• Sun
  • Sep 28, 2014
  • Updated: 11:28pm
NewsAsia
DEFENCE

India launches first home-built anti-submarine ship to counter China

First home-builtcraft of its kind can carry helicopters and engage in surface and aerial combat, as India beefs up its navy to counter China's

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 5:44am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 5:44am

India yesterday unveiled its first home-built, anti-submarine warship in a move to deter China from conducting underwater patrols near its shores.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley commissioned the 3,300-tonne INS Kamorta at the southeastern port of Vishakapatnam.

"I am sure INS Kamorta will serve this country effectively for a very long time," Jaitley said. "Our effective preparedness is always the best guarantee for peace in this region."

The move came a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the largest locally built guided-missile destroyer and vowed to bolster the country's defences so "no one dares to cast an evil glance at India".

India is playing catch-up to China, which built 20 such warships in the past two years and sent a nuclear submarine to the Indian Ocean in December for a two-month anti-piracy patrol. The waters are home to shipping lanes carrying about 80 per cent of the world's seaborne oil, mostly headed to China and Japan.

"As China grows into a naval, maritime power, it will be more and more active in the Indian Ocean," said Taylor Fravel, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies China's ties with its neighbours. "Of course, it will not be due to some hostility or targeted at India, but because of its economic interests in the Indian Ocean, as a lot of trade passes through. Such a presence will certainly raise questions in India, but it need not necessarily be a cause of major conflict."

India has lacked anti-submarine corvettes in its 135-strong naval fleet for more than a decade now, with the decommissioning of the last of the 10-ship Petya class of 1960s-era Soviet corvettes in December 2003. It plans to build 42 more warships, including three more anti-submarine corvettes, over the next decade, according to Rear Admiral A.B. Singh, an Indian navy official.

About 90 per cent of Kamorta's components are local, with the hull developed by the Steel Authority of India, medium-range guns by Bharat Heavy Electricals and torpedo launchers by Larsen & Toubro, India's largest engineering company. The ship is two years behind schedule, according to Commodore B.B. Nagpal, the navy's principal director for naval design.

"It's a beef-up of the Indian Navy's anti-submarine warfare capabilities against Chinese submarines," Rear Admiral Raja Menon, a retired Indian official, said of the Kamorta, which is named after an Indian island that was a convict settlement in the 1800s.

Even so, he said, "Indian warship building is not comparable to an aggressively modernising Chinese navy. There is no way we can match China's efforts."

China has built 20 Jiangdao-class anti-submarine corvettes since February 2013, when it unveiled its first. At least 10 more will join the Chinese naval service in the coming months, according to data from IHS Jane's.

China's Jiangdao-class anti-submarine ships are about half the size of the Kamorta and designed to operate in shallow water, said Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, a retired Indian navy officer. The Indian ship can carry helicopters on board and possesses surface warfare and air defence capabilities, he said.

Jaitley, who's also India's finance minister, eased rules for foreign investment in the nation's defence sector and raised military spending 12 per cent in the current fiscal year. China spent US$188 billion on defence in 2013, about four times more than India, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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This article is now closed to comments

54005ec0-2af0-46a8-920c-08dc0a3209ca
Isn't BRICS an acronym for Brazil, Russia, INDIA, CHINA and South Africa. One must admire China for her recklessness and dare in opening up so many fronts that could lead to a potential war.
A Kuro
According to Bloomberg, India launches first home-built anti-submarine ship to counter China. So anything India launches is to counter China. So the next brothel India launches is also to counter China.
shuike
Just another SCMP propaganda hype to fire up further anti-China bias quoting American analyst. Even in the report, it alleges only one iappearance by a Chinese sub. Whereas the Indian Ocean is criss-crossed with American/Japanese subs that are way far more sophisticated than any China can deploy. You can hear a Chinese sub the moment it leaves port. No threat there. But history has shown that the Americans do not tolerate competition & India, with its growing economy & military development, is shaping up to be a dangerous & disobedient one.
Formerly ******
@ shuike:
Dude, when did the Indian government last murder tens of millions of its citizens? Do you seriously think that the US and India, two democracies, ever will go to war against one another? Sheesh, India likely wants to avenge its 1962 war with China. Perhaps China should beware of India.
@ 水科:
哥們,印度政府當最後真的殺數千萬的它的公民嗎?你認真地認為美國和印度兩個民主國家,過會去反對另一個戰爭嗎?哎,印度有可能想要報復其 1962 年與中國的戰爭。也許中國應該當心的印度。
54005ec0-2af0-46a8-920c-08dc0a3209ca
@Shuike: Send your Mandarin to Baidu this is an English language site.
shuike
Yea Dude! Let me pass that question back to you “when did the Chinese government last murder tens of millions of its citizens?” Let’s say 70 million for easy calculation? The PRC is 70 years old, it’ll have to murder 1 million a year to come to your figure. Just jailing a dissident in China gets huge headlines for days. With that kind of number, don’t you think the world would’ve heard about it by now? For your info, India also kills a lot of its own people. Read Kashmir, Nagaland, Mizoram et al. Also democracies don’t fight each other? Are you naive? If there’s a conflict of interest, there are no friends – ideology irrespective. India is a rising power. They take no **** from anyone the US included. You think the US is willing to accept that with its hegemonic propensity? A second India/China war is almost a foregone conclusion. And you think the Chinese has the equipment to battle at sea thousands of miles from its shore?
 
 
 
 
 

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