Pakistan, traditional enemy of India, also getting help from China to build own underwater fleet.Staff, WantChinaTimes
21 July 2015
Chaitanya Mallapur, an Indian security analyst, recently said in the Hindustand Times that the visit from a PLA Navy Type 039A diesel-electric submarine to the Pakistan's port of Karachi on its way back to China from the Arabian Sea two months ago sent a warning to India that China's submarine fleet is becoming a greater threat to the maritime security of the nation.
After arriving in Karachi on May 22, the Yuan-class submarine with its crew of 65 crew spent a week there for refueling and restocking. Unlike most convnetional submarines, the Yuan-class sub does not need to surface to breathe. It can stay underwater for weeks due to its air-independent propulsion, according to Mallapur. Currently, India has 14 submarines. Among them, only the INS Chakra, leased from Russia, is nuclear-powered.
In contrast, China has a total number of 68 submarines. This is four times as large as India's submarine fleet. Mallapur said that the PLA Navy operates at least nine nuclear-powered submarines. Four of them are attack subs while five others are ballistic missile subs.
Meanwhile, Pakistan, a traditional enemy of India is slowly building up its underwater fleet with the assistance of Beijing. China is planning to provide Pakistan with eight Type 039A Yuan-class diesel-electric submarines in near future. With this new threat in hand, India plans to add 15 more submarines to its fleet. Among those new vessels, six will be Scorpene-class conventional submarines from France. India also plans to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines and three ballistic missile submarines. New Delhi also plans to purchase four P-8I patrol aircraft to boost the nation's anti-submarine warfare capability.