of bilateral meetings in the coming months and this will provide
them an opportunity to discuss threadbare various issues, including UN
reforms. National Security Adviser Shivshanker Menon is scheduled to travel
to China towards the end of this month for the 14th meeting of the Special
Representatives of the two countries on the boundary issue. The Chinese
Premier will be visiting India before the end of the year on a bilateral
visit. One view in official circles is that Premier Wen may make a dramatic
announcement like President Obama did endorsing India's bid for a permanent
seat during his visit to New Delhi.
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101111/nation.htm#7
Compete with pvt sector, Antony tells DPSUs
Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service New Delhi, November 10 In keeping with
his oft-repeated line of seeing the "made in India" tag to military
equipment, Defence Minister AK Antony today announced a radical shift from
the past. In a significant statement, Antony stunned slow-paced Defence
Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) saying "from now on, there will be no
hand holding and no nominations" for the DPSUs to participate in defence
projects. "They will have to compete with the Indian private sector,"
Antony announced at a function where he was to give away awards for
Excellence to Ordinance Factories (OFs) and the DPSUs. In a way, Antony
signalled one of the most important shifts in Indian defence production that
is restricted only the DPSUs controlled by the Ministry of Defence. "From
next year, there will be open competition and Indian private sector will
participate", Antony said. Later, he explained to reporters that from
January 2011 the ministry was bringing in a new "defence production policy".
The ministry already has a defence procurement policy. From the next year
the shipbuilding (for Navy and the coast guard) will not be nominated to one
of the DPSU shipyards. There will be open competition. Sources said the
private shipbuilding industry can take the load. The Navy has been
persistently asking for speedier construction and adding newer technology to
ships. China is producing some five to six ships a year while in India it is
one ship a year. Antony said "We are going to take some more drastic steps
to achieve our goal of speedy indigenisation. Our aim is to have a strong
defence industrial base in India." The Defence Minister reminded that at
the time when India was seeking a permanent seat in the United Nations
Security Council (UNSC), heavy dependence on foreign companies for defence
acquisition is not good. He clarified that whatever money was needed for
modernisation of the DPSUs will be given and they will be prepared to
compete with the private sector. For long the DPSUs are seen as slow-paced
developers of equipment. The DPSUs alone will not be able to meet the
requirements of the armed forces which are increasing, the Defence Minister
remarked while adding "...There was no option, but to remain globally
competitive and efficient and not rest on past laurels".
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101111/nation.htm#1
CBI all set to file case in Adarsh scam
Press Trust of India / Mumbai November 10, 2010, 20:18 IST The CBI is all
set to file a case in the Adarsh cooperative housing society scam, which has
seen the removal of Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra chief minister, and it has
started scrutinising documents collected from several departments. Defence
Minister A K Antony had yesterday announced a CBI probe into the alleged
bungling in the housing society, in which some senior army officials
including former army chiefs Deepak Kapoor and N C Vij too had flats
allotted in their name. A CBI spokesman in Delhi said the agency was yet to
receive a formal request from the Defence Ministry seeking a probe into the
scam. CBI, which was making in-house investigations into the case following
complaints since October, was examining documents received by it from
several departments, official sources said. CBI had sought documents
relating to the society from various departments of the government, Indian
Navy and Army and the society, the sources added. "While we had received
over 4,000 page documents from the city collector's office, the society
members have sent us a letter requesting more time to submit the documents.
We have also received documents from other departments," a senior CBI
official said. Even today, the CBI continued to be flooded with emails
regarding information about this scam, the official said and added "we are
verifying all the information and documents after which a decision would be
made on any further course of action. Before registering a case, we need to
gather information." The agency had sought details such as when the society
was formed, how many members are there, who are the members and mode of
payment made by them in purchasing the flats and documents related to
various permissions granted by different departments of the government. The
plush housing society, built on prime defence land, has been constructed in
alleged violation of rules. The building was originally meant to be a
six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and their kin but was later
extended 31 floors without taking any mandatory permission. The allegation
was that some of the relatives of politicians including that of Chavan had
flats in the society. Adarsh Housing Society members' lawyer Satish
Maneshinde said "we have given certain documents to CBI and have sought
further time to submit the remaining. We have also written to MMRDA
officials asking them to take back the notice revoking the occupancy
certificate of the society. "The notice violated principles of natural
justice; the building was constructed legally and necessary sanction that
been granted by authorities including the MMRDA."
http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/cbi-all-set-to-file-case-in-adar
sh-scam/115449/on

CBI all set to file case in Adarsh scam
PTI, Nov 10, 2010, 08.20pm IST MUMBAI: The CBI is all set to file a case in
the Adarsh cooperative housing society scam, which has seen the removal of
Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra chief minister, and it has started scrutinising
documents collected from several departments. Defence minister A K Antony
had yesterday announced a CBI probe into the alleged bungling in the housing
society, in which some senior army officials including former army chiefs
Deepak Kapoor and N C Vij too had flats allotted in their name. A CBI
spokesman in Delhi said the agency was yet to receive a formal request from
the defence ministry seeking a probe into the scam. CBI, which was making
in-house investigations into the case following complaints since October,
was examining documents received by it from several departments, official
sources said. CBI had sought documents relating to the society from various
departments of the government, Indian Navy and Army and the society, the
sources added. "While we had received over 4,000 page documents from the
city collector's office, the society members have sent us a letter
requesting more time to submit the documents. We have also received
documents from other departments," a senior CBI official said. Even today,
the CBI continued to be flooded with emails regarding information about this
scam, the official said and added "we are verifying all the information and
documents after which a decision would be made on any further course of
action. Before registering a case, we need to gather information." The
agency had sought details such as when the society was formed, how many
members are there, who are the members and mode of payment made by them in
purchasing the flats and documents related to various permissions granted by
different departments of the government. The plush housing society, built
on prime defence land, has been constructed in alleged violation of rules.
The building was originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house
Kargil war heroes and their kin but was later extended 31 floors without
taking any mandatory permission. The allegation was that some of the
relatives of politicians including that of Chavan had flats in the society.
Adarsh Housing Society members' lawyer Satish Maneshinde said "we have given
certain documents to CBI and have sought further time to submit the
remaining. We have also written to MMRDA officials asking them to take back
the notice revoking the occupancy certificate of the society. "The notice
violated principles of natural justice; the building was constructed legally
and necessary sanction that been granted by authorities including the
MMRDA."
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/6902820.cms?prtpage=1
Why India needs to opt in for Nuclear Submarines?
By Cmde (retd) Ranjit B. Rai | November 10th, 2010 | Category: Indian Navy
News, Opinions and Articles | 7 comments India's nuclear legend Dr Homi
Nusserwanji Sethna (1924-2010) passed away on 5th September in Mumbai aged
86. In May 1974 Dr Sethna as Chairman of India's Atomic Commission(AEC)
which was set up in then Bombay, had ordered preparations for India's
plutonium Pu-239 based, peaceful nuclear explosion(PNE) at Pokhran and was
camping in New Delhi. Dr Raja Ramanna Director BARC was on site immersing
the cores in the deep tunnels constructed by Indian Army engineers and with
some help from an NRI company, and connecting the detonating cables with
DRDO help. The bomb's architect Dr Sethna reportedly briefed Prime Minister
Mrs Indira Gandhi on the preparations, "I am pushing in the device (bomb)
tomorrow and after that, do not say remove it because I cannot. You cannot
tell me to stop." "Go ahead", Indira replied, " Are you frightened ?," she
asked. "I am not. I am only telling you there is no going back now. That is
all," Homi answered in his no nonsense manner, that he was known for.. Homi
Sethna a nuclear legend of India, was educated as a chemical engineer in Ann
Arbour Michigan and took over in times when Dr Homi Bhabha and Dr Vikram
Sarabhai had passed away and left a void. Earlier in his career, he was
responsible for setting up of the thorium extraction plant at Alwaye in
Kerala for separation of rare earth from Monazite sands, and came in to
contact with naval officers in Cochin, including then Commodore SG Karmarkar
Commodore in Charge Cochin (COMCHIN). Later Sethna set up the plant for the
production of nuclear grade uranium metal at Trombay, and also set up the
Plutonium Reprocessing Plant(PRP) there itself in 1959. India Strategic is
proud to recount Dr Sethna's support to the Indian Navy and what is now
Indian Navy's ambitions to build and operate nuclear submarines. The story
of Indian Navy's quest for nuclear submarines needs recounting. NUCLEAR
SUBMARINES ARE INESCAPABLE FOR NUCLEAR DETERRENCE The Indian Navy has
always looked ahead, and its ambitious horizons have always included plans
to acquire, build and operate nuclear submarines. Sethna supported that, and
it is essential to appreciate why India needs expensive home built nuclear
submarines like the 6,500 ton INS Arihant (ATV) which is being readied for
sea trials and deep diving trials at the Ship Building Center(SBC) at
Vishakapatnam. The DRDO-Navy project is being directed by Director General
ATV Vice Admiral DSP Verma, a former Chief of Material of the Indian Navy,
from the offices of Akshanka( means Hope) in New Delhi, under the control of
a board in PMO with the Prime Minister as its head. Another large classified
establishment under Akshanka, the Directorate of Marine Engineering
Technology (DMET) at Hyderabad has pioneered and tested all engineering
equipment inducted from Indian industry for the INS Arihant, and continues
to seek suppliers for sea going machinery that goes in to a submarine but
its activities are classified, despite all suppliers having all the details.
It's a dichotomy. A large 8,500 ton nuclear Akula class submarine of
Project 971, the Nerpa is also being taken on lease from Russia for training
and the Indian crew is likely to commission the boat later this year, if all
is equal. The boat had suffered a fire and explosion and the damage has been
repaired at Vladivostok. The nuclear submarines are planned to augment the
Navy's long grey line of 32 warships and 6 diesel propelled Scorpene
submarines including two aircraft carriers that are under construction, and
on order in India and abroad. A nuclear boat with its organic under water
launched nuclear missiles, is stealth at its best and is the most proven
form of deterrence against another nuclear armed adversary. India has two
nuclear neighbors. The world's five nuclear weapon NPT states USA, Russia,
France, UK and China, continue to maintain and design nuclear submarines
capable of launching nuclear tipped missiles besides, air and land launched
nuclear missiles. UK and France have admittedly reduced their land and air
launched nuclear assets, but they are on course to build newer nuclear
submarines despite the burden on their defence budgets, that this class of
nuclear boats impose. A nuclear submarine costs around $2 bill a piece, is
expensive to maintain, but it is an essential and vital strategic asset of a
nation. India has yet to achieve a credible 'Triad' deterrence capability
to protect its national interests which includes its growing economy slated
to grow faster in the coming decades. The Chinese PLA Navy has been pursuing
a vigorous programme to build up its Han, Xia(093), 094 and 095 class of
nuclear submarines which can launch short range missiles from SSNs, and long
range 5000km ICBMs like the JL-1 derived from the DF-31 from SSBMs, and if
India is to join the big league which is now on the cards, then it has
little option but to have a line of SSN and SSBM nuclear submarines to
ensure deterrence, akin to insurance against nuclear states. One however
hopes, the use of nuclear weapons is never resorted to. Politicians, the
public at large and even business leaders in India have to appreciate that
if you do not have security, then you will have no governance or business in
a growing economy. National security is a national pre-requisite, and this
is what late Dr HN Sethna who when he was working as Director of Bhabha
Atomic Research Center Bombay in the 1960s producing weapon grade
plutonium(P-239) from waste from nuclear reactors, always emphasized in
conversations with naval officers in Bombay. His education in USA had fired
his imagination on security and nuclear issues. He often visited the USO
club's golf course which was close to the Tata Institute of Fundamental
Research(TIFR) in Colaba. TIFR was constructed on naval land adjacent to
Navy Nagar, and a number of 'hush hush research projects' were conducted
there and a few technical naval officers took short courses at TIFR. Rear
Admiral SG Karmarkar, the first Indian officer who had commanded British
officers on INS Kistna had by then become Flag Officer Bombay(1963-65). Dr
Sethna was known to him from his Cochin days and hosted him at Northbrooke
House next to the Atomic Energy Commission Office in the Old Yacht Club
premises at Apollo Bunder near the Taj Mahal Hotel. Sethna took the Admiral
to visits to Tarapur Nuclear Power project and BARC, and this writer as Flag
Lt accompanied the Admiral on one visit to Tarapur when a reactor was being
commissioned. Dr Sethna who had served under Dr Homi Bhabha is acknowledged
is as being the prime architect of India's nuclear weapons programme with Dr
Raja Ramanna. They both successfully demonstrated capability to build
indegenious nuclear bombs in May 1974 and 'Smiling Buddha' took under his
stewardship when he was the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, but he
was a modest person and never hogged the lime light and diligently pursued
his tasks and interests. NUCLEAR PROPULSION AND WARFARE Many naval
officers recall Sethna tell young naval officers in Mumbai to dream of
nuclear propulsion. He did this in times when officially Indian Armed Forces
were not taught offensive nuclear doctrines. Nuclear and nuclear warfare in
India's context was not in India's toxilogy or lexicon as a subject in
Indian staff colleges, but it is less known that all major Indian Naval
ships have always been fitted to fight through and defend themselves against
a nuclear explosion. All major naval ships have 'citadel capability' to
button up the ship and re-circulate internal air and generate oxygen like a
submarine does. Every major warship can pre- wet the whole ship structure to
cleanse nuclear fallout. A warship's raison d'etre is "To Float, To Move, To
Fight' even thorough a nuclear explosion at sea. Every IN navigator is
taught to steer the ship away from the centre of a nuclear bomb explosion at
sea. The Fleet regularly exercises nuclear explosion drill and ships are
required to calculate a moving geographic position called 'Roaming
Romeo'(the centre of explosion and fallout) depending on the direction of
the wind, and steer a safe course to evade the nuclear fallout at high
speed, with the ship's company sealed breathing circulated and re-oxidised
air. Nuclear warfare drill has been taught to every naval officer since the
50s, and officials from Bharat Atomic Energy Centre(BARC) at Mumbai where
India's plutonium nuclear bombs(cores) are currently stored, regularly gave
lectures on board ships on how to check radiation levels, apply radiation
cleansing techniques and calibrate the naval ships fixed and portable
electromagnetic Rontogen X-radiation meters. Nuclear bomb effects and
methods of delivery is bread and butter to the youngest of Indian naval
officer at sea, as it forms a part of the inspection routine by the Fleet
Commander. It is a legacy of the British ships Indian Navy acquired after
partition. It is to Dr Sethna's credit that he as AEC Chairman he opened
the secret portals of India's nuclear establishment BARC in 1976 which was
under Dr Raja Ramanna then and accepted a team of four naval officers led by
then Capts PN Agarwala and Bharat Bhusan both very bright engineer officers
trained at the Royal Naval Engineering College at Manaden Plymouth, to form
a Diesel Propulsion Research Team(DPRT) at BARC. DPRT was a subterfuge for
designing a nuclear propulsion plant. Cdrs Gurmit Singh and Cdr BK Subbarao
were also in the team, and in later years Subbarao designed a submarine
nuclear power plant but crossed swords with Dr Raja Ramanna. Bhusan later
headed the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) nuclear project and subsequently
many naval officers were trained in nuclear engineering at BARC and
transferred to the the DRDO-Navy classified ATV project, which fructified in
the launching of INS Arihant by PM's wife Mrs Gursharan Kaur on 22nd
August,2009 at Vishakapatnam. INS Arihant a 7,000 ton medium sized nuclear
propulsion technology demonstrator submarine and is being readied to go to
sea and will be fitted with the 700km Sagarika K-15 solid fuel nuclear
tipped missile, and it will possess India's first underwater launched
deterrent, if all is equal. India already has air and land launched nuclear
arsenals, and two of Navy's four off shore patrol vessels (OPVs) INS
Subhadra and Suvarna can launch one 350km liquid fuelled nuclear tipped
Dhanush missile each. These launch platforms operate on surface and can be
located from visual and radar observations and from satellites and are
vulnerable. ADMIRAL SERGIE GORSHKOV SUPPORTED LEASE OF INS CHAKRA It needs
recall that at a nuclear session at India International Center three years
ago, when India's nuclear deal was being pursued with USA, the speakers
included India's doyen nuclear analyst K Subrahmanyam, Raja Mohan of the
Indian Express and others. Former PM I K Gujral shared an anecdote which
holds relevance for the Indian Navy's plans and ambitions to possess nuclear
submarines with under water launched long range missiles. IK Gujral unveiled
how in 1979 when he was Ambassador in Russia and C Subramaniam and K
Subrahmanyam were the Defence Minister and Defence Secretary (Production)
respectively in MOD, he was tasked to meet Admiral Sergei Gorshkov and seek
help and guidance on India's quest for nuclear submarines, which were
prompted by the Indian Navy, and supported by Dr Raja Ramanna. Admiral of
the Fleet Sergei Gorshkov known to be a supporter of the Indian Navy and
officially acknowledged as the 'Benefactor of the modern Indian Navy' was
one of the finest naval minds of the last century. When Shri Gujral met him
he made him look at the chart/map of the Indian Ocean and went on to explain
to Gujral how India was hemmed in by the Straits on both sides and said
China has nuclear submarines and so India must also have nuclear submarines.
That was the time when relations between Russia and China had soured. That
led to the birth of the ATV and later the lease of INS Chakra. From 1983
under the guidance of late Dr Raja Ramanna who worked under Dr HN Sethna ,
the ATV project took off and a former roommate of Dr Raja Rammana, Vice
Admiral M K Roy, when they were living together in digs in London was made
the first DG. The rest is history, and INS Chakra was given by Russia on
lease to the Indian Navy from 1987 to 1991 despite rumblings in the West,
and the IN cut its teeth in nuclear submarine operations and handling with
the full support of BARC which opened its portals and a large number of
naval officers hold M(Tech) degrees in nuclear engineering from BARC. The
nuclear reactor in INS Chakra was maintained by Russians on board and all
activities kept secret, including those of the ATV even from other service
chiefs, and senior officers of the Indian Navy. It was only six years ago
that then Defence Ministers of India Pranab Mukherjee and Sergei Ivanov of
Russia, jointly acknowledged the ATV project in pubic in Moscow for the
first time and wowed to complete it. India also secretly clinched the deal
to take Akula nulcear submarines on lease on the lines of the INS Chakra,
but with full control. Many feel Russia readily agreed, as the funding for
rejuvenating the Akulas, Nerpa and Jaguar came through the advances for the
1000X 2 Kundankulam nuclear power projects, and they needed the business. A
few thousand of crores has also been spent on INS Arihant which has Russian
assistance and equipment makes it the next most expensive DRDO project along
with the LCA. Possibly the most expensive. NUCLEAR SUBMARINES AND DIESEL
SUBMARINES A COMPARISION A nuclear Submarine force is the right option for
countries with large oceans to patrol and though this issue has never been
debated in India, it must be stated that nuclear submarines are very
expensive technological toys. The cost of buying or building nuclear
submarines is approximately 50 % to 75% higher per unit than diesel-
electric powered boats but has greater capabilities. Nuke boats cruise three
times faster , have a greater sustained speed underwater, and an unlimited
range. For this reason larger number of diesel units are required for the
same duty. Higher speeds by diesel propelled boats for very short period
deplete their underwater batteries in few hours, and without resorting to
recharge they then become incapable and vulnerable to the point of
helplessness. PNS Hangor under then Cdr Tasneem of Pakistan almost suffered
this fate in 1971, after attacking INS Kuthar which Hangor's torpedoes
missed, but sunk INS Khukri with the loss of 168 souls. However the Captain
of Hangor made an ingenious get away by daring to navigate in shallow
waters, to escape the Indian Navy ships and submarines that were deployed
off Diu. Nuclear submarines cannot do that in shallow waters. Diesel
submarines are warships of position, whereas nuclear submarines are vehicles
of maneuver. Diesel subs are suited for small shallow seas with straits to
block like the Malacca Straits and the Baltic hence Singapore has opted for
small submarines, but when rapid movements over long ocean distances are
required, nuclear propulsion is the desired choice and India must afford it.
A conventional boat needs to be in the vicinity of its target . A nuclear
boat can be dispatched to intercept or can track and attack when ordered.
The sinking of the Argentinean's cruiser General Belgrano in the Falklands
war is the most recent demonstration of the capability when HMS Conqueror
which was dispatched at full speed for 8000miles submerged all the way. Went
and intercepted the Argentinean Navy's cruiser. No conventional submarines
could have achieved this feat and bottled up the whole Argentinean fleet.
Unlike the diesel electric boats, which have to surface to recharge
batteries about 20 percent of their time at sea, the nuclear submarine does
not have to come up and surface and then effectively broadcast its position
with noisy engines for sonars to detect it. The motto of nuclear submarines
is 'Run Deep, Run Silent, Run Long'. The diesel-electric submarine can be a
useful weapon provided it can get to the right place at the right time.
Conversely a nuclear powered boat, which can stay submerged indefinitely run
at high speeds indefinitely, has enormous flexibility. A nuclear powered
boat running silent , fast and deep can be switched very quickly from, for
example , a wartime role of barrier patrol against hostile submarine in a
specific area to convoy escort ships across an ocean, or land saboteurs
secretly. In its frequent surfacing, the diesel- electric submarine is
highly vulnerable to visual, acoustic and radar detection and thus open to
attack by other submarines, aircraft and surface ships. The nuclear boat's
reactor also produces much more electrical power than diesel electric
submarines and makes its 'pear shaped hull' possible to operate at much
higher speeds for its highly powered sonar detection systems , provide more
oxygen re-generation and unlimited water supply. The mere threat of a
nuclear powered submarine in an area inhibits an opponent and acts as a
powerful deterrent. Very rigorous safety standards have to be followed by
navies building and operating nuclear submarines and most have ensured
nuclear accident free operations. The US Navy for example has used nuclear
propulsion for more than 40 years and accumulated more than 3600 reactor
years of operation. CONCLUSION The importance of nuclear propulsion and
nuclear submarines needs publicity. Once the importance and inescapable need
for nuclear submarines is accepted by India and the Indian Navy becomes
confident and masters nuclear propulsion along the way, the nation's Navy
should be encouraged to think of nuclear propulsion for all its major naval
warships of the future especially aircraft carriers that the Indian Navy is
planning for the second decade of the 21st century. This will be a tribute
to Drs Homi Bhabha, Homi Sethna and Raja Ramanna who showed the way. The
cost of fossil fuel is set to rise exponentially and India which is a net
importer of hydro carbons has to plan for alternate fuels and savings.
Navies are large consumers of oil. The Government has maintained overt
secrecy over all the equipment fitted in INS Arihant and kept a veil over
the Indian designed and Indian built small nuclear reactor in the boat,
which was a joint effort by BARC and Indian industry. Prime Minister Dr
Manmohan Singh admitted that Indian industry has largely contributed to the
building of INS Arihant and names of companies like Larsen& Toubro Ltd,
Walchandnagar Industries Ltd, Bharat Heavy Elecriclas Ltd, Bharat
Electronics Ltd, Tata Group and pump makers like Khosla and Kirloskar Pumps
Ltd and some small suppliers and fabricators are known, but not their deeds.
These need to be made public as it is reported two more larger Arihant class
with modifications to take additional missiles is on the cards. Note by
Author: The writer Cmde (Retd) Ranjit B Rai had opportunity whilst at RN
Staff College Greenwich London in 1974 to witness the operation and the fuel
change procedure of Royal Navy's mini training reactor called "Jason", while
undertaking a thesis on nuclear weapons. Such access needs to be provided to
service officers at Kalpakam where AEC has set up a 40MW training reactor
for the Indian Navy.
http://frontierindia.net/why-india-needs-to-opt-in-for-nuclear-submarines

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