How good is Indian navy Anti-Submarine Warfare Capabilities?


Anti-Submarine Warfare is the method when we employ different assets like warships, submarines and aircraft to detect, track and localize under-water threats which can be then destroyed off or either chased off.

There are different methods by which submarines can be detected like Visual Identification, Passive/Active/Towed/Variable Depth Sonars , Radio Interception among others. On identifying the target various Anti-Submarine weapons like torpedoes, depth charges, mines, Anti-Submarine rockets/mortars can be deployed to destroy off the underwater threat.

Almost every frontline Indian Navy warships possess RBU-6000 Anti-Submarine Rockets. This 213mm caliber rocket launcher fires a salvo off RGB-60 Depth Charges to neutralize the underwater threat upto a distance of some 6000 metres.

INS Chennai firing anti-submarine rockets from RBU-6000

Indian Navy also has dedicated Anti-Submarine Warfare snips like Kamorta-class corvette who are required to hunt down enemy submarines.

At present , India also have P-8I “Neptune” maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft which can be armed with weapons like Mark 54 torpedoes and mines to hunt down enemies. Also it possess features like CAE AN/ASQ-508A magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system , Raytheon APY-10 surveillance radar and APS-143C(V)3 multimode radar which gives it a step ahead capabilities in anti-submarine warfare.

P-8I of Indian Navy

Indian Navy also uses Il-38SD maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft which comes with a Berkut Search Radar and a magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system and is armed with depth charges, mines and torpedoes to take on anti-submarine threats.

Il-38SD of Indian Navy

At present , Indian Navy also possess 16 Submarines in service ( 3 are in testing phase and will be commissioned soon. Project 75(I) is yet waiting to crystallize especially after the much sour experience with the earlier Scorpene project which was marred with delays and other issues. Indian Navy also possess INS Chakra ( Akula II-class Submarine ) which is an Attack Submarine ( SSN ) and is a step ahead in Anti-Submarine Capabilities of Indian Navy.

WS-61 Sea King of Indian Navy

Another ASW asset with Indian Navy is its ASW Helicopters. Indian Navy ha some 30+ Chetak Helicopters which are fitted with Super Vision-2000 maritime radar and depth charges for anti-submarine warfare. Almost all Indian frontline ships have Sea King Multirole Helicopters onboard which are used for ASW and SAR Roles coming with a wide range of sensors like MEL Super Searcher radar , Chelton 7 homer , Alcatel HS-12 dipping sonar and for ASW roles can carry APR-2 torpedoes and Mk.11 mines.

Indian navy Naval Dhruv

Indian Navy also uses Naval Dhruv which can be used for ASW roles which can deploy depth charges to defeat underwater targets. Indian Navy also possess Ka-28 which can be deployed with two torpedoes or depth charges and a plethora of sensors like magnetic anomaly detectors , dipping sonar and more to perform ASW roles.

In addition , Indian Navy also utilizes a plethora of sensors to detect submarines like sonars and more. Most of Indian warships uses Hull Mounted Sonar Advanced–NG (HUMSA) while Advance Light Towed Array Sonar (ALTAS) is also used for detecting submarines to detect submarines in sonic layer depth (SLD). These are developed indigenously developed by Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory which has also developed PAYAL for the Arihant class and USHUS for the Sindhugosh class. MIHIR air borne dunking sonar is used on ALH Dhruv to detect submarines while Atlas Elektronik’s Active Towed Array Sonar (ACTAS) is used on frontline Indian navy ships.

Image Source : Trishul

Hull Mounted Sonar Advanced–NG (HUMSA)

Dipping sonars and sonobuoys are quite an effective means of submarine hunting as this help to peek into underwater sounds over extended periods of time.

Overall Indian ASW Capabilities are quite decent which has been beefed up by the induction of P-8I especially at a time when China is marking its presence in Indian Ocean Region and India needs ASW Capabilities to tackle Chinese presence in IOR region.

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