India stumbles in the naval arms raceAugust 16, 2013
On the heels of the successful launching of its first indigenous aircraft carrier and testing of its indigenous nuclear sub, the Indian Navy suffered the devastating loss of one of its 14 front line diesel subs. The INS Sindhurakshak was destroyed in an explosion Tuesday night which took the lives of 18 personnel. The Sindhurakshak was one of the newer boats in the INS subsurface fleet. With its loss, there are only 13 boats active and 11 of them are over 20 years old. In 1999, the government had announced a plan to build 24 new diesel electric boats over a 30 year period, with half of them to have been deployed by 2013. However, none of the planned subs has been built and only six are currently under construction, none of them likely to be completed before 2017. Regional peer China has dozens of boats, most of them much more modern than India’s remaining aging fleet. Pakistan has only five submarines, but three of them are modern French built boats that outclass anything India currently has in the water.