Indian UnderWater Capabilities
India is currently planning a fleet of nuclear powered submarines. But unlike other nuclear navies, India will not go all-nuclear. Instead India will go for a mix of nuclear and diesel electric submarines. Conventional diesel-electric boats will be an important pillar of India’s submarine capability.
Arihant Class 1 operational
The Arihant program goes back more than three decades, to the vaguely named Advanced Technology Vessel. Begun in 1974, ATV was broadly conceived as a project to research nuclear propulsion and, down the road, field an indigenously developed and constructed nuclear-powered submarine. The program was collaboration between the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, the Indian Navy and the Indian government’s Defense Research Development Centre.
The Indian Navy and the DRDO together designed the submarine. Once the design was finalized detailed engineering was implemented at L&T’s submarine design centre using 3D modeling and product data management software. Tata Power designed the control systems for the submarine. Walchandnagar Industries, a company specializing in execution of heavy engineering projects, designed parts of the steam turbine.
Hull began construction in 1998 at Visakhapatnam, but could not be completed due to the lack of a working reactor. Arihant’s design is based on the Russian Akula-1 Class submarine. It weighs 6,500t. At a length of 110m and breadth of 11m, Arihant is the longest in the Indian Navy’s fleet of submarines and can accommodate a crew of 95. It is the smallest ballistic-missile submarine in the world, with the possible exception of the North Korean Gorae class.
The submarine’s exterior is uneven and the hull is placed on a mat covered with tiles. The tiles help in absorbing sound waves and provide stealth capability to the submarine. Compared to conventional submarines, the conning tower of Arihant is situated near the bow instead of the centre. The central part of the submarine’s body consists of the outer hull and an inner pressurized hull. The starboard side consists of two rectangular vents that draw in water when the submarine submerges into sea.
The forward section of the hull is based directly upon the Russian KILO Class diesel attack submarine. The upper sonar casing and torpedo tube arrangement look to be identical. The sail is also essentially similar although necessarily raised slightly because the casing gets deeper as it goes aft to accommodate the main missile silos. The forward hydroplanes are remounted on the sail rather than on the forward casing, which also entails minor rearrangements, but overall the sail can be said to be the same hat of the KILO. It features an open bridge at the top, a bad-weather bridge with windows and a sonar array in the forward part of the sail. The distance from the bow to the sail is also the same as on the KILO, another telling observation. The design is largely indigenous but has benefited from Russian assistance and borrows parts of the forward hull design from the KILO Class.
A significant progress in the development of Arihant took place when the land-based pressurized water reactor became operational in 2004 at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research in Kalpakkam, Chennai. Following this, miniaturization of the land-based PWR had to be carried out to enable it to fit into a confined space in the submarine. The reactor consists of 13 fuel assemblies each having 348 fuel pins. The 85 MW PWR fuelled by HEU driving a 70 MW steam turbine. It is reported to have cost $2.9 billion and was to be commissioned in 2016. The boats are powered by a single seven blade propeller powered by the nuclear reactor and can achieve a maximum speed of 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h) when surfaced and 24 knots (44 km/h) when submerged.
Several companies supplied components of the reactor. High grade steel supplied by Heavy Engineering Corporation, Ranchi was used to build the reactor vessel. The steam generator was provided by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL); and Audco India, Chennai built the pressure valves.
The PWR consists of a huge pressure hull, a tank containing water and a reactor. It also consists of a pressure vessel built from unique steel, a control room as well as an auxiliary control room. The propulsion plant housing the reactor is 42m long and 8m in diameter. The complete propulsion plant along with the primary, secondary, electrical and propulsion systems occupy half of the submarine. To reduce the weight of the plant, light water and enriched uranium was used as opposed to non-enriched uranium used in land-based reactors.
Arihant was launched for sea trials on 26 July 2009. The trials are being conducted at a concealed test area called ‘Site Bravo’. During harbor acceptance trials, the nuclear power plant and auxiliary systems of the submarine was tested for stability. The most crucial part of the trials was the firing of the reactor.
Arihant is fitted with a combination of two sonar systems – Ushus and Panchendriya. Ushus is state-of-the-art sonar meant for Kilo Class submarines. Panchendriya is a unified submarine sonar and tactical control system, which includes all types of sonar (passive, surveillance, ranging, intercept and active). It also features an underwater communications system.
In October 2018, the veil of secrecy around the programme was lifted for the first time when India acknowledged that INS Arihant, had completed its first deterrence patrol.
Arihant may have quietness in the level of Akula 1 class submarines of Russia. Some expert’s believes it may be quite as Akula 2nd class submarines. No official information is available about Indian Nuclear submarines.
Arihant is capable of carrying all types of missiles. It can carry 12 K-15 SLBMs that can be launched even under ice caps. Apart from the K-15s, the submarine will carry a range of anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles and torpedoes. Apart from K15 Arihant can carry four K-4 missiles (3,500 km). The third and fourth submarines will have a larger configuration, carrying twenty-four K-15 Sagarika or eight K-4 missiles
Arihant is fitted with a combination of two sonar systems – Ushus and Panchendriya. Ushus is state-of-the-art sonar meant for Kilo Class submarines.
USHUS is an integrated sonar system developed by the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
USHUS is used to detect, localize, and classify underwater submerged and surface targets through passive listening, interception of signals and active transmissions of acoustics signals. Its passive sonar has preformed beams in azimuth and in three vertical directions using ASICS. It can auto track six targets and its active sonar has CW and LFM modes of transmission. Its intercept sonar can provide early warning long range target detection, all round coverage in three bands, FFT, and Spectral processing. The underwater communication system has multiple mode acoustic communication in dual frequency to meet NATO and other requirements, voice, telegraph, data, and message modes of operation. Its obstacle avoidance sonar is a high frequency short range sonar with rectangular transducer array and its transmission covers three sectors of 30° each. USHUS is reported to be superior to its Russian equivalents.
UNDER WATER COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
OBSTACLE AVOIDANCE SONAR
INS Arighat (S3)
INS Arighat is the second Arihant-class submarine. It is the second nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine built by India. It is built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to build nuclear submarines at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam. It has the code name S3. Arighat may be slightly bigger and better-armed than INS Arihant.
In January 2012, it was announced that she would be launched in late 2012 or early 2013. In December 2014 it was reported that work on the second nuclear sub-reactor had begun and possibly by early 2016 she will be launched. In October 2017, it was reported that she would be launched in November or December and would undergo outfitting. The launch took place on 19 November 2017. The ship would undergo extensive sea trials for three years before being commissioned into the Indian Navy. INS Arighat will be ready for induction in Indian Navy by mid of this year since it is nearing its sea trials.
The boat has one seven-blade propeller powered by a pressurized water reactor. It can achieve a maximum speed of 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h) when on surface and 24 knots (44 km/h) when submerged.
The submarine has four launch tubes in its hump, just like her predecessor. She can carry up to 12 K-15 Sagarika missiles, or four of the under-development K-4 missiles.
USHUS (May be USHUS 2)
USHUS-2 is an Integrated Submarine Sonar System which physically and functionally replaces the MGK-400 and MGK-519 Sonars on four EKM classes of submarines. USHUS-2 is a state of the art upgrade of NPOL designed sonar USHUS in terms of the technology and sonar capabilities. USHUS is operational onboard five of the nine frontline EKM submarines of Indian Navy. USHUS-2 is a world class sonar suite, tailored for the remaining four EKM classes of submarines. USHUS-2 sonar suite includes Passive Sonar, Active Sonar, Intercept Sonar, Obstacle Avoidance Sonar and Underwater Telephony. The USHUS-2 Sonar Suite has been designed and developed by NPOL and productionised by M/s. Bharat Electronics. USHUS-2 is currently in installation phase in IN designated platforms. USHUS 2 will replace the remaining Russian sonars on Sindhughosh class, of submarines. USHUS 2 has a range of more than 30Km.
The sonars are the eyes and ears of a submarine. The primary purpose of the sonar is to detect, localise and attack enemy warships and submarines. It is also essential for safe navigation. USHUS-2 is essentially a suite of multiple sensors for passive and active detection, which collates different characteristics of the same target and provides data for engaging the target. The constituent sonars in the suite include passive sonar, active sonar, intercept sonar, obstacle avoidance sonar and underwater telephony. The sonar suite incorporates advanced signal processing techniques and state-of-the-art hardware platforms. The system provides advanced classification features, contact motion analysis and automatic torpedo detection capabilities. It has been entirely manufactured by Indian industry. The system provides advanced classification features, contact motion analysis and automatic torpedo detection capabilities.
USHUS-2 sonar suite includes
USHUS-2 will replace USHUS Sonar system in other nuclear submarines as well.
Nuclear Ballistic missile submarine was only known by its internal code name as S4 is ready for its sea trials by end of 2020. S4 is an extended Arihant class design that has twice the weapons carrying capability than the Arihant class. According to media reports S4 is twice the size of the Arihant class nuclear submarines and can carry twice the number of nuclear-armed medium-range missiles like K-4 SLBM. S4 can carry 8 K-4 SLBM with a range of 3500km or 24 K-15 SLBM with a range of over 800km in its 8 vertical launch tubes and Possibly K5 SLBM which is under development and will have a range of 5000Km. . S4 is expected to be officially inducted into Navy by 2022.
S4 will be fitted with State-of-art sonar integrated sonar system USHUS (may be USHUS 2) sonar developed by Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of the Defense Research and Development Organization . The submarine will also have Panchendriya sonar which is a unified submarine sonar and tactical control system, and it includes all types of sonar (passive, surveillance, ranging, intercept, obstacle avoidance and active).It is used for detecting and tracking enemy submarines, surface vessels, and torpedoes and can be used for underwater communication and avoiding obstacles.
The hull will feature twin flank-array sonars and Rafael broadband expendable anti-torpedo countermeasures.
As per some reports, S4 sister class ship called S4* (Star) will be ready for sea trials by 2022 and induction by 2024. S4 and S4* will be SSBMs which largely will be getting K-4 and K-5 SLBM missiles, K-5 SLBM is a new missile 9under development and reportedly has a range of 5000km, while DRDO already got approvals to design and develop K-6 SLBM which has a range of 8000km to be armed on S5 Class Nuclear Ballistic missile submarines which India plans to construct after completion of S4*.
S5 Class Nuclear Ballistic missile submarines which India plans to construct after completion of S4*. S5 will be first in lead class next generation Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine which will have a surface displacement of 13000 tonnes and will be nearly double the size of S4 and S4* SSBM .
S-5 SSBN Scale model reveals information in radical design changes which new submarine will have.
Mast: Unlike Arihant class which had clear Russian influence in the design of its Mast, S-5 has design influence of Vanguard-class SSBN operated by Royal Navy and has a Short Mast unlike seen in Arihant which also has dividing rudder design. The mast is usually the place where all above water sensors are combined into self-protection masts in the submarine’s fin.
Forward Hydroplane: Forward Hydroplane has seen in S5 design is again influenced by Vanguard-class SSBN which is located in the forward section and not placed on Mast.
Silo Hump: This is where Vanguard-class SSBN influences stops and Silo Hump as seen in the scale model is more influenced by the Russian Delta-IV class submarine which might have something to do with design influence also with S5. First S5 SSBN will go in construction in 2022 onwards once dry docks are vacated currently occupied by S4 and S4*.
S5 will feature 190MW Pressurized water reactor (PWR) which is already under research and design by BARC and it has been reported that same 190MW PWR will also be used to power India’s six Next Generation Nuclear attack Submarines when design goes critical in 2025.
S5 will be equipped with 16 K-6 SLBM and will be ready for induction into Indian Navy by 2030. The submarine will enter service by 2030. 3 submarines will be built in the beginning, with another 3 planned over the next decade (Six). The submarine will most likely be propelled by a ducted pump jet propulsor which emits less noise and is thus more difficult to detect via sonar. A new material for the hull is being developed by the Mishra Dhatu Nigam, and this will be able to withstand the tremendous amounts of pressure and with anti-sonar properties key to the S5’s performance.
Along with the S5, the INS Varsha, the heavily fortified submarine pen, is a very closely guarded secret. With its nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, India may finally catch up with the established nuclear powers in terms of global reach.
Chakra (ex-RUS Akula II) Nerpa (K-152)
The construction of the Nerpa submarine was started in 1993, but was then suspended due to lack of funding. The Indian Navy sponsored the building and sea trials of the submarine provided it was given to the Indian Navy on lease for 10 years. It was launched as K-152 Nerpa in October 2008 and entered service with the Russian Navy in late 2009. The submarine was leased to the Indian Navy in 2011 after extensive trials, and was formally commissioned into service as INS Chakra II at a ceremony in Visakhapatnam on 4 April 2012. The INS Chakra joined the Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam.
INS Chakra SSN offers the flexibility of a wide range of responses, which have marked a paradigm shift in submarine operations. The submarine is equipped with an array of state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, which enable the submarine to undertake diverse roles and participate in various fleets, tactical and theatre level exercises. Chakra has played a pivotal role in laying strong foundations of nuclear and radiation safety procedures, quality maintenance and high standards of professional competence. ‘Chakra’ has been named after the mythological weapon of Lord Vishnu. The crest design depicts a Yellow Chakra on Blue and White Sea waves with Sky Blue background.
INS Chakra is powered by a 190 MW reactor and can reach speeds of over 30 knots. The vessel is manned by 80 crew members and is equipped with tactical missiles, a new fire control systems, sonar’s and contemporary optronic periscopes and surveillance systems.The INS Chakra displaces about 12,000 tons. It can go upto a depth of 600 metres. INS Chakra is one of the quietest nuclear submarines around, with noise levels next to zero.
The submarine has a double-hulled configuration with a distinctive high aft fin. The hull has seven compartments and the stand-off distance between the outer and inner hulls is considerable, reducing the possible inner hull damage. The very low acoustic signature has been achieved by incremental design improvements to minimize noise generation and transmission – for example, the installation of active noise cancellation techniques.
INS Chakra is powered by a 190 MW reactor and can reach speeds of over 30 knots. The vessel is manned by 80 crew members and is equipped with tactical missiles, a new fire control systems, sonar’s and contemporary optronic periscopes and surveillance systems.The INS Chakra displaces about 12,000 tons. It can go upto a depth of 600 metres. INS Chakra is one of the quietest nuclear submarines around, with noise levels next to zero.
The submarine has a double-hulled configuration with a distinctive high aft fin. The hull has seven compartments and the stand-off distance between the outer and inner hulls is considerable, reducing the possible inner hull damage. The very low acoustic signature has been achieved by incremental design improvements to minimize noise generation and transmission – for example, the installation of active noise cancellation techniques.
3M14E Klub-S (SS-N-30) LACM
The 3M-14, part of Russian contractor Novator’s Club-A series, is a land attack cruise missile. The land attack variant is designed to strike pre-programmed targets such as seaports, airfields, and command posts. The missile is modular with five versions: two anti-shipping models, one for land attack and two anti-submarine variants.
The 3M14E (E for export) Klub is a reduced range (~300 km) version of the 3M14 Kalibr. The missile is believed to fly 64 ft above the sea and 164 ft above the ground at speeds up to 965 km/hour. It is believed to be guided, using GPS and terminal-phase active radar seekers to achieve a reported three m CEP. Its basic length is 6.2 m (20 ft), with a 450 kg (990 lb) warhead. Its range is 300 km (190 mi). It has a subsonic terminal speed of 0.8 mach.
3M54E Klub-S (SS-N-27 Sizzler) AShM
The Klub/Club is a family of modular, two-stage, multi-purpose missiles intended to engage ships, submarines and targets onshore. Club is the designation used for the export versions.The Klub missiles can be launched from surface ships and submarines employing canisters, torpedo tubes and VLS. The missile can follow a ballistic or a low and medium altitude cruise trajectory pattern depending on the Klub missile version. They have been designed to destroy targets protected by sophisticated active air defenses and countermeasures. The Club-N designation applies to missile variants employed by surface vessels which launch this kind of weapon through Vertical Launch System (VLS). The Club-S refers to submarine applications which utilize torpedo tubes to fire the weapon out of the submarine. This family of missiles entered service in 2001 within the Russian Armed Forces and is also aimed at export customers worldwide. The Caliber designation refers to the missile complex deployed on Russian Navy vessels to engage a variety of targets.
The missile is a modular system with five versions: two anti-shipping types, one for land attack and two anti-submarine types. The missile is designed to share common parts between the surface and submarine-launched variants but each missile consists of different components, for example, the booster. The missile can be launched from a surface ship using a Vertical Launch System (VLS). It has a booster with thrust vectoring capability. The missile launched from a submarine torpedo tube has no need for such an addition but has a conventional booster instead. The air launched version is held in a container that is dropped as the missile launches, detaching from the container.
The 3M-54E Club-S is a submarine launched anti-ship missile capable of penetrating ships' sophisticated air defenses. It features a booster, a cruise low-altitude subsonic sustainer and a supersonic terminal stage which activates at 60 km from target after the cruise stage drops. Its guidance system is based on inertial navigation system with end-game active radar homing. Its basic length is 8.2 m, with a 200 kg warhead. Its range is 220 km. It is a sea-skimmer with a supersonic terminal speed and a flight altitude of 4.6 metres (15 ft) at its final stage is 2.9 mach.
Four single 650mm TT with T-65
The Type 65 is a torpedo developed by Russia. Indian navy using the modified version Type 65-76A torpedo.
Type 650mm 65-76A torpedo is one of the most powerful of its kind around, packs enough explosive punch to blow an aircraft carrier out of the water. The 65-76 caliber torpedos are absolutely one-of-a-kind in terms of speed, range and yield. The whole set consists of three torpedoes and a hydro-acoustic jammer. The 65-76A 650mm long-range self-homing anti-ship torpedo, also known as ‘Kit’ (‘Whale’) was developed during the mid-1980s and was inducted into the Navy in 1991.The upgraded version of the 65-76 torpedo, the Whale is 11 meters long, moves at 50 knots (57.5 miles an hour) and has a maximum range of 62 miles(100Km) .
Type 65 76A has range 50 Km at 93km/h, 100Km at 56km/h. it uses active/passive sonar and wire guidance. Warhead 450/557 Kg high explosives. Propulsion probably gas turbine powered by hydrogen peroxide kerosene and compressed air fuel. Driven by contra rotating propellers.
India and Russia signed an inter-governmental deal for leasing of another nuclear-powered attack submarine for the Indian Navy for a period of 10 years, military sources said. Under the pact, Russia will have to deliver the Akula class submarine, to be known as Chakra III, to the Indian Navy by 2025. This new attack submarine will replace Indian Navy's INS Chakra 2 whose lease is expiring in the year 2022. Chakra III will replace the Chakra II submarine already in service with Indian Navy from 2012.
It will be K 322 Kashalot which will turn into Chakra 3. K-322 Kashalot is an akula 2nd class submarine. The submarine was laid down on September 5, 1986 at Amur Shipyard in under the name of K-322; launched on July 18, 1987; commissioned into Pacific Fleet on March 1, 1989; renamed into Kashalot on April 13, 1993.
K-322 Kashalot is amuch older submarine than the current Chakra II in service with Indian Navy, but it will be equipped with latest technologies. Russia had offered India K-322 Kashalot in 2015 to replace Chakra II which will complete its 10-year lease in 2022. After overhauling it will be more capable than current chakra 2 SSN. Chakra 3 will have India specific enhancements and will include Indian systems.
Chkara 3 will be getting a new generation nuclear reactor and Russia may ready to transfer the technology to India.
In February 2015, the Indian government approved the indigenous construction of six nuclear-powered attack submarines at the Ship Building Center (SBC) in Visakhapatnam. A patrol by a Shang-class submarine in the Indian Ocean prompted the revival of a plan to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines. The estimated cost of the project is pegged at 1.2 lakh crores (US$5 billion).
These will be designed by the Navy’s in-house Directorate of Naval Design and indigenously built in the Shipbuilding Center at Visakhapatnam. The initial design phase for the new boats has progressed successfully and more resources will now be deployed to move to the more complex detailed design and construction to be undertaken by the Directorate of Naval Design (Submarine Design Group) with assistance from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). These SSNs will be armed with conventional missiles and torpedoes.
It is anticipated the design would be as for a modern SSN and the construction would be on lines similar to that of the INS Arihant with an improved Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) designed nuclear reactor at Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Ship Building Centre (SBC) in Vishakhapatnam under the Advanced Technology Project (ATV) under a strategic Public Private Partnership (PPP). The project is being worked out under a Naval Vice Admiral. Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is the PPP construction partner for INS Arihant and successive submarines.
Mishra Dhatu Nigam (MIDHANI) is developing a new hull material that is expected to allow the submarine to dive into deeper depths than the Arihant class. A scaled down model of the submarine is planned to be tested in the near future.
Shishumar Class (GER T-209/1500) (~4)
The Shishumar class vessels are diesel-electric submarines. These submarines are developed by the German yard Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW).The first two of these vessels were built by HDW at Kiel, while the remainder have been built at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) Mumbai. . These submarines are a lengthier and heavier Indian variant of the Type 209 submarines developed by the German yard Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) under the internal designation Type 1500.
The 4 boats of the Shishumar class include some customized features including a larger diameter of the pressure hull, a pressure-resistant bulkhead, as well as an IKL-designed integrated escape system. The escape sphere has accommodations for the entire 40 men crew with an eight-hour air supply. This sphere can withstand the same pressure as the hull, and is outfitted for short term survival and communications.
The ships were commissioned between 1986 and 1994. These submarines have a displacement of 1660 tons when surfaced, a speed of 22 knots (41 km/h), and a complement of 40 including eight officers. These submarines are 65 meters long with an 8-meter-wide beam. They can remain submerged for about 50 days without surfacing. Their weapons systems are capable of firing torpedoes. All four of the Shishumar-class vessels have undergone refits since they were commissioned.
Range (surface) is 11,000 nmi (20,000 km) at 10 knots (20 km/h). Range (snorkel) is 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 10 knots (20 km/h). Range (submerged) is 400 nmi (700 km) at 4 knots (7 km/h).
The Shishumar class boats already underwent a midlife refit from 1999 to 2005. Some of the improvements included a retrofit of the French Eledone sonar and an Indian action data system.
On 29 June 2016, the Indian Navy signed a contract with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to upgrade two of the four Shishumar-class diesel-electric attack submarines. TKMS worked on the retrofitting of two submarines of the class in 2016: the INS Shalki and the INS Shalkul, under a $ 38.4 million contract with the Indian Navy. That upgrade also extended their operational life for ten years. The upgrade is also being carried out by Mazagon Dock, Mumbai. Under this upgrade, the boats are being fitted with a Boeing weapons suite of UGM-84L Harpoon Block encapsulated anti-ship missile systems. The new weapons package includes 12 UGM-84L Harpoon Block II Encapsulated Missiles, 10 UTM-84L Harpoon Encapsulated Training missiles, and 2 Encapsulated Harpoon certification training vehicles. Additionally, Atlas Elektronik modernized the combat and sensor systems of these submarines.
On 28 September 2018, India contracted TKMS again for an upgrade on the INS Shishumar . The contract is for a mid life refit and life certification (MRLC) of the 32-year-old submarine. The upgrade will be completed by 2021. The contract includes new equipment delivery, maintenance of systems & components, on-site technical support & logistical services in form of documentation, training and spare parts. It will also provide life certification warranty of the INS Shishumar’s pressure hull for the next decade. The upgrade will extend the operational life of the submarine by 10 years. This contract is just the latest in a series of upgrade contracts for the Shishumar class submarines. A similar upgrade for another vessel of Shishumar class to follow (INS Shankush).
Hensoldt Optronics has upgraded the Shishumar (HDW Type-209) class submarines with a combination of OMS-100/110 optronic mast and the SERO-400 direct view periscope. The dual-axis stabilised OMS 110 sensor package incorporates a high-resolution TV camera, a mid-wave thermal camera. The SERO 400 family uses direct view optics, providing an experienced observer with detailed recognition, especially with regard to colour fidelity and the recognition of coloured position lights. The binocular eyepiece also helps the observer to gain a certain spatial impression of the scene observed, which is not possible with any two-dimensional image display on a monitor. It encapsulates high performance direct view optics, TV camera, Laser Range Finder, antenna providing ESM/DF, V/UHF communication and GPS.
The 3rd and 4th boats of the Shishumar class, S46 INS Shakti and S47 INS Shankul, received an upgrade in 2016 by to be fitted with Harpoon missiles. Shishumar class submarines can also carry 24 external strap-on mines.
UGM-84L Harpoon Block II
The Harpoon is all weather, subsonic, over the horizon, anti-ship missile which can be launch from surface ships, submarines and aircraft. Its guidance system consists of a 3-axis integrated digital computer/ radar altimeter for midcourse guidance, and an active radar seeker for the terminal phase of the flight. The Harpoon Block II is an improved version of the Harpoon missile and is able to strike land-based targets and ships in littoral environments. The Block II incorporated the GPS/INS guidance system of the JDAM bombs and the mission computer, software, and GPS antenna employed by the SLAM ER missile. The missile carries a 224 kg warhead.The multi-mission Block II can be launched from submarines and surface ships such as fast patrol boats, destroyers and frigates.
AEG SUT mod 1
The AEG SUT 264 is a German 21 inch heavyweight torpedo produced by Atlas Elektronik which entered service in 1967. It is a Wire-guided, active/passive homing torpedo. AEG-SUT Mod-1 torpedo has the range of some 30 kilometer at the speed of some 35 knots.. The torpedo carries a 250-kt (551-lb) HE warhead. The max speed of the torpedo is 35 kts and its range is 28 km (17.4 miles) at 23 kts and 12 km (7.5 miles) at 35 kts.
In 2013 OEM Atlas Elektronik was contracted to upgrade the 64 SUTs remaining in Indian service. The upgrade programme will essentially extend the life of the torpedoes by at least 15-17 years.
Sindhughosh-Class (Type 877EM (6)) (Type 877 EKM (2))
India possesses eight Sindhughosh-class diesel-electric attack submarines. These Kilo-class units act as the mainstay of India’s submarine fleet and are being progressively retrofitted to accommodate the Klub/3M-54E Alfa cruise missile system. The final unit was the first to be equipped with the Klub antiship cruise missiles with a range of 220 km. These submarines are 72.6 meters long with a 9.9-meter-wide beam and can travel up to 18 knots when submerged. They can remain submerged for about 45 days without surfacing. Their weapons systems are capable of firing torpedoes and anti-ship missiles. The submarines have a displacement of 3,000 tonnes, a maximum diving depth of 300 meters, top speed of 18 knots, and are able to operate solo for 45 days with a crew of 53.
The Kilo class features a water-drop shape double hull with a T-shape stern rudder and a single large shaft. A pair of bow planes is located close to the midship on the upper hull in front of the sail. With a reserve buoyancy of 32%, the submarine consists of six watertight compartments separated by transverse bulkhead in a pressured double hull, which increases the survivability of the submarine, even with one compartment and adjacent ballast tanks flooded. The command and control and fire-control systems are located in the main control room which is sealed off from other compartments. The submarine is a single-shaft vessel with a double hull. The bow planes are positioned close to the midship to improve the performance of the sonar. To reduce the submarine’s acoustic signature, the flooding ports have been removed from the forebody. It also has a new gas-freeing system and the hull is covered with rubber anti-sonar protection tiles to reduce the risk of detection. To reduce the submarine’s acoustic signature, the flooding ports are removed from the forebody, and the hull is covered with rubber anechoic tile to reduce its noise level. Nicknamed the “Black Hole” by many in the submarine community, the Improved Kilos are extremely quiet.
In 2015, Malabar naval exercise, between the navies of India and the United States, involved INS Sindhudhvaj and USS City of Corpus Christi hunting each other. Sindhudhvaj managed to track Corpus Christi and score a simulated kill without being detected. INS Sindhuvijay was used Indian made sonar USHUS to detect US Submarine.
Two ou of Ten of the original Kilos are already out of service; INS Sindhurakshak suffered a major fire and explosion on 14 August 2013 and later the submarine was sunk in 3000 meters of water in the Arabian Sea during June 2017. India handed over one Sindhughosh submarine INS Sindhuvir to Myanmar Navy.
On 29 August 2014 DAC cleared the long-awaited mid-life upgrade of the four Kilo-class submarines, which carried out in Indian shipyards.
In December 2015, L&T was chosen by the Russian shipbuilder Sevmash to be its Indian partner in the refit project. While the first of the four Kilo class subs went to the Russian Zvezdochka shipyard for inspection and refit, the remaining three were modernized at the Kattupalli shipyard. Upgrade the extended their operational life by 35 years.
6 single 533mm TT with
Torpedo 53-65 - Soviet heavy torpedo designed to fight surface units, equipped with a homing system to aim the target along its track . Due to the used oxidizer in the form of 85–98% high-test peroxide (HTP) hydrogen peroxide , it is one of the most dangerous torpedoes in the world to store and use. 53-65KE is wake-homing; 2,200 kg total mass; 200kg warhead; up to 40 km range; up to 500 m depth of search. The 53-65KE is an exported version. China received an unknown number of 53-65KE torpedoes from Russia after purchasing 4 Kilo class submarines in the 1990s.
TEST-71M is an autonomous and remotely controlled torpedo designed to engage either surface ships or submerged submarines. Sealed into a nitrogen filled container and featuring an electric propulsion system can be launched from both ships (TEST-71M-NK) and submarines (TEST-71M and TEST-71M-NK). Both torpedoes feature proximity (electromagnetic and/or acoustic) fuzes and two impact fuzes. Its electric propulsion system provides a maximum range of 20,000 meters and two speed modes to minimize interferences with the launcher ship's sonar system. The TEST-71M's homing head has a maximum detection range of 1,000 meters compared to 1,500 meters in the improved TEST-71M-NK torpedo. The TEST-71M-NK/TEST-71ME-NK torpedo has been selected as the replacement for 53-65SK torpedoes onboard Project 877EKM submarines.
In addition to the initial prototype, was developed TEST-71 4 variant is more TEST 71M, TEST 71MK, TEST 71ME-NK and TEST 3. Among them, only variations TEST 71ME-NK is capable of versatile attack. TEST-71ME-NK has 533 mm diameter, 7.93 m long, weight 1.820 kg; warhead weighs 205 kg and has a great advantage is equipped with 2 fuses different: it needs to target (acoustics and magnetic field) and hit explosion. Torpedo operations are controlled by wireless remote, semi-active probes and transducers for sonar target detection range up to 1.5 km.
TEST-71ME-NK propulsion system is equipped with 2 dual propeller, 48km/h cruise speed and increased to 74 km/h in the final stages, 20 km long range attack at a depth of up to 400m.
The SET-65 is a heavyweight torpedo of Soviet origin. It is an acoustic homing torpedo introduced in 1965 for use against submarines, including deep diving nuclear submarines. SET-65 is launched from both surface ships and submarines. It is fitted with an electric motor and over time various homing systems were developed. The SET-65 is a free running torpedo and serves as the basis for the TEST-71 series of wire guided torpedoes.
SET-65E is Export model of the SET-65 torpedo. It is an electrical (Silver zinc battery) Torpedo with active acoustic guidance. The range of the homing system was about 880 yards (800 m). It has a range of 16Km at 40kt speed. Can be used up to 400m depth. Warhead contains 205 kg explosive charge.
Kalvari Class (Scorpène) (2 operational) (Project P 75)
The Kalvari Class is an Indian Navy specific version of the French Scorpène design. Currently 2 are in service, 2 more are on trials and 2 are under construction. Together with the Project-75I type they will replace the ageing Shishumar class (German Type-209) and Sindhughosh class (Russian Kilo). It has a length of 67.5 m (221 ft), height of 12.3 m (40 ft), overall beam of 6.2 m (20 ft) and a draught of 5.8 m (19 ft). It can reach a top speed of 20 kn (37 km/h) when submerged and a maximum speed of 11 kn (20 km/h) when surfaced. The submarine has a range of 6,500 nmi (12,000 km) at 8 kn (15 km/h) when surfaced.
The state-of-art features of the Scorpene include superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface. The Stealth features give it invulnerability, unmatched by many submarines.
The Scorpene Submarine is designed to operate in all theatres including the Tropics. All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force. It can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine i.e Anti-Surface warfare, Anti-Submarine warfare, Intelligence gathering, Mine Laying, Area Surveillance etc.
Kalvari Class Submarines are built from special steel, capable of withstanding high yield stress and having high tensile strength, thereby allowing them to withstand high hydrostatic force and enabling them to dive deeper to further enhance stealth.
The Submarine is built according to the principle of Modular Construction, which involves dividing the submarine into a number of sections and building them parallelly. The equipment is mounted onto Cradles and then embarked into the sections. The complexity of the task increases exponentially as it involves laying of around 60 kms of cabling and 11 kms of piping in extremely congested and limited space inside the submarine.
Planning and design of the Scorpene class ship were directed towards achieving an extremely quiet vessel with great detection capability and offensive power. Hull, sail and appendage forms have been specifically designed to produce minimum hydrodynamic noise. The various items of equipment are mounted on elastic supports, which are in turn mounted on uncoupled blocks and suspended platforms. The isolation also provides better shock protection to the equipment.
The Scorpene is equipped with Weapons Launching Tubes (WLT), and can carry weapons on board which can be easily reloaded at sea, through special handling and loading equipment. The array of weapons and complex sensors fitted on board the Scorpene are managed by a high technology Combat Management System, which integrates various diverse systems fitted onboard into One Formidable Whole.
Indian Scorpene submarine lacking an AIP capability is likely to be at a huge disadvantage over an AIP fitted Chinese or Pakistani submarine. AIP enabled submarines lurking underwater, can make a silent and undetected approach close to a warship or submarine, and launch a torpedo attack with a better probability of kill. This makes protection of capital ships within a Fleet Task Force highly vulnerable simply because of the hostile submarine is already elusive and can approach its torpedo firing range before being detected or engaged by even by the latest P-8I multirole maritime patrol aircraft. In the future India will fit indigenously developed AIP in Kalvari Class submarines which is currently under development.
Each Kalvari class ship is powered by four MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines, has 360 battery cells (750 kg each), for power and has a silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor. The hull, fin and hydroplanes are designed for minimum underwater resistance and all equipment inside the pressure hull is mounted on shock absorbing cradles for enhanced stealth. Special steel was used in its construction which has high tensile strength, capable of withstanding high yield stress and hydro-static force. Each submarine has 60 km of cabling and 11 km of piping. The class displaces 1,615 t (1,780 short tons) when surfaced and 1,775 t (1,957 short tons) when submerged.
The class is also fitted with mobile C303/S anti-torpedo decoys for self-defence. The weapon systems and sensors are integrated with Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS). It has a sonar system is capable of Low Frequency Analysis and Ranging (LOFAR) enabling long range detection and classification. Each submarine has a complement of 8 officers and 35 sailors.
The vessel’s sonar suite includes a long-range passive cylindrical array, intercept sonar, active sonar, distributed array, flank array, high-resolution sonar for mine and obstacle avoidance, as well as a towed array.
Kalvari class submarines are fitted with S-Cube integrated sonar suite. S-Cube Sonar Suite on kalvari class comprises bow, flank, distributed, towed, intercept and active arrays, self–noise monitoring, 3D MOAS, as well as associated functions. As an integrated system, the S-Cube provides situational awareness capabilities by offering instantaneous access to all sensors data. These data can also be post-processed on a long history period at any moment on request of the sonar operator, providing an invaluable tool for contact analysis and classification, localization and tracking.
Features of S Cube
S-CUBE enables permanent safety of the platform while providing cutting-edge passive and active performance in deep or littoral waters to detect, classify, locate and track a full panorama of widely threats.
Optional HF active sonar (Navigation and Mine & Obstacle Avoidance Sonar) to further enhanced safety.
High performance sonar based on multi-sensors views and processing from a consistent combination of acoustic arrays (Planar Flank and Bow Arrays, etc).
Digital arrays, with elevation capability and extended frequency range.
Advanced algorithms including high resolution Adaptive Beamforming and ASW processing tools.
Based on the Open System Architecture for scalability, upgradability; easy and incremental insertion of additional sensors and new capabilities and allows third party algorithms insertion.
Full integration in the combat system.
Seamless integrate to any combat system.
Increased effectiveness: significant reduction in operating manpower and training – integrated aids and alerts for operators.
Series 30 SMS (Search Mast System)
The Series 30 SMS is a non-penetrating mast designed for above-surface surveillance: navigation safety, surveillance, intelligence collection and self-protection combining electronic and optronic warfare. Compatible with a full range of electromagnetic antenna (GPS, ESM, early warning and communication), it includes a high-definition thermal imager as well as a high-definition camera, and can simultaneously accommodate a low-light level, anti-blooming camera and a laser range finder.
The Series 30 SMS (Search Mast System) has four simultaneously operational sensors; image processing and operating modes make it perfect for advanced detection of airborne or surface threats. The Series 20 Attack Periscope System (APS) is a modern, highly reliable attack periscope providing outstanding optical performances.
Its four optronic sensors, which can be used simultaneously to obtain panoramic scene captures in record time, are the fastest on the market. Known as the “Quick Look Round” feature, it enables panoramic or segment displays in separate, full resolution or compressed windows. This mode is available in addition to the conventional, live display of the different video channels.
Six 533mm Torpedo Tube
Can hold 30 Mines
SM39 Exocet Block 2 AShM
Exocet SM39 is the submarine-launched version of the Exocet family. It features all weather capability, sea skimming flight, solid propellant and a high kill warhead.The missile has a range of 50 km, which enables the submarine to go into action while remaining out of enemy detection and weapon range. Flexibility and versatility are provided thanks to the system’s large launch envelope.
Housed in a water-tight, highly resistant, propelled and guided underwater vehicle, the aerial missile is ejected as soon as it breaks the surface, to ensure a very low culmination altitude. It then rapidly homes into the target at sea skimming level: it uses an inertial navigation system followed by autonomous terminal guidance from an active RF seeker.
It has a length of 4.69 m and a diameter of 350 mm. Alone, the missile itself weighs 655 kg, but the weight increases to 1,345 kg when combined with the VSM (Vehicule Sous-Marin) container launch module. Although the VSM is necessary for launch, the missile separates from the container at a low altitude after breaking surface.
AEG SUT HWT
Project 75I (Future)
The Project 75I-class submarine is follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarine for the Indian Navy. Under this project, the Indian Navy intends to acquire six diesel-electric submarines. The main capability jump for Project-75I will be Air Independent Power (AIP). This will allow the submarines to remain submerged for longer periods. All six submarines are expected to be constructed in Indian shipyards.
The Project-75I is one of the most important and strategically significant naval programmes being undertaken by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the new decade. It is in line with the government’s Strategic Partnership (SP) Model and has broad-based the competition which is fair in a high-value project. Under the SP model, the Project 75I is the second one to be processed, and submarines for the Indian Navy will be built-in India through technology transfer.
The design of the Project-75I has not been selected yet. On 21 January 2020, the Government of India shortlisted Larsen & Toubro and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders as the two Indian firms. Defence ministry (MoD) sources on 10-07-202 said the tender or RFP (request for proposal) “should be issued by next month” to defence shipyard Mazagon Docks (MDL) and private ship-builder L&T for the submarine programme. It will be the first project to be launched under the strategic partnership (SP). The two Indian shipyards or SPs will have to submit their technical and commercial bids in response to the RFP after they tie up with their preferred original equipment manufacturer (OEM) from the five short-listed by the MoD earlier. The five OEMs are Rubin Design Bureau (Russia), Naval Group-DCNS (France), ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (Germany), Navantia (Spain) and Daewoo (South Korea).Indian Navy hopes to induct the first new submarine seven years after the P-75I contract is finally inked by 2021-2022. India’s P-75I for six new submarines, with both land-attack cruise missiles and AIP, was first granted “acceptance of necessity (AoN)” way back in November 2007 but is yet to be finalized.
MoD says P-75I, which can be finalized by December 2021 at the earliest, will bring in key technologies to ensure the next submarine-building project (P-76) is completely indigenous in design and technology.
Unmanned Under Water Vehicles
As a new emerging power in the Asia Pacific, India has designed and constructed some UUVs for the last few years. In 2016, a prototype was successfully made and designed to be deployed in military operation at sea. Latest discourse of UUVs development in India is integrated operation between UUVs and submarines for the purposes of surveillance.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been designing and developing multiple AUVs to meet broader operational requirements for futuristic scenarios. In April 2016, DRDO scientists successfully developed an autonomous underwater prototype for multiple maritime missions in India's waters. Manohar Parrikar, the defence minister, announced in the Parliament that a feasibility study undertaken for the development of different types of AUV platforms showed that the DRDO was capable of designing various kinds of UUVsfrom hand-held slow-speed ones, to military-class platforms, 22 with the capability to assist in the entire gamut of maritime security the capability to assist in the entire gamut of maritime security.
DRDO NSTL have developed an autonomous underwater vehicle and demonstrated its capabilities. This vehicle can undertake surveillance, intelligence and recognisance tasks. Built for extended operations at a depth of upto 100m, for surveillance, intelligence gathering, mine detection, sea cordon operations etc, the AUV is understood to be priced at just over $8 million making it one of the most competitively priced systems in the market today. With the Electronics Corporation India Ltd (ECIL) as an engineering partner, DRDO's naval science and technology laboratory (NSTL) in Visakhapatnam is also trying to develop a variant of the AUV that can conduct more frontline activity like mine-laying.
The DRDO's AUV is a four-metre long, 1.4-metre wide, flat fish-shaped vehicle which can travel at a speed of about seven km per hour at depths of up to 300 metres below sea level. Fully pre-programmed in terms of algorithms and mission requirements, the robotic vehicle is piloted by an on-board computer that employs technologies developed by NSTL.
It weighs around 1.7 tonnes and can carry around 500 kg of pay load. NSTL also has plans to develop the advanced version of these UAVs in a larger size and 10 to 12 tonnes in weight. According to NSTL sources, the current one is 4 m in length and 1.4 m in width and can move at a speed of about 7 km per hour.The AUVs will enhance the underwater surveying capabilities of the Indian Navy. These vehicles can detect enemy ships and submarines.
Key features & capabilities
•Flat fish shaped, free flooding, re-configurable
•Size: 4.6 m x1.6 m x 0.7 m, Disp. : 1.5 Cum.
•Payload: 500 kg, positively buoyant with hovering
•OAS and INS, GPS & DVL aided navigation
•Underwater and surface comm. , U/W Camera and lights
•Normal and emergency recovery aids
•Target for u/w exercises & deployment of leave behind sensors
•For surveillance & Oceanographic surveys
Indian Navy currently operating self-propelled underwater reusable targets. The AUV62-AT acts as a training target that emulates a real submarine. It resembles a real submarine in a range of ASW scenarios and can be deployed in operator training activities, as well as the evaluation of sonar and other command control systems.
It can also be used for testing the capabilities of existing naval ASW systems. It is compatible with modern torpedoes and ASW sonar systems.AUV62-AT is highly flexible and can be launched from a ship or a submarine, as well as from shore. Launch and recovery of the training system are supported by a custom-designed docking device.The AUV-62 AT training system includes an AUV62-AT vehicle, signal generation and analysis system, advanced mission planning system, mission evaluation system, launch and recovery system (LARS), as well as an integrated logistics support (ILS) system.
Weighing approximately 620kg, the system features an extended mast for effective communication and data transfer. The transducers located on top of the vehicle enable generation and transmission of echo and noise. The extendable tail provides target elongation capability to the system, while hydrophones mounted on the hull facilitate echo repetition. The signature generation system on-board the unit is capable of producing both active and passive signals.
Note: Indian navy operating self-propelled underwater reusable targets for training, we believe it is AUV 62 but not confirmed yet, only one report indicates it is AUV 62.
NSTL 'Autonomous Sea Vehicle' (ASV)
Autonomous Sea Vehicle (ASV) is an ambitious and secretive program of NSTL; it is on the lines of the US Navy's 'Manta Unmanned Underwater Vehicle' program. According to reports ASV is making gradual progress. The Indian ASV will be a 'submadrones' a submarine launched swimming spy plane, contained within an underwater drone with folded wings housed in a torpedo canister. The drone is designed to be launched from submarine tubes and deploy in reconnaissance mode for a fixed time period. On completion of the task, it is programmed to drop into the water, to be then recovered by a small autonomous vehicle and returned to the submarine.
The Manta UUV is over 30 feet long and carries a payload of up to five tons, which can include additional smaller underwater drones, for which it acts like a mother ship, and torpedo weapons.
For deep-sea exploration, India has the Samudra, a low-cost AUV that operates underwater with pre-programmed inputs. Fitted with an on-board image processing unit, it can undertake path detection, obstacle avoidance and target identification under the sea.
AUV Carrier (Future capability)
AUV carriers (like aircraft carriers) that can fly in and fly out AUVs to and from the mother ship to the theater of operation at sea. These AUVs may have amphibious capabilities (land, air, sea surface and U/W). They will be networked systems with Ocean satellites, ocean Stations and sea lab etc.
Other platforms which has potential to go into Indian Navy arsenal
L&T Admaya Submarine launched AUV.
Adamya is a five meters long heavy weight AUV is designed to perform underwater mission for so long time, L&T says the Adamya’s underwater endurance is more than eight hours with maximum speed of some 6 knots. This can dive up to 500 meters; with the operational payload of multiple systems can be customized by the user.
The Adamya AUV can be launched from submarine torpedo tube without having any further modifications in the submarine, it can also be launched from surface ships with simple launch and recovery systems comes with the Adamya AUV pack.
The AUV can undertake various missions which include, Hydrographic survey, underwater mine detection and countermeasure, Intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance mission, offshore survey, harbor security, clandestine monitoring, environmental monitoring and anti submarine operations. The payloads can be switched by respective missions, with the capacity of some 50 kilo grams.
In the front section of payload, it can carry a forward looking sonar, an underwater camera, CTD sensor (Conductivity, Temperature and depth), and a customized payload. Afterwards it comes with a large space for customized payload along with other connectivity solutions. This where most of the mission payloads can be kept.
The vehicle controlled by a combination of Doppler velocity logger, Intertial navigation system and GPS. The AUV powered by a Lithium Polymer battery which can give enough power supply to the AUV to work upto eight hours at an nominal speed of some 4 knots. The AUV propelled by a contra rotating blades and two thrusters which is located in forward and end section.
The real time data can transmitted from the AUV using the on-board systems like RF Antenna, Wi fi and Acoustic modem, which can communicate easily to the mother ship or friendly warships close by.
L&T has highlighted several features on the Adamya to the Navy, including the fact that the vehicle's modular design and depth-rated shells enable mission customisation as per the Navy's needs without having to resort to pressure-proofing of the internal electronic systems. Other qualities include short turnaround time and ability to be air-shipped conveniently. The Adamya is being pitched for naval applications that include hydrographic survey (the Hydrography Dept. incidentally is also looking for AUVs), mine countermeasures, intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance (ISR), offshore survey, clandestine monitoring, environmental monitoring and optional anti-submarine warfare
AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) - 150 is an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) being developed by Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) scientists in Durgapur.
AUV-150 is capable of independently carrying various underwater operations. The vehicle was built with the intent of coastal security like mine counter-measures, coastal monitoring and reconnaissance. AUV 150 can be used to study aquatic life, for mapping of sea-floor and minerals along with monitoring of environmental parameters, such as current, temperature, depth and salinity. It can also be useful in cable and pipeline surveys. It is built to operate 150 metres under the sea and have cruising speed of up to four knots.
AUV 150 is modular shallow water AUV having five degrees of freedom. The vehicle uses a Lithium polymer battery. AUV 150 is equipped with hybrid communication system: it uses radio frequency on surface and acoustic at under water.
Amogh is a third-generation Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), designed and developed in collaboration with M/s Edgelab, Italy. Amogh is loaded with the latest state-of-the-art sensors, payloads, propulsion and energy system suitable for hydrographic and underwater surveillance, and reconnaissance operations. The AUV is designed to comply with International Hydrographic Organisation Standards for Hydrographic Surveys and IMP regulations for the safety of navigation. The containerized design with built-in LARS and AUV maintenance support system is suitable for ease of deployment and installation.
Maya is a small and modular AUV capable of carrying scientific and commercial payloads upto operating depth of 200 m. AUV Maya has a payload capacity of 4 kgs and is suited for requirements such as expendable Underwater Targets, Inspection AUVs, etc.
Navigation and positioning
Indian Navy Swimmer Delivery Vehicle
The Indian Navy Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) is a planned class of midget submarine for the Indian navy. Under this programme the Indian Navy will acquire 2 midget submarines for use as Swimmer Delivery Vehicles. These submarines will be used for conducting underwater special operations by MARCOS. Both submarines will be constructed by Hindustan Shipyard Limited. The cost of procuring the two SDVs will be around 2,000 crore.
For the Navy's Marine Commando Force, the midgets will transport armament and equipment from the mother craft to attack targets such as ships riding at anchor and coastal installations, according to a Navy official. The subs will also carry out covert surveillance attacks in shallow waters
In December 2018, the Indian Navy had inducted two DSRVs, supplied by UK-based company James Fisher Defence (JFD). While the Indian Navy had mulled the purchase for DSRVs for several years, the tragic accident on the INS Sindhurakshak in 2013 that left 18 personnel dead highlighted gaps in rescue facilities in the event of underwater emergencies.
The DSRV is equipped with sophisticated radar and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), which extends the vessel's operating depth and can be used for clearing debris and obstructions. The DSRV has a crew of three personnel and can rescue up to 14 personnel from a stranded submarine at a time.
The DSRV, being smaller than military submarines, can be transported by specially equipped ships or the Indian Air Force's heavy-lift aircraft, such as the C-17, to the vicinity of a submarine emergency.
In 2018, the Indian Navy awarded a contract to Hindustan Shipyard to build two diving support vessels that will act as 'mother ships' to support the operations of the DSRV fleet. The diving support vessels, which will be about 118 metres long, are expected to be ready by 2021.
India’s underwater wall
Details of India’s underwater sensor network for detecting submarines and ships are not available from the available sources we learnt that. India was planned to undertake joint projects with Japan and the United States for the defense of its littoral spaces; including one for the installation of sound surveillance sensors (SOSUS) chain in India’s near seas. New Delhi is considering Japanese assistance in the construction of an undersea network of seabed-based sensors stretching from the tip of Sumatra right up to Indira Point in the Bay of Bengal to prevent Chinese submarines from approaching Indian exclusive economic zone.
There is no official confirmation of these developments. However, it is entirely possible China’s anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) plans in Southeast Asia may have served as a trigger for an Indian response in the Bay of Bengal. In 2015, after the 10-member ASEAN defense minister’s meeting concluded, India decided to play a greater role in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and South China Sea. Ex-defense minister, Mr. Manohar Parrikar, had a pivotal role to play in enhancing Indian Navy’s capabilities. . This was followed by laying of an undersea optical fiber cable from mainland to Andaman Nicobar islands, and a network of seabed-based surveillance sensors from Indira point to Sumatra in Indonesia.
Besides providing funds for the upgrading of naval air bases and construction of new electronic/signals intelligence stations along the Andaman and Nicobar chain of islands, Tokyo was planned to finance an undersea optical fiber cable from Chennai to Port Blair. Japanese multinational provider of information technology services and products NEC was roped in to lay optical submarine cable system between Chennai and Port blair. The project commenced in December 2019 It is apparently a 2300 Km long cable system which can carry 100Gb/s optical waves. In Aug 10, 2020, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the submarine optical fiber cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Andaman & Nicobar from Chennai to Port Blair, Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Island. The high impact projects are being expanded in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. This network is likely to be integrated with the existing U.S.-Japan “Fish Hook” SOSUS network meant specifically to monitor People’s Liberation Army-Navy(PLAN) submarine activity in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean Rim. In 2020 Japan decided to transmogrify its state secret laws to share intelligence with UK, India and Australia.
All India’s submarines and warships at Vishakhapatnam benefit from the new SOSUS Link and then west naval bases at Chennai, Vishakhapatnam etc. This integrated Undersea surveillance System (IUSS) (SOSUS Old Name) Link will act as a force multiplier, giving early warning of Chinese ships, especially Submarines movements in the Indian Ocean. The IUSS cable might detect and triangulate an SSK diesel engine even if the submarine is 1000Km away in the Indian Ocean. As the submarines gets closer to SOSUS array many additional submarines sounds can be discerned eg SSN reactor water/steam circulation, generator gearing-electrical motor sounds from SSNs and SSKs, dropped tools and water swishing over the hull sounds. Cavitations sounds might be picked up from Chinese SSNs over 15 knots submerged cruising speeds and SSKs over 5 knots submerged cursing. Within 100km the diesel sounds of an SSK might reveal an individual SSK even identifying as SSK known to be captioned by a particular commander (may be judged by his maneuvering habits). Identification of submarine Type or actual submarine is much easier if there are already recordings of the submarines sound on an Indian super computer data base (Library).
The bay of Bengal SOSUS is likely to be connected to shore stations at Vishakhapatnam. These may house Super Computers monitored by Indian Navy and may be NTRO analysts who particularly want to determine what type of submarines are making noise as well as its courses and speed . Once the sound s have been processed identified they need to be sent to the right naval assets e.g. Naval HQs at Vishakhapatnam, Mumbai and to Indian ships, submarines at sea and Indian P8I via satellite or powerful shore based radio stations. Indian ships Submarines can cue onto and then tail the Chinese Pakistani submarines detected.
Note: These figures are unofficial and debatable.
Anti Submarine Capabilities
Ship board ASW Assets
Indian Navies front line warships like Kolkata class destroyers are equipped with the ‘HUMSA-NG’ hull mounted sonar system. These sensory systems effectively act as the vessel’s ears and eyes providing the crew with unmatched operational awareness.
The Kolkata-class is equipped with a torpedo launching system via four torpedo tubes and two RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers. Most of the Indian navy destroyers are capable of firing various torpedoes for ASW. The most deadly among them is the indigenously developed heavy weight torpedo Varunastra. Varunastra can fire from Delhi-class destroyer ,Kolkata-class destroyer ,Rajput-class destroyer Talwar-class frigate etc .
Varunastra torpedo is powered by an electric propulsion system with multiple 250 KWs Silver Oxide Zinc (AgOZn) batteries. It can achieve speeds in excess of 40 kn (74 km/h; 46 mph), weighs around 1.25 tons and can carry 250 kg (550 lb) of conventional warhead. This torpedo has more than 95 per cent indigenous content. Varunastra has conformal array transducer which enables it look at wider angles than most common torpedoes. It also has an advanced autonomous guidance algorithms with low drift navigational aids, insensitive warhead which can operate in various combat scenarios. It is the only torpedo in the world to have a GPS-based locating aid. The exercise variant of Varunastra has integrated instrumentation system for recording all the dynamic parameters of the weapon, redundancy in recovery aids in case of emergency shut down or malfunction.
Various torpedoes using by Indian Navy
The Advanced Light Torpedo (TAL) Shyena is the first indigenous advanced lightweight anti-submarine torpedo of India, developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Navy.
Shyena is a processor based torpedo which incorporates solid-state electronics, digital technology and has been equipped with an integrated Active/Passive sensor package for homing. It is designed to be capable of launching from both a helicopter or from a triple-tube launcher on surface vessels. Its key design feature is maneuverability and ability to transition from warm to cold medium to ensure a hunt and kill. The development period of the torpedo was quite long, starting in the 1990s, and was inducted into the Indian Navy on 3 March 2012.
It is an electrically propelled self-homing torpedo and can be launched from ship and rotary wing aircraft. It has both active and passive modes of operations, and all digital control and guidance systems. TAL is an anti submarine weapon, which can attack submarines in shallow waters & deep waters.
The submarine-launched version of the Varunastra is currently under development and is expected to arm the IN’s Sindhughosh (Kilo) and Arihant Classes, once that is complete. As per the latest report Varunastra has been accepted and will be going into production phase.
DRDO’s naval research institute for underwater weapons, NSTL, has also been working to transform this 1300-kg ship-launched version into submarine-launched HWT known as Takshak torpedo system that will be armed on India’s Sindhughosh-class and Arihant-class boats. The under-development missile would be tested from one of the Sindhughosh-class SSKs to evaluate the weapon’s submarine engaging capability. Eventually, the firepower and underwater weaponry of the Indian Navy will soon get a big boost with the induction of these home-made HWTs.
A small version of the Russian-Indian cruise missile Brahmos can be launched from submarine torpedo tubes. BRAHMOS missile is capable of being launched from submarine from a depth of 40-50 metres. The missile can be installed in a modular launcher vertically in the pressure hull of the submarine. The missile has identical configuration similar to the ship based system. The canisterised missile is launched vertically; the nose cap prevents water from entering the 'air-intake' during the underwater flight. Once the missile emerges from the water, the sensors provide the “out of water command” and the nose cap is fired for turning the missile in the desired direction to hit the target. BRAHMOS installation in submarine will increase manyfold the 'offensive power' of the vessel without compromising on its 'defensive power' as the torpedo tubes can be fully utilized for defense.
All studies and simulation trials related to underwater launch have been completed. On 20 March 2013, the submarine-launched version of BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from a submerged platform in Bay of Bengal off the coast of Visakhapatnam. Creating history, the missile took off vertically from the submerged platform for its full range of 290 kms. Following a pre-defined trajectory, the missile emerged from underwater, took a turn towards the designated target meeting all mission objectives. All the telemetry and tracking stations, including Indian naval ships positioned throughout the flight path, confirmed the pin-point accuracy of the mission. BRAHMOS is now ready for fitment in submarines, for vertical launch.
Indigenous Sonar’s of Indian Navy
MH 60 R Romeo
India will buy 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin for the Indian Navy for USD 2.6 billion.The helicopters, with anti-surface, anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue missions capabilities, will prove to be a very potent weapon against rising Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region.
‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopters have advanced combat systems like sensors, missiles, and torpedoes to track and hunt enemy boats and submarines. Romeo’ Seahawk helicopters have advanced combat systems like sensors, missiles, and torpedoes to track and hunt enemy boats and submarines. The choppers will be armed with Hellfire missiles, precision kill weapon systems, and MK 54 torpedoes.
For Anti-surface warfare missions it can carry weapons on the four weapons stations, including AGM-114 Hellfire anti-surface missiles. For Anti-submarine warfare Three ATK mk50 or mk46 lightweight torpedoes. These helicopters would serve as replacements for the Sea King 42/42A helicopters. The first MH 60 will come in early 2021.
Naval Dhruv helicopter
Indian Navy acquired Dhruv helicopter developed by HAL in March 2008. The naval variant is fitted with Super Vision 2000 maritime radar, dunking sonar. The Naval Dhruv has cabin side pylons for torpedoes, depth charges or anti-ship missiles. The naval variant also has a retractable tricycle gear, a folding tail boom, a harpoon deck-lock, pressure refuelling, fairings on fuselage sides to house the main wheels, flotation gear and batteries.
The SV2000 maritime patrol radar developed by DRDO's Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) for surveillance. The radar has the capability to detect and track airborne targets, sea surface targets and sub surface targets (submarines) under sea clutter at a range more than 90 Km. The radar is optimised to detect and track targets which have small RCS (Radar Cross Sections) like sea skimmer missiles and low flying aircraft under sea and weather clutter conditions.
The radar has been developed using special techniques with the frequency agility and coherent processing to detect targets under sea clutter. Advanced algorithms provide reliable performance under jamming conditions. The radar is built to perform two roles: a primary and a secondary role. Under the primary role, the radar performs sea surface surveillance for ships, vessels, submarines and air space for low and high altitude flying air targets. It supports navigation, weather characterisation and beacon functions as secondary roles.
Westland Sea King and the Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King: Used principally for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and search & rescue roles, the helicopter fleet operate from INS Garuda (Kochi) as well as INS Shikra air stations. US sanctions on India in response to India's nuclear tests resulted in a large part of the Sea King fleet being grounded for want of spare parts. Seventeen of the Sea King helicopters will be upgraded. The upgrade will feature day and night capability, the capability to work in adverse weather conditions, integration of two anti-ship missiles with a range of fifty kilometers and new radar.
Of the ten Kamov 28 helicopters that were procured from the erstwhile USSR in the mid-80s, only a few are in flying condition today while the remaining has been mothballed for spares. India decided to undertake (in 2015) mid-life upgrade of six Russian-made Kamov 28 anti-submarine warfare helicopters besides overhaul of another four. Under the mid-life upgrade, the six choppers will get new sensors among others while the rest four will only undergo engine overhauling.
P-8I is a long-range, multimission maritime patrol aircraft manufactured by Boeing, for the Indian Navy. It is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon operated by the US Navy. P-8I is intended to replace the ageing fleet of Tupolev Tu-142 aircraft that are in service with the Indian Navy.
The P-8I aircraft was designed to protect the vast coastline and territorial waters of India. It can conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), intelligence, maritime patrol, and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The P-8I aircraft is based on the Boeing Next Generation 737-800 aircraft. The forward section of the under-fuselage houses an internal weapons bay. The wings are fitted with hardpoints for carrying air-to-surface missiles.
The aircraft has a length of 39.47m, wing span of 37.64m and a height of 12.83m. The maximum take-off gross weight of the P-8I is 85,139kg.
The P-8I aircraft is manned by nine crew members. The cockpit is integrated with primary flight display, multifunction displays, identification friend or foe (IFF), flight management system and stores management system.
The aircraft is equipped with a CAE AN/ASQ-508A magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system, APS-143C (V) 3 multimode radar and a global version of the Raytheon APY-10 surveillance radar.
The APY-10 radar provides precise information in all-weather, day and night missions. The P-8I also integrates BEL Data Link II communications system, Avantel mobile satellite system and a speech secrecy system from Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL).The internal weapons bay can house Mark 54 torpedoes, depth charges and free-fall bombs. The under-wing hardpoints can be armed with air-to-surface missiles.
In December 2010, India requested a sale of AGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles and associated equipment to equip its P-8I aircraft. The Harpoon Block II carries a 226kg blast / fragmentation warhead. It can be fired against land and sea targets.
The countermeasures are provided by directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system and the electronic support measures (ESM) system supplied by Northrop Grumman. The DIRCM can protect the aircraft from incoming infrared guided missiles.
The P-8I aircraft is powered by two CFM56-7 engines supplied by CFM International, a joint venture between Snecma Moteurs and GE Electric. Each engine provides a take-off thrust of 27,300lb. The engines are equipped with a new-generation full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system.The P-8I aircraft can fly at a maximum speed of 789km/h and can reach a maximum altitude of 12,496m. The aircraft has a maximum range of 2,222km with four hours on station.
India currently has eight P-8I and has started the process to acquire six more Poseidon-8I. India may order another four.
Il-38SD maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft
The IL-38s formally entered service with the Indian Navy on 01 October 1977.The Indian Navy placed an upgrade contract for five aircraft in 2001. The program will extend the operational life of the aircraft up to 15 years. Two upgraded aircraft were delivered in January 2006 and third was delivered in 2008. The operational problems with the new avionics and electronic warfare system caused delays in further aircraft deliveries. The last aircraft was delivered in February 2010.
The fully digital Sea Dragon suite is designed to detect & intercept surface vessels and submarines, as well as detect mines and carry out surveillance. It can track more than 30 targets at one time from a distance of up to 320 kilometers. The suite can also detect airborne targets and can be linked to the Russian GLONASS (GLObal NAvigation Satellite System). It encompasses a new synthetic-aperture/inverse-synthetic-aperture radar located in a canoe fairing on the belly, a high-resolution FLIR (forward-looking infra-red) sensor, a LLTV (low-light television) camera, a new ESM (electronic-support-measures) system and a new MAD (magnetic anomaly detector) system in the aft section of the aircraft. The IL-38s will also be fitted with radio-frequency and infrared sensors, as well as decoys. Indian elements are a key part of the upgrade with DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) supplying the aircraft's new electronic intelligence system, electronic countermeasures station system, digital firing decoys and radio communication system.
IL 38 SD test-fired maiden anti-ship missile, post modification and midlife upgrade in 2017.
Kamorta class (4)
The Kamorta class has been designed for the sole purpose of hunting submarines.
For Details about Kamorta Class Visit: - http://fullafterburner.weebly.com/next-gen-weapons/kamorta-class-corvette
Abhay-class corvette (3)
The Abhay-class corvettes of the Indian Navy are customized variants of the Soviet Pauk-class corvettes. The class is primarily intended for coastal patrol and anti-submarine warfare.Three vessels of the class currently serve in the Indian Navy.
Abhay class is modified from Pauk II class under Project 1241 PE. The ships were built at Volodarski shipyard in the former Soviet Union. Abhay class vessels are longer, have larger torpedo tubes and improved electronics when compared to the Pauk I class vessels. The ships in the class were named after former Abhay-class seaward defence boats. Abhay class is to be upgraded with Abhay integrated sonar system developed by Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory.
Anti Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (Under Development)
The ASW-SWC corvettes are anti submarine warfare vessels ordered for the Indian Navy from Cochin Shipyard (CSL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE). They are in the 700 ton range and will replace the Abhay-class corvette currently in service.
ASWSWCs will have a displacement of 750 tons, a maximum speed of 25 knots and will complement a crew of 57. The vessels will be capable of full scale sub surface surveillance of coastal waters, SAU and Coordinated ASW operations with aircraft. In addition, the vessels shall have the capability to interdict/destroy sub surface targets in coastal waters. They will also be capable to perform search and rescue operations, as well as aircraft monitoring and minelaying.
Equipped with state-of-art indigenous Integrated Platform Management Systems, Propulsion, Auxiliary and PGD Machinery, these ships are capable of subsurface surveillance of coastal waters and laying of mines, making them a potent platform.
Induction of these specialized ships with lower draught, would significantly enhance coastal shallow water Anti Submarine Warfare capability of the Indian Navy with improved performance of weapons, sensors, hull mounted and towed sonar’s.
16 ships are planned 8 in CSL and 8 in GRSE.
India’s Secret Submarine Base
Project Varsha is one of the secret projects undertaken by Indian government to provide Indian Navy underground secret bases off the east coast of country in an order to protect nuclear powered submarines that would form one of the third nuclear deterrence platforms of India.
It was planned to be located within a radius of approximately 200 kilometres from Visakhapatnam, which are the headquarters of the Navy’s Eastern Naval Command. But the base is being developed at Rambilli, 50 km from Visakhapatnam.
The base will be an “exclusive enclave by deepening at natural channel to have easy access to sea”, and will have extensive underground storage facilities. Open source satellite images show that a lot of work has been completed in the first phase of the project, with more than a dozen tunnels being dug to create the underground facility.
Also, just 20 km away at Atchutapuram, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is constructing a research and development complex that will support the submarine base. About 845 hectares have already been handed to BARC for the new facility.
INS Varsha would de-congest the Visakhapatnam Port, which is used by both the Navy and the civilian Ministry of Shipping. The Navy’s dockyards at Vizag are facing shortage of berthing space due to the rapid expansion of the Eastern fleet, and is still expanding.
INS Varsha will have a large near-by facility of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), and will include modern nuclear engineering support facilities and extensive crew accommodation.It will also have underground pens to hide the submarines from spy satellites and protect them from enemy air attacks. The navy is seeking foreign technical assistance pertaining to nuclear safety features for the base.
INS Varsha would have undisclosed access tunnels on the mouth of deep water base and highly protected shelters along with jetties that are meant for demagnetizing submarines and is a conspicuous addition to the base facilities.
The biggest advantage of having underwater deep bases that the submarines do not need to surface on the water, they can come and go from the base through multiple underwater tunnels that open directly to the deep sea and lead straight from the secret base.
In any kind of conflict submarines are one of the most offensive platform of nuclear deterrence thus they can do their job well while not being detected by adversaries. The underground bases also provide highest protection than the ordinary bases on the coast shores provides, the underground bases are known to maintain top level of secrecy from any kind of threat including the satellite intelligence.
The construction of underground base started in 2009 but has struck several times due to finance crunch. INS Varsha would be accompanied by a weapon storage facility called ‘Missile Technical Positions near the underwater base.
₹160 crore were sanctioned for the project in the 2011-12 budgets, of which ₹58 crore were for civil works and the balance were for setting up a VLF communication system.
For the security reason, it is still highly classified that how big and capable the underground base would be but the base reportedly could docked some 8-12 nuclear powered submarine that are under construction and are being planned. The Varsha would be capable of housing other vessels of navy in forms of destroyers, frigates and replenishment ships.
Jin Class (Type-094) (~8)
The Type 094, or Jin-class as it is also known, is operated by the People’s Liberation Army Submarine Force. The Jin-class is a ballistic missile submarine that has an onboard nuclear reactor for propulsion. It is China’s second generation of nuclear-powered submarines and is a direct successor to the Type 092, or Xia-Class of nuclear subs. Development of the Type 094 class was assisted by Russian Rubin Design Bureau; however this information was not confirmed. Construction of the lead vessel began in 1999 and it was launched in 2004. It seems that the first boat was commissioned in 2010. The second boat of the class was launched in 2007.
Jin is a drastic improvement over the Xia type 092. China currently operates a fleet of 6 Jin-class (Type 094) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), which are based at the Longposan naval base near Yulin on Hainan Island. The Type 094 succeeds the Type 092 submarine and precedes the Type 096 submarine.
Type 094 nuclear powered submarine is approximately 137 meters long. It is equipped with 12 missile tubes, each capable of firing the JL-2 SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile), which carries between one to three nuclear warheads to an estimated range of 7,200 km. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) reportedly conducted its first test of the JL-3 in November 2018 from a Type 032 auxiliary test submarine
Noise Level of Type 094
Although the Jin-class is more advanced than China’s first experimental SSBN – the single and now inoperable Xia (Type 092) – it is still a very noisy design and China would face constraints and challenges when operating its SSBN force. It therefore seems likely that China will end production after six boats and turn its efforts to developing the quieter third-generation (Type 096) SSBN, which is expected to begin construction in the early-2020s.
According to some reports that the Jin-class may be detectable due to a design flaw at the rear of the hull near the missile hatches, which could create a detectable sonar signal. The Jin-class SSBN design is fundamentally flawed in that the large missile compartment at the rear of the vessel and the flood openings below the missile hatches create a detectable sonar signature. A 2009 U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence report comparing the low-frequency noise level for China’s SSBN force to that of Russian 1970s-era SSBNs found that out of the twelve submarines profiled, the Xia-class SSBN was the most detectable and the Jin-class SSBN the fourth-most detectable.
The quietness of this sub was believed to be comparable to Russian Victor III SSN according to an Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) report released in 1997. Thus, Type 094 was considered to be as quiet as Victor III. But in 2009, ONI released a new report with a chart comparing submarine quietness that showed the Type 094 to be noisier than Delta III SSBNs and Victor III SSNs.
There are three possible operational patterns for Type 094:
Bastion strategy, coastal patrol, and open sea patrol. In a bastion strategy SSBNs patrol in heavily defended waters. Typically, the patrol area will be partially enclosed by a friendly shoreline and defended by naval and air forces. For China, most analysts point to the Bohai Gulf/Yellow Sea as candidate bastions
Coastal patrol can be seen as expanded bastion strategy. Coastal water refers to the continental shelf region, shallower than 200 m.
Open sea patrol would be possible if the Chinese Navy is confident in the survivability of the SSBNs, even without the protection of friendly forces. The difference between bastion/coastal patrol and open sea patrol is the depth of the water. Acoustic detection of a submarine in shallow water is more difficult than in deep water because, first, in deep water, sound waves propagate through refraction in the deep channel, while in shallow water they propagate through reflection against the sea surface and floor. The transmission loss of reflection is much greater than that of refraction. Second, passive SONAR array gain in shallow water is much less than that in deep water because the coherence of sound waves is greatly reduced in shallow water.
Given the noisiness of Type 094, it is very likely that China would undertake a combination of bastion and coastal patrol strategy. In addition, China doesn’t have experience in running an SSBN fleet in the open oceans. Evaluating the effectiveness of this strategy requires a clear understanding of Chinese coastal waters.
By 2018 Jin class boats were never sent on long-range deterrent patrol missions. Instead these boats are patrolling in South China Sea, relatively close to China's costal waters.
Up to 12 JL-2 strategic SLBM
20 Torpedoes or 36 Mines
Yu-6 Heavy Weight Torpedo
The Yu-6 is China’s latest sub-launched torpedo. After the Yu-5, PLAN leaders realized that separate ASW and ASuW torpedoes were obsolete, and deemed their next torpedo to be dual-purpose, similar to the Mk 48. It was also to have improved speed and seeker technology. More than two-thirds of the technology used in the Yu-6 was supposed to be “new” technology. It utilizes Otto Fuel II like the Yu-5. Homing modes include active and passive as before, but also a “wake-homing” mode that was added, possibly with Russian assistance. It also uses a novel synthetic material shell.Domestic Chinese source has claimed that the Yu-6 torpedo is in the same class as the Mk 48 Mod. 4 torpedo. Official information on the Yu-6 torpedo is limited.
One characteristic of the Yu-6 torpedo is its high-performance processor, where most western torpedoes are thought to use old (reliable) processors. The microprocessor used for the Yu-6 is of approximately Intel 80486 class. Some Chinese sources have claimed that Loongson-1 is used for Yu-6 torpedo. The transducer array of the torpedo's acoustic seeker is believed to have about the same number of transducers as the Mark 48 torpedo. The Yu-6 torpedo uses modular design and open architecture software programming, so that when new technologies and programs become available they can be readily incorporated.
Development of Yu-6 begun in 1995, which took an entire decade to complete when the torpedo was finally ready in 2005. At speeds of sixty-five knots, it is faster than the listed speeds of the Mk 48 Mod 6 ADCAP.
The capture of an American Mk46 Mod 1 torpedo by a Chinese fisherman in the South China Sea in 1978 was a game changer for Chinese torpedo design. While the Mk46 was directly copied as the Yu-7 air-launched torpedo, its technology also was used in submarine-launched designs. Notably, Chinese engineers quickly adopted the Mk46’s Otto Fuel II technology to make their own torpedo-propulsion units more compact and powerful. The Yu-5 was the first Chinese torpedo to incorporate Otto Fuel II technology.
Current fleet of Chinese sub-launched torpedoes represents an interesting blend of Soviet, American and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology. From the Yu-4, a domestic completion of an incomplete Soviet design, to the Yu-6, this uses an Intel microprocessor to power its guidance components, the torpedoes of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) show significant traces of reverse engineering.
Speed: maximum > 65 kt (for attack)
Range: maximum 45 km+ (at the cruise speed)
The Type 094A is a variant with a modified and improved sail. The sail appears to incorporate features from one installed on a modified Type 093. It could be equipped with 16 launch tubes, while Type 094 had only 12 launch tubes. Pictures published in 2015 to Chinese website, the Type 094A has a more prominent “hump” in the missile bay aft of the sail as well as other changes in the contours of the body. The Type 094A has a retractable towed array sonar (TAS) mounted on the top of its upper tailfin, which would make it easier for the craft to "listen" for threats and avoid them.
The Type 094A version could be equipped with new ballistic missile Julang-2A (JL-2A) which has a greater range than the JL-2. The Type 094A, which was first seen in November 2016, is also far quieter than the noisier Type 094.
Type 096 submarine (Under Development)
The Type 096 is a projected class of ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) for China's People's Liberation Army Navy Submarine Force. The submarine which is expected to begin construction in the early-2020s will be armed with the JL-3 SLBM. The Type 096 may carry 24 SLBMs, compared to the 12 of the previous Type 094 SSBN. According to analysts, it could also feature a hull similar to Western SSBNs.
Analysis of commercial imagery shows a new launch barge has recently been completed at the Bohai shipyard. New Type 095 and 096 subs will be built at Bohai. It is only now that the infrastructure is largely ready. The new submarines will be important if the PLAN wishes to patrol the open Pacific, or routinely venture into the Indian Ocean.
China’s qianzhan published an article to bare the mystery of China’s most advanced 098 strategic submarines. The article says: Previously, Liaoning Vice Governor Tan Zuojung disclosed at a public occasion that PLA navy has completed development of its fourth-generation nuclear submarine. Some experts believe that the information is quite reliable. However, there has been no public appearance of nor has the US ever detected China’s third-generation nuclear submarines.
Type 098 nuclear submarine adopts electromagnetic propulsion with zero noise, very high speed and instant great increase in power. New type of strategic nuclear submarine with a wide body and a displacement of 28,300 tons. The submarine can go to the depth of 5,200 meters??.
As it uses superconductivity electromagnetic propulsion system without any propellers, it is a noiseless submarine with noise less than 20 db and it can suddenly accelerate to very high speeds, quicker than any advanced high-speed torpedo?. As it has quite a few vector propulsion devices at various locations of its body, it is able to maneuver at various angles.
It boasts effective noise damping features, such as a quieter nuclear power plant with less vibration, and a more advanced hull muffler system, so that it will be hard to detect even if within range of enemy sonar.
Shang I (Type-093) ~2
The Type 093 (NATO codename: Shang class) is China’s 2nd-generation nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) introduced in the early 2000s. It represents a significant improvement over the 1st-generation submarines in performance and capability. At least six hulls have already been commissioned into the PLA Navy as of 2015, and the construction programme continues.
The PLA Navy initiated the development of its next-generation Type 093 nuclear attack submarine in the mid-1980s as a successor to its 1st-generation Type 091 (Han class). However, little progress was made until the mid-1990s, when Russia agreed to transfer its nuclear submarine technology to China in exchange for urgently-needed cash. The St. Petersburg-based Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering, one of Russia’s primary centers for submarine design, offered consultation to the Type 093’s development, including overall hull design, engine and machinery quieting, combat system, weapon system, and countermeasures outfit.
The basic variant Type 093 (Shang I class) was said to have been partially based on the Russian Victor III class in design, though the two submarines bear no resemblance in appearance. The submarine is estimated to have 6.000 to 7,000 t displacement when dived. It features a water-drop shape hull, with a pair of fin-mounted hydroplanes and four diving planes. Six (three on each side) flank-mounted sonar arrays are clearly visible on the hull of the submarine. There are six 533 mm bow torpedo tubes (4 above, 2 below), capable of carrying the various anti-submarine/surface torpedoes of wire-, acoustic- and wake-homing, as well as the YJ-82 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM).
The pressure hull diameter of a Type-093 is just too small for a full entablature raft along with compound isolation to house the entire propulsion plant and the necessary auxiliaries. The new Chinese boats will also have a special outer hull treatment, known as an anechoic coating, which improves stealth.
Shang II (Type-093A) ~4
Type 093G (reported as Type 093A by Western analysts) is longer than the Type 093. The 093G have a vertical launching system (VLS) for YJ-18 supersonic anti-ship missiles, and anti-ship variants of the CJ-10 cruise missile. This is an improved variant with a redesigned sail with a tapered and all windows removed.
Chinese media say the Type 093G is quieter than the shorter Type 093 due to an altered hull form. As well as hidden enhancements such as improved sensors and possibly better stealth, the profile has changed markedly. The sail has been lengthened and a blended leading edge added, not unlike that on the U.S. Navy's Virginia Class SSN. Behind the sail the casing has been raised. Initially this was believed to be related to a vertical launch system (VLS) for cruise missiles, but this appears not to be the case. The raised section behind the sail has been refined, gradually becoming less pronounced. The final significant difference is the addition of an integral towed sonar array. This feeds out from the top of the upper vertical rudder. Additionally, an anechoic coating using small square rubber tiles has been applied
Shang 3 (Type-093B)
The improved Type 093B (Shang-III class) SSGN is capable of carrying log-range cruise missiles for anti-ship and land-attack. The improved Type 093B nuclear-power guided missile submarine (SSGN) was launched in 2012 and commissioned in 2015. This variant features some redesign to the sail, with the tapered front retained but all windows removed. There is a mysterious hump located immediately behind the sail, which is believed to accommodate a missile vertical launch system (VLS). The VLS is said to be used for carrying and launching the YJ-18 ASCM, the Yu-8 rocket-propelled torpedo, and the CJ-10 land-attack cruise missile (LACM). These missiles allow the Type 093B to project power ashore over long distance – a capability not previously possessed by Chinese SSNs.
In 2002, Chinese sources said the Type 093's noise level was on par with the improved Los Angeles-class submarines. In 2004, Chinese sources said the Type 093 was on par with Project 971 (NATO reporting name Akula), at 110 decibels. In 2009, USN ONI listed the Type 093 as being noisier than Project 671RTM (NATO reporting name Victor III) which entered service in 1979. Shang-class may be getting as quiet as some of the U.S. Navy’s quieter subs, “according to unclassified U.S. Navy estimates, the early Type-093 attack submarines are about 110 decibels. That is about the same as the U.S. Navy’s improved Los Angeles Class boats,” which were built in 1982. Improvements in reactor coolant pump design may have helped reduce the Shang-class’ acoustic signature. Improved anechoic tiles—rubberized tiles glued to the outside of a submarine’s hull that absorb enemy sonar—may also have helped the Shang-class.
YJ-82 (CH-SS-N-7) AShM
The YJ-82 is a Chinese subsonic anti-ship cruise missile. It is manufactured by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation Third Academy. The YJ-82 is the submarine-launched version of the YJ-8 missile family
The YJ-82 is a solid-fuelled rocket. It is launched from submarines from a buoyant launch canister. The YJ-82 lacks the solid-rocket booster of the surface-launched YJ-8/8A and likely has less range than the latter's 42 km. The terminal sea-skimming attack altitude is 5 to 7 meters.
The launch capsule is a copy of the one used by submarine-launched Harpoons; China likely received the technology from Pakistan, which had such weapons.The YJ-82 was first test fired from a Type 039 submarine in 1997.
Since the late 1970s, the PLAN had eagerly sought to develop a submarine-launched ASCM. But it wasn’t until the YJ-8 program got started that they finally had a weapon they could work with. The Styx-based missiles were far too big, and there were significant safety concerns with putting volatile liquid-fueled missiles on submarines. The small, solid rocket-fueled YJ-8 was exactly what the PLAN was looking for. Their first effort, however, was somewhat half-hearted.
In the fall of 1983, the PLAN accepted delivery of a modified Type 033 Romeo class submarine with six external missile tubes for launching the YJ-8. The new Type 033G submarine began test-firing trials in 1985, and while the launch system appears to have functioned adequately, there was one fatal flaw that effectively ended further development – the submarine had to surface to fire. With a range of only 42 km (22.7 nm), the submarine would be highly susceptible to detection by radar and engaged before it could get all its missiles off. According to one Chinese article, the six missiles could be launched in six to seven minutes after the submarine had surfaced. That’s an uncomfortably long time for a submarine to be on the surface, exposed, that closes to a hostile surface ship. A submerged launch option had to be developed to enable the submarine to remain stealthy until it was time to fire, as well as giving it a chance of escape after launching its attack.
For reasons that haven’t been revealed, the Chinese chose a torpedo tube launched approach rather than the external tubes popular with Soviet submarines. This certainly alleviated many complicated submarine design issues, but this choice had problems of its own. In the late 1980s, there were only two ASCMs capable of being launched from a submarine torpedo tube, the French SM39 Exocet and the U.S. UGM-84 Harpoon. Both missiles were encapsulated in a sealed canister to protect the missile from the seawater, but they had very different ways of getting the missile out of the water and into the air.
Pakistan is the most likely source of submarine-launched Harpoon technology that was transferred to China. The two nations were drawing closer to each other diplomatically and militarily due to their mutual concern over India, and the Pakistani Navy’s Agosta and Daphne class submarines had been modified to launch Sub-Harpoon missiles between 1984 and 1986. An additional motivating factor was China’s considerable technical assistance to Pakistan’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
YJ 82 uses active radar-homing, has a range between 42 to 80 km, Speed Mach 0.9 in final approach, 165 kg shaped charge warhead with time-delayed impact proximity fuses. There is another version of YJ 82 which is a turbojet powered YJ-82 (CSS-N-8 Saccade) believed to have a range of 120 Km.
YJ-18 / YJ-18B submarine-launched ASCM
While some open sources refer to the submarine launch variant of YJ-18 as "YJ-18B" this has never been officially confirmed.
YJ 18 is a submarine-launched variant designed for land-attack missions. It fits in VLS tubes aboard the Song-class SS, Yuan-class SSP, and Shang-class SSN. It entered service in between 2016-2019.
The YJ-18 has a subsonic cruise speed, reportedly about 600 miles per hour (mph), or Mach 0.8. Media reports suggest that when the missile is about 20 nautical miles from its target, the warhead accelerates to supersonic speed, reportedly up to Mach 3.0. The more fuel-efficient subsonic stage of the YJ-18’s flight increases its overall range, and the supersonic terminal flight stage reduces the time adversary forces have to engage the missile.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the YJ-18 has a range of 290 nm. The YJ-18’s predecessor on many Chinese submarines, the YJ-82, has a range of about 20 nm.
YJ-18 most likely follows a sea-skimming flight path as it approaches its target. By flying only a few meters above the sea, the missile attempts to evade detection by surface radar until it breaks the radar horizon 16 to 18 nm from its target.
Authoritative open source information on the YJ-18’s physical dimensions, including the size of its conventional warhead, is scarce. Some sources, including an IHS Jane’s report, suggest the YJ-18’s warhead weighs 300 kilograms (kg), though other sources suggest it weighs only 140 kg.
China is focused on building a robust C4ISR system for detecting ships and aircraft over the horizon, which would provide targeting data to anti ship missiles such as the YJ-18. This system
Incorporates an array of ship-borne and land-based radar (including over-the-horizon radar); a constellation of imaging satellites; and a variety of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft. However, China’s C4ISR infrastructure might be insufficient to generate and fuse the targeting information necessary to take advantage of the YJ-18’s assessed range.
According to the US Department of Defense, “It is unclear whether China has the capability to collect accurate targeting information and pass it to launch platforms in time for successful [anti ship missile] strikes in sea areas beyond the first island chain.” Moreover, some systems in China’s C4ISR infrastructure may be vulnerable to countermeasures, such as electromagnetic warfare operations, that could degrade the ability of the PLA to detect, identify, and track enemy ships and employ anti ship missiles against them in a contingency.The YJ-18 most likely is capable of INS/GNSS guidance with terminal active radar homing.
Other variants reportedly include a ship launched land attack cruise missile, a ship launched anti-ship missile and a truck launched anti-ship missile.
The CJ-10, rumored to have been developed from the Russian Kh-55 (AS-15 ‘Kent’), employs a combined inertial navigation system (INS), satellite, and terrain contour matching (TERCOM) navigation to a maximum range of 1,500 km.
Yu-8 rocket-propelled torpedo
Yu-8 torpedo is a rocket propelled ASW torpedo similar to CY-5, but with a different payload. The exact type of the light weight torpedo (LWT) carried by Yu-8 has not been officially released by the Chinese governmental sources, but many military analysts and enthusiasts have concluded it is the Russian APR-3E torpedo based on other information released officially by the Chinese government in 2015.
The existence of Yu-8 designation was first revealed in March 2014, and confirmed more than a year later by CCTV-7 in August 2015, when it aired a footage of Chinese naval war game that contained the launch of rocket propelled ASW torpedo from VLS of a Chinese warship, with designation Yu-8 torpedo assigned. Yu-8 is designed by the 705th Research Institute in Kunming, with program begun in 2002 and completed in 2006
The Russian torpedo is approximately a meter, or a third longer than its western counterparts, such as A244-S, Sting Ray, or Mk 54, and is also nearly twice the weight of its western counterparts, but more importantly, the range of Russian APR-3E LWT is only a third of that its western counterparts. If a very fast nuclear submarine is targeted by Yu-8 near its maximum range, then from the time Yu-8 is launched to its point of entry, the target might have already opened up the gap and thus has successfully escaped by getting out of the range of APR-3E. Just as in the case of CY-3 development from CY-2, to ensure the point of entry of Yu-8 is within the 3 km range of APR-3E, a data link is also incorporated to enable the weapon to receive target update from other platforms such as surface ships and aircraft. This feature is not a must for western LWT torpedoes with a range that is approximately three times of that of Russian LWT, and hence when the Chinese official sources have revealed the existence of datalink on Yu-8, it suggests the LWT Yu-8 delivers is Russian APR-3E or similar Chinese copies. Many military analysts and enthusiasts have also postulated that since the Russian LWT is larger and heavier, to maintain the same range of CY-5 armed with lighter and shorter torpedoes of western origin, the rocket motor of Yu-8 would have to be either larger or more powerful.
Han (Type-091) ~ 3
The Type 091 (or Type 09-I, NATO codename: Han class) is China’s 1st-generation nuclear-powered attack submarine built by Huludao-based Bohai Shipyard. A total of five Type 091 submarines have been constructed between 1967 and 1990, of which three still remain in active service today.
Construction of the first Type 091 nuclear-powered attack submarine Chang Zheng 1(pennant number 1701, later changed to 401) began in 1968. Boat 401/Chang Zheng 1 was launched in December 1970 and its nuclear reactor was activated in July 1971. The sea trial began in August 1971 and the submarine was commissioned into the PLA Navy service in August 1974. However, the boat did not achieve initial operational capability for another decade, due to various technical issues and a lack of a suitable torpedo and associated fire-control. The second hull Boat 402/Chang Zheng 2 launched in 1977 suffered from similar issues. Unconfirmed reports suggested that France transferred some technologies in fire-control, sonar and nuclear reactor to China in the mid-1980s to help improve the Type 091.
Type 091 appears to have been built in three variants: the basic variant (Boat 401 and 402), the improved variant (Boat 403), and the further improved variant (Boat 404 and 405). From Boat 403/Chang Zheng 3, the submarine’s hull was stretched by 8 m. Boat 401 and 402 received modernization refit in the late 1980s and was put back in service in the mid-1990s, but they were eventually retired in 2000/01. Boat 403 began mid-life refit in 1998 and was back in service in 2000.
Type 091 utilizes a water-drop shape with a double-hulled configuration. The submarine has four stern rudders with a single large 4-blade shaft. The hull has seven watertight compartments, with the sail located above the second compartment. Pair of foreplanes is positioned in the middle of the sail. A number of retractable masts are carried inside the sail including periscopes, radar antennas, radio and satellite communications, and navigation masts. The submarine can fire torpedoes and deploy mines from its six 533 mm torpedo tubes. Boat 404 and 405 can also launch the wire-guided anti-submarine torpedo and the YJ-82 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM).
The propulsion rested on a 90 MW pressurized water reactor with a primary loop system. It was filled with very hot and high-pressure pure water, classic core and a control rod. The loop comprised a circulation pump with a voltage regulator and steam generator. There was also a rear auxiliary engine with backup secondary circuit system, driving auxiliary equipment, composed of a steam turbine generator set with a condenser.
Top speed of the Type095 was 12 knots on surface, 25 knots underwater, which was a far cry of the 33 knots of the November or 40+ knots of the Alfa. Working immersion depth was 300 m. Devoid of any measure for quiet internal assembly for the turbo generators; the type 091 was estimated 2.68 times noisier than the Los Angeles-class SSNs.
1992-96 09-I Upgrade
The three hulls in active service have received extensive modernization refit and upgrades, including anechoic tiles and modernized mission systems. These submarines are considered loud and therefore an easy target to track. To reduce their noise signature, the class was outfitted with anechoic tiles, which are essentially rubberized tiles that adhere to the submarine’s hull. These tiles are impregnated with air bubbles of varying diameter that are optimized to absorb enemy sonar at varying depths, in order to minimize a return signal, or ping. Despite this, the Han-class’ present battlefield effectiveness is questionable.
They have also been fitted with the technologies originally developed for the next-generation nuclear submarines, such as the H/SQG-207 flank-mounted sonar array and the new 7-blade propeller. However, the submarine is generally regarded as inferior in terms of quietness, weapon systems, and sensors.
The Yu-3 is an acoustic-homing, submarine-launched, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedo designed by Xi’an Precision Machinery. Initially developed for China's nuclear submarine programme, it is China’s first indigenous anti-submarine torpedo and entered service with the PLA navy in the mid-1980s. An improved variant known as Yu-3II (also known as Zhonhuaxun-II or ET-32 in its export names) was introduced in the 1990s.
Following the successful development of the Yu-1 unguided submarine-launch torpedo in the 1960s, 705 Institute began to develop a new guided torpedo for the Chinese navy’s proposed nuclear attack submarine (SSN). Instead of developing the relatively simple anti-ship torpedo, which only requires the guidance system to work in two-dimensional mode, 705 Institute chose the more technologically challenging anti-submarine torpedo, where the guidance system is required to work in a more complex three-dimensional mode. Initial feasibility study began in 1964 and the development programme was officially approved in March 1966 under the designation Yu-3.
Early basic variant Yu-3 used a mechanical scanning guidance system, which requires the torpedo to reduce its speed when approaching to the enemy submarine so that the guidance system could detect and lock on the target. This had resulted in the guidance system highly complex and unreliable. A new multi-pulse acoustic-homing guidance system was under development since 1967 to solve the problem. The improved Yu-3 Batch 0 was successfully tested in December 1977. However, the torpedo did not receive its batch production certificate until 1984; nearly 20 years after the programme began.
705 Institute and 750 Test Range began to develop an improved Yu-3II in May 1985. Known as Zhonhuaxun-II or ET-32 in its export names, the torpedo received no order from either domestic or international market.
The Yu-3 anti-submarine torpedo designed to be launched from both nuclear-powered and conventional submarines. It is acoustic-homing and electric-propelled, able to engage high-speed, deep-diving nuclear submarines.
Several modifications have been incorporated to Yu-3 torpedo. One of the important upgrade was to incorporating Anti Surface warfare (ASuW) capability to Yu-3 torpedo so that the submarines would no longer need to carry separate ASuW and ASW torpedoes.
In May 1985, Dawn Machinery Factory, 750 Test Range and 705th Research Institute jointly developed an export version as Chinese sturgeon-II, with export designation as ET32, but there was no known export. Other modifications included updating electronics and incorporating the capability of being launched from different platforms and being used as part of the CAPTOR mine type mine system
Weight: 1,340kg (combat variant); 1,203kg (training variant)
Power Plant: Electricity
Speed: 35 kt
Depth of Search/attack: 6~350m
Depth of launch: Maximum 150m
Guidance: (Yu-3) Passive acoustic-homing; (Yu-3II) Active/passive acoustic-homing
ET32 torpedo with the name Chinese sturgeon -II is an export version of Yu-3 torpedo marketed by China Shipbuilding Co., but as of 2009, there is no known export. ET32 is almost identical to Yu-3, but slightly smaller, and can only be launched from submarine.
Type-095 Tang Class (Under Development)
Type 095 (Chinese designation: 09-V) is a proposed class of third generation nuclear-powered attack submarines. They have been developed by reference to Western design and have a single hull shell with small sound reflection area. It will have a displacement of 7900 tones.
It is anticipated that Type 095 submarines will have a substantially reduced acoustic signature, within an improved hull type. Compared to the Type 093, the Type 095 will have a more advanced nuclear reactor, VLS tubes and greater number of advanced sensors such as new active/passive flank array sonar and low and high frequency towed sonar array.
It is also speculated that Type 095 submarines may act as a potential undersea escort for any future PLAN aircraft carrier task forces.
It is belived that Huludao ship yard will be used to build new nuclear-powered attack submarines for that china upgraded the ship building facility. Huludao expansion started in 2014 with large new construction halls built on reclaimed land. The hall has three construction bays, each large enough to house two submarines. The buildings themselves were complete by 2017, but it is only recently that they have been connected to the dry dock where the submarines will be launched. A new launch barge has been put in place to transfer the submarines from dry land into the water. So China now has the facilities lined up to start launching Type-095 submarines.
They use new-type single axis pump for water jet propulsion with significantly low noise between 100 and 110 dB. Their sonar system contains a ball-shaped sonar array in the row, multiple-line array noise distance measuring sonar’s by their sides and a seabed scan sonar below their bow.
According to sina.com.cn, China will adopt the following six new technologies in its type 095 attack nuclear submarines: new water injection propulsion, super strong steel, mixed single and double-hull structure, new comprehensive vibration reduction floating raft and vertical launch tube for cruise missile.
The website says that the new submarine has to have an underwater speed not less than 33 knots, silent cruise speed not less than 18 knots and maximum submerging depth not less than 600 meters. That means the submarine is better than the US Virginia-class and comparable to the US Seawolf-class attack nuclear submarine.
Type 095A is a China’s third-generation attack nuclear submarines. It will be an improved version Type 095 with 16 VSL for submarine launch of CJ 10 cruise missiles for precision ground attack.
Kilo (Project 877) ~2
A kilo class submarine was designed by the Rubin Central Maritime Design Bureau, St Petersburg. Subsequent developments have led to the current production versions, China has two Type 877EKMs. The PLA Navy ordered two Project 877EKM submarines from Russia in 1994, and took delivery of them in 1995.
In the early years of operating the Kilo submarines, the PLA Navy reportedly experienced some mechanical problems due to insufficient crew training, and more constantly because of the material problems including the troublesome batteries and generators. The first two Project 877EKM submarines were said to be out of operation for several months due to technical problems. As the PLA Navy became more efficient in operating the submarine, these problems were subsequently solved.
The Project 877EKM has a displacement of 2,300 t when surfaced and 3,950 t submerged. Type 877EKM has a displacement of 2,300t surfaced and 3,950t submerged. Maximum diving depth is 300m. Speed is 10k when surfaced and 17k when submerged. The range is 6,000 miles when sailing at 7kt and 400 miles when submerged at 3k.
WeaponsThe Type 877EKM has six 533mm torpedo tubes and carries 18 heavyweight torpedoes (six in the tubes and 12 on the racks), with an automatic rapid loader. Two targets can be engaged simultaneously.
Two of the launch tubes can fire the TEST-71MKE TV electric homing torpedo, which has an active sonar homing system with TV guidance which allows the operator to manually switch to an alternative target and can manoeuvre in two axes. It weighs 1,820kg with a 205kg explosive charge.
The submarine is also fitted with UGST wake-homing torpedoes. This torpedo weighs 2,200kg with a 200kg explosive charge. It has a range of up to 40km and a depth of search of up to 500m.
The tubes are also capable of deploying 24 mines.
The submarine has a launcher for eight Strela-3 or Igla surface-to-air missiles.
6x 533 mm torpedo tube (2 top, 4 below), carrying 18 torpedoes (6 in launch tubes and 12 on weapon racks) or 24 mines. The two outbound tubes at the bottom can launch TEST-71MKE TV electric homing torpedoes. The two upper tubes can launch the 3M-54E anti-ship cruise missile.
Improved Kilo (Project 636) ~2
The Project 636 class diesel-electric submarines, Kilo NATO-codename, are a further development of the proven Project 877EKM submarine featuring a quieter propulsion system as well as an improved weapon system.
An order was placed in 1996 for two additional Kilo submarines in the improved Project 636 variant, making the PLA Navy its first international customer. The delivery of these submarines took place in 1997 and 1998.
Type 636 is designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface-ship warfare (ASuW) and also for general reconnaissance and patrol missions. The Type 636 submarine is considered to be to be one of the quietest diesel submarines in the world. It is said to be capable of detecting an enemy submarine at a range three to four times greater than it can be detected itself. The improved Project 636 has more powerful diesel generators, but with a lowered speed main shaft, which provides a substantial reduction in the acoustic signature of the submarine.
The Project 636 has an extended hull with slightly larger displacement. The maximum diving depth is 300 m. The surface speed is 11 knots and the underwater speed is 20 knots. The personnel onboard total 52, and the submarine has an endurance at sea of 45 days.
The submarine’s propulsion system consists of two diesel generators, a main propulsion motor, a fuel-economic motor and a single shaft driving a seven-blade fixed-pitch propeller. There are two additional stand-by motors for running in shallow waters, at mooring and in cases of emergency. Two 120-cell storage batteries are installed in the first and third compartments of the submarine.
Improved Kilo (Project 636M) ~8
In 2002, the PLA Navy signed a US$1.5 billion deal with the Russian state arms export agency Rosoboronoexport to purchase eight more Project 636M submarines. In May 2002, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass confirmed that construction on the first two hulls of these submarines was to commence during the first quarter of 2003 at the Severodvinsk Shipyard. The remaining six hulls were to be built at Admiralteyskiye Verfi Shipyard in St. Petersburg (five hulls) and at Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard in Nizhniy Novgorod (one hull). Delivery of these submarines began in 2005 and was completed by 2007.
The purchase of additional Kilo submarines reflected the PLA Navy’s urgency in building a modernized underwater force that capable of supporting its military actions.
The Varshavyanka class (Project 636.3, 636M) is an improved version of the Kilo class submarines, featuring advanced “stealth” technology, extended combat range and ability to strike land, surface and underwater targets. They are primarily intended for anti-ship and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters.
The main export client for the Project 633M was China they acquired 8(10 some sources) submarines. The Project 636 class boats displace 3,100 tons, reach speeds of 20 knots, can dive to 300 meters and carry crews of 52 people. The submarines, which feature 533-milimeter torpedo tubes and are armed with torpedos, mines, and Kalibr 3M54 (NATO SS-N-27 Sizzler) cruise missiles, are mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters.
Ming Class (4 Type-035, 4 Type-035B) ~8
The Ming-class submarines (Type 035) are medium sized diesel-electric submarines. In the 1960s China reverse engineered the Russian Romeo Class into the Chinese Romeo-class Type 033. The Ming-class Type 035 was developed in the 1970s from the Romeo Type 033. China built more than 20 Mings from the 1980s to 2000s in part as a hedge against more risky, higher tech conventional sub projects being delayed particularly the Song-class, Type 039 submarine.
This fleet addition ultimately totaled twenty-three boats consisting of the base Type 035 model and the subsequent Type 035A, Type 035G, and Type 035B design standards (as well as export designations). The class and subclasses arrived in 1974, 1982, 1990 and 2000, respectively, forming a considerable portion of Chinese undersea prowess for a time.
Type 035A is the second unit of the Ming-class submarine with pennant number 342 was built at Wuchang Shipyard, and many problems were discovered during its trials. As a result, the Chinese navy ordered 701st Institute to perform a major redesign, which not only solved the problem, but also increased the top speed by 40% to 18.3 knots . The redesigned boat was completed in June 1980, and finally entered Chinese service on December 24, 1982, with a new designation of Type 035A.
The improved version is somewhat shorter than the initial Ming design, but with a deeper draft and somewhat greater displacement. The improved Ming has eight torpedo tubes [versus six on the earlier version], with the two new tubes placed astern.
First batch of four completed between 2000 through 2003, and additional order followed sometimes later. Conning tower and certain portion of hull were redesigned, with new structure similar to that of Type 039 submarine. This type was capable of launching land attack cruise missiles from torpedo tubes.
The 035B was the last series, with a first batch of four completed 2000-2003 (309, 310, 311, 312), and an additional order with the 313, which was the last of the series. It was a hybrid between the new 039 Song-class and the Ming, integrating its new Conning tower, while a large portion of the hull was redesigned to be made more hydrodynamic, with a new coating, and an internal arrangement also copied over the Type 039 submarine. This last Ming type was given land attack cruise missiles, launched from the same 21-in torpedo tubes. The 035B was armed with the Yu-4A 1985 torpedo and ET31, which has a 5.6 km range.
It is believed that currently 4 Type 035G & 4 Type 035 B are operational
The Yu-4 is a submarine-launched, passive acoustic-homing torpedo derived from the Soviet SAET-50/50M torpedo introduced in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Other upgraded versions, Yu-4B, are fitted with acoustic homing head and feature extended range using improved batteries. The torpedo has a diameter of 533mm, a range between 6 to 15 kilometers with a cruise speed from 30 to 40 knots, Yu-4A and Yu-4B respectively. The torpedo is suitable to engage both surface ships and submarines. The Yu-4A torpedo entered service with the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) submarine fleet in the early 1980s.
The Yu-4 torpedo can be thought of as China’s first modern antiship (ASuW) sub-launched torpedo. Its story begins in 1958, when the Soviet Union struck a deal with the PRC to transfer technology that could be used to build electric torpedoes. The designs and know-how to build the then-current Soviet SAET-50 passive-homing electric-powered torpedo was transferred, but the transfer was not completed before the Sino-Soviet split occurred. As a result, the Chinese engineers attempted to continue with the incomplete technology but ran into issues, including various explosions during testing and trials. Thus, the project was then shelved until 1966 when development was restarted. Five prototypes of the original Yu-4 were presented to the PLAN in 1971, but they were not accepted into service due to insufficient fusing reliability and excessive noise.
The Yu-4 development programme was resumed in 1966, with the prototype finished in 1971.This design was rejected by the PLA Navy due to its poor performance. Later the PLA navy decided to develop a passive acoustic-homing variant Yu-4A and a joint active and passive acoustic-homing variant Yu-4B. The development work was carried out by Northwest Polytechnic University (NPU) and Dongfeng Factory respectively, with Pingyang Machinery Factory being the primary contractor and manufacturer for both variants.
The passive acoustic-homing Yu-4A succeeded in February 1984, and entered service with the PLA Navy in the same year. The torpedo is carried by the Type 035 (Ming class) and Type 039 (Song class) diesel-electric submarine. The Yu-4B with active/passive acoustic-homing received its design certificate in February 1984, but may have not entered service. The Yu-4B has been promoted to the international market under the name ET31.
The Yu-4B has a speed of around forty knots, a range of up to fifteen kilometers and a warhead of 220 kilograms of high explosives. Due to the adoption of newer technologies such as the silver-zinc battery, the performance of Yu-4 torpedo has exceeded the Russian SAET-50 torpedo it is based on, and reached that of SAET-50M: the speed of the Yu-4 torpedo is increased more than 25% to 30 knots (56 km/h), even 1 knot (1.9 km/h) faster than the SAET-50M, and the range is increased 50% to 6 km, equal to that of SAET-50M. For these reasons, the Yu-4 torpedo is considered at least equal or better than Russian SAET-50M torpedo, the successor of SAET-50 torpedo, and even comparable to Russian SAET-60 torpedo in some aspects. However, the 6 km range was considered rather short for modern naval warfare by the Chinese navy, which led to one of the major upgrade resulted in increased range (up to 15 km), and in comparison to Yu-1 torpedo, there were not as many Yu-4 torpedoes entering service like Yu-1 torpedo. Like Yu-1 torpedo, Yu-4 torpedoes in Chinese inventory have been continuously modified, such as incorporating ASW capability, updated electronics and propulsion system, and being converted as part of CAPTOR mine type mine systems. This would make sense, as the PLAN’s current doctrine puts emphasis on A2/AD capabilities.
Length: 7.75 meter (305 inch)
Warhead: 309 kilogram (681 pound)
Weight: 1,775 kilogram (3,913 pound)
Propellant: Electric (silver-zinc)
Cruise Speed: 40 knot (0.06 mach)
Max Range: 15,000 meter (8.10 nautical mile)
Depth of Search/attack: 5~45m
Guidance: Passive acoustic homing (Yu-4A); Active/passive acoustic-homing (Yu-4B)
Ming (Type-035(G)) ~12
The Type 035G inaugurated a new wave of modifications and development started in 1985, likely to integrate now available western electronics. The first boat was released just when the cold war was about to end, launched in 1989 and entering service in December 1990. The lead boat was state certified after numerous trials in 1993, and production of the 357, 358, 359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 305, 306, 307 and 308 was sanctioned. All these had extensive anti-submarine (ASW) capabilities for the first time.
The primary weaponry for Type 035G is Yu-3 torpedo, and French sonar DUUX-5 and its Chinese-built version were used on later units, 12 of which were completed between 1990 and 1999. The last unit with pennant number 308 was lengthened by 2 meters (6 ft 7 in) to add a section for AIP tests.
The newer Type 035G models, totaling twelve boats in all, arrived during the 1990s and improved in areas of crew comfort, operating systems, and stealth (one was lost after mechanical failure while on exercise in April of 2003, costing the lives of seventy crewmen). The series was then modernized through the Type 035B which added a revised sail as well as changes to the hull and support for missile-launching from its torpedo tubes. These became four (or five depending on sources) examples added in 2000 and represent the most modern version of this Chinese submarine design.
Song (Type-039(G)) ~12
Type 039 / Song Class attack submarine was built by Wuhan Shipyard (Wuchang Shipyard) for the PLAN. It was the first indigenously built submarine of China. The class is preceded by Type 035 (Ming Class) and succeeded by Type 041 (Yuan Class) submarines.
The Type 039 was introduced to replace the Romeo / Ming Class submarines. The keel of the first submarine of the class, No. 320, was laid down in 1991. It was launched in May 1994 but was not commissioned until June 1999 due to design and performance problems.
When introduced for active service in June of 1999 with the People's Liberation Army Navy, the Type 039 submarine became the first such vessel to be completely designed, developed and manufactured in China. The all-modern boat is a conventionally-powered diesel-electric submarine capable of undertaking traditional attack or deterrent missions as needed. It forms part of the 12-strong "Song-class" of underwater fighting boats for the Chinese navy.
The Type 039 was designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) using torpedoes and submarine-launched anti-ship missiles. The submarine is also capable of reconnaissance, water mine laying and patrol roles. The submarine itself is a blend of Chinese and Western technologies, and represents a major leap forward in China’s conventional submarine design.
.The design features a low-drag hydrodynamically profiled hull and sail. Type 039 was the first submarine to use a teardrop hull design. The body is water-drop shaped and the hull is covered with rubber tiles to absorb the sound waves of sonar. The class is equipped with a seven-blade propeller and an engine fitted with a shock-absorbing base. The submarine incorporates Chinese and Western technologies.
Type 039 has a length of 75m, a beam of 8.4m and a draught of 5.3m. The submerged displacement of the boat is 2,250t. The submarine has 12kt – 15kt surfaced and 22kt dived speed. It can complement 60 crew members. The submarine is primarily designed for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. It can also perform the missions of reconnaissance, mine laying and patrolling.
At least four variants of the Type 039A family have been identified so far: Type 039A, Type 039AG, Type 039B, and Type 039C, which differ slightly in appearance and sail shape. Later variants of the submarine are believed to be approaching the latest designed introduced by Russian and Western navies in capability and performance.
According to the Chinese newspaper Science and Technology Daily ,this 039A class is equipped with an air-independent propulsion system developed by the 711th Research Institute of the China Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Group Corp. Referred as a "specialized engine" in official Chinese sources.
Following extensive redesign work, a new modified version of Type 039 known as Type 039G was introduced. The new design reduced the acoustic signature and enhanced the underwater performance of the submarine.
The second hull (Boat 321) with a redesigned conventional sail began construction in 1995 and was launched in August 1997. The submarine was commissioned by the PLA Navy in February 1999. This was followed by the laying of the third hull (Boat 322) in December 2001 and the fourth hull (Boat 323) in November 2003.
Type 039G fixed the problems found on the lead ship which delayed its commissioning four to five years from 1994 when the boat was originally delivered to the PLAN.
In 2004, a further improved variant Type 039G1 began construction at both Wuhai-based Wuchang Shipyard and Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard, with a total of 9 hulls launched between 2004 and 2006. Type 039G1 version most likely fitted with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system.
Yuan (Type-039A) ~4
Type 039A submarine is a class of diesel-electric submarine in China's People's Liberation Army Navy. It is China's first AIP powered submarine and presumed to be one of the quietest diesel-electric submarine classes in service. This class is the successor of the Type 039 submarine. The official Chinese designation is 039A as the ship is based on the 039 class, but as the 039A has very little resemblance to the 039 it is commonly referred to as the Type 041. The class is designed to replace the aging Type 033 Romeo and the older Type 035 submarines that previously formed the backbone of the conventional submarine force.
The submarine was initially thought to be a new class of submarine, and was given a new reporting name as ‘Yuan’ class. It later transpired that the submarine was actually designated Type 039A, a radically modified version of the Type 039 (Song class) incorporated with design features and technologies of the Russian Project 877EKM/636 (Kilo class).
The submarine appears to be a mixture of Chinese indigenous designs and Russian influence, featuring a pair of sail-mounted hydroplane, four stern diving planes, and a single large propeller seen previously on the Type 039. However, the submarine’s hull and sail designs suggest heavy Russian Kilo class influence.
The Type 093A is equipped with an indigenously-developed AIP system. The Yuan-class SSK is integrated with advanced noise reduction techniques including anechoic tiles, passive/active noise reduction, asymmetrical seven-blade skewed propeller, the 039A is expected to be as quiet as other modern diesel-electric submarines, which are difficult to track.
Yuan’s “small” size, air-independent power (AIP) system, and long-range ASCM capability, which make it ideal to operate in shallow, coastal waters.
This second member of Type 039A series is frequently but erroneously identified as its development, Type 039B, because externally, the two version looks the same above waterline. The only difference lies below the waterline, which is not readily observed, and it is believed that all Type 039AG have been converted to Type 039B. The most obvious external visual difference between Type 039AG along with its development Type 039B and earlier Type 039A submarine is also in the conning tower: the shape edge at the top of conning tower of Type 039A is replaced with smooth round shape transition. In addition, there is a bulge in the middle of the smooth transition in the forward portion of the conning tower housing some kind of sensor, and this is a new feature earlier Type 039A lacks.
The PLAN has conducted small step modifications throughout the Yuan-class Type 039A program (of all variants). The first four Type 039 SSKs are different from each other for example. Four major variant are known: Type 039A (based on the older Type 039), Type 039AG, Type 039B and the modified 039B/039C.
Yuan II (Type-039B) ~12
This third member of Type 039A series looks identical to earlier Type 039AG from which it is developed from. The biggest difference between Type 039B and Type 039AG is that Type 039B has incorporated flank sonar array, which was subsequently retrofitted on Type 039AG and some earlier boats. This difference, however, is not readily observable because the flank array is installed at the lower portion of the hull. It was only in the early 2010s when a Type 039B built by Shanghai Changxing Shipyard exposed in the berth, when the flank array of Type 039B became publicized, thus distinguish the type from earlier Type 039AG that lacked the flank sonar.
Type 039 B Upgraded/ Type 039C
Upgraded Type 039B has a modified hull and redesigned conning tower with extrusion at the root of the conning tower in both the bow and stern direction, similar to that of conning tower of Virginia-class submarine. This modification to their sail should allow a better hydraulic flow thus better acoustic performance and lower emitted noise. In addition, the bulge housing unknown sensor on board Type 039B in the forward section of the top edge of the conning tower is absent on the new boat launched in April 2014, but there are three white lines at the top of edge of the conning tower on both sides, presumably for environmental sensors.
On one of the three modified Type 039B/039C there are three white lines at the top of edge of the conning tower on both sides, presumably for environmental sensors.
Export variants submarines based on the Type 039A have been recently proposed for export to Pakistan (S20P) and Thailand (S20T).
Modified Type 039B/039C is likely fitted with Yu-6 torpedo, YJ-82 ((YingJi-82 or Eagle/Hawk-82) anti-ship missiles and maybe the new YJ-18B (YingJi-18 or Eagle/Hawk-18) supersonic anti-ship missile.
Qing (Type-032) (SLBM trials) ~1
The Type 032 (Qing-class) is a double-hulled, experimentally-minded attack submarine serving the Chinese Navy. It followed the Type 039A (Yuan-class) of 2006 into service when commissioned in 2012 (October 12th, 2012) and both are conventionally-powered through a diesel-electric propulsion scheme. Designed in 2005 with work beginning in 2008, the Type 032 was launched in September of 2012 - considered to be the largest diesel-electric-powered submarine currently in active service.
As an experimental platform, the Type 032 is used exclusively in the fielding of submarine-related equipment for active evaluation at-sea. Its profile is generally consistent with modern submarines with a short, rounded nosecone, rounded hull and tapered rear section. The sail, well-contoured into the hulls design lines, is positioned just slight ahead of midships and, in 2017, was given a raised structural extension. The dive planes are positioned on the upper sides of the forward hull. Along the ventral line of the hull is a noticeable protrusion. The tailplanes, seated ahead of the multi-bladed propeller shaft, is of a typical cruciform arrangement.
The submarine is able to remain submerged for a period equal to thirty days and an enclosed shelter component supports the delivery of Special Forces elements. A crew escape pod is built into the sail section in case of emergencies. Submerged, the vessel has a displacement of 7,305 tons (short) and an overall length of 304 feet, a beam measuring 33 feet and a draught down to 22.45 feet. The diesel-electric drive powers a single shaft at the stern using a traditional propulsion arrangement. Maximum speed is said to reach beyond 14 knots.
The boat features a crew of eighty-eight and armament is 1 x 650mm torpedo tube with 1 x 533mm torpedo tube. In addition to this, the vessel carries 2 or 3 x Surface-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) and is equipped with a 4-cell Vertical Launch System (VLS) housing Land-Attack cruise missiles.
It is said to be the world's largest conventional submarine, at a submerged displacement of 6628 tons and is able to submerge for a maximum of 30 days. The Type 032 has a similar ventral "bay" to the Golf class submarine that protrudes downward.
The submarine is a test bed for new technologies such as combustion powered torpedoes, compartments for special forces, underwater unmanned vehicles, new SLBMs, new cruise missiles, new anti ship missiles, new SAMs, and a new escape pod which are applied to the Type 095 and Type 096 submarines.
Great Underwater Wall
In December 2015, CSSC announced that China will construct an underwater observation system called 'Underwater Great Wall’ (UGW)' in the disputed South China Sea region. The project aims to build a network of ship and underwater subsurface sensors, capable of “real-time location, tracing of surface and underwater targets.”1 The project includes various components like surface ships, sonar systems, underwater security equipment, marine oil and gas exploration equipment, unmanned underwater equipment and marine electronic equipment.
The UGW project is considered as an advanced form of the Sound Surveillance System, which was used by the United States to detect the Soviet Union submarines during the Cold War. The current project is part of a major proposal released by the State Oceanic Administration in setting up an offshore observation network by 2020. The proposal maintains that building a network covering coastal waters, the high sea, and polar waters would be fundamental for China to strengthen its maritime power.
The program plans to create a monitoring system of surface and underwater conditions. The system will include:
Submarines rely on sonar to discover, track, and attack targets, but the temperature and salinity of water determines how fast and in which direction sound waves travel. These factors must be taken into account when determining the position of enemy vessels as well as when navigating treacherous areas.
China successfully tested a network of twelve underwater gliders that can travel for a month at a time. Chinese gliders are capable of transmitting data back in real-time. China has also set the record for the deepest and longest dives with its underwater gliders.
The military can use the temperature and salt-level data from the deep to build a complete, precise model of the physical ocean. The model will help submarines to avoid dangerous areas and predict the occurrence of deathtrap currents, which might jeopardize a naval operation.
In addition to gliders, China has also built a communications network more than 1,300 feet below the surface of the western Pacific. The deep-sea sensors are continuously feeding data to satellites via solar-powered buoys. The collected information is then transmitted to three intelligence centers where it is analyzed.
In the event that Chinese submarines must stay hidden and cannot surface to receive data, they have been equipped with powerful algorithms that can predict water conditions based on the limited information collected from a vessel’s sensors.
The Chinese sensor network stretches from the first island chain to the east coast of Africa across the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. This area largely falls under trading routes that China hopes to dramatically expand with its Belt and Road Initiative.
China also revealed that it has embedded two advanced acoustic sensors in the deep ocean near Guam, the largest U.S. military base in the Western Pacific. In addition to scientific research, the powerful acoustic sensors can detect the movement of submarines in the South China Sea and could even intercept communications.
Distributed tactical surveillance
An autonomous underwater vehicle and fixed underwater sensors can monitor areas for surveillance, reconnaissance, targeting and intrusion detection systems. The underwater sensor can reach high accuracy and enable detection and classification of low signature targets. Therefore, such tactical surveillance can play an important role in maintaining maritime security. Given the monitoring capability of the sensors, it would lay the groundwork for a monitoring system underneath the South China Sea. It is also argued that, given the CSSC, one of China’s top shipbuilding and defense groups’ role in the construction of UGW, it would probably be bought by the PLA Navy. In such a case, the military capabilities of the project would grow.
It is apparent from the above discussion that the UGW is a multi-dimensional project, aimed to protect China from both the traditional and non-traditional security threats. CSSC’s research and production bases in Beijing and Wuxi will play a crucial role in completing the project. It has the ability to support the whole industry covering fundamental research, key technology development, solution design, overall system integration, core equipment development, production, and operation service support.
It is still not clear, in which area of the South China Sea bordering China’s coastal region, the UGW project will be deployed. Nevertheless, Lyle J. Goldstein observes that “the current project would not be limited to the waters under China’s jurisdiction, but will also take into account areas touching China’s national interest, which includes the near seas, the depth of the farthest seas and around island bordering the far seas as well as strategic passages.”9 Hence, besides the South China Sea, China may utilize the project to safeguard its interest in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific as well
Factors Responsible for the Construction of China’s UGW Project
There are two major factors which led to the development of UGW project; first, China wants to develop to build an undersea monitoring system, which could detect any threat at any given point of time. It is a well known fact that lack of an advanced maritime surveillance system is a serious challenge in securing its growing maritime interest. There is also an opinion that, “China’s current maritime security is complex, where most of Beijing’s undersea domain doors have been left open.” China’s method of tracking undersea targets is said to be weak and resulted in the need to construct well designed underwater observation system to safeguard its maritime domain. The national security imperative is clearly visible for the construction of UGW project.
Second, China’s earlier underwater observation systems have failed to deliver the desired objective due to either lack of coordination, duplication in the construction, and weak project implementation. Most of the earlier systems are limited by low rate of data utilization, spatial coverage and lack of timely continuity of the system for long term development. As a result, China has failed to build a well-designed underwater observation system, which could have the capability to detect an underwater threat in any given situation.
Implications of the China’s UGW Project
In the wake of growing tension over the South China Sea disputes, the China’s State Shipbuilding Corporation announcement to develop UGW has resulted in concern and speculations. The CSSC is the key stakeholder of the UGW project and it is one of the top defense groups that build virtually all PLA Navy warships. The CSSC has earned the reputation of being the backbone of the PLA Navy’s warship needs. Given that, it is plausible that the UGW will have a crucial role in serving various interests of the PLA Navy in securing China’s maritime frontier.
Besides military, as the power competition between the United States and China grows, UGW could be an important response by the Chinese over the South China Sea dispute and the US’ increasing Freedom of Navigation (FON) patrols. Lyle J. Goldstein has argued that the development serves as warning that Beijing is not simply willing to surrender to the US undersea dominance.13 It also sends a clear message to other countries involved in the disputes that China is less likely to sit on the table to discuss the resolution of disputes.
The project is also understood as a significant response to the Japan’s activation of a coastal surveillance unit on Yonagunt Island, 67 miles from the east coast of Taiwan. Therefore, at both regional and international politics level, the construction of UGW project raises concern and can deepen tensions in the South China Sea.
In the long term, as land resources deplete, a competition to extract resources from the deep sea will increase. Furthermore, with this increase in role of the sea, the sea based observation system will be the future of the marine exploration. At present, the United States, Japan, Canada and Europe are taking the lead in underwater observation. The gap between China and other countries, mentioned above in terms of undersea technology is enormous. Also, China’s current state of underwater surveillance capacity is inadequate for the country’s growing needs to safeguard its maritime interests. If China is able to construct the UGW successfully, it will achieve a major breakthrough in underwater exploration capability, which can enhance China’s ability to strengthen its maritime interests including the most immediate one in the South China Sea.
The underwater sensor networks primarily need the acoustic capability to sense the undersea events or developments. There are three distinct layers of this acoustic capability – the acoustic sensor, the analysis algorithms and the information sharing mechanism. We also call it to see, to understand and to share. The sensor hardware is highly specialised and can be sourced from a few entities in the US and Europe.
In the post-Cold War period, it’s available though at a significant cost. The share category has also matured in the areas of technology and management available from other above water networks. It’s only the analysis that requires significant indigenous effort and import is not possible. This includes data pre-processing to improve data quality and the application of specific information extraction.
The pre-processing to improve data quality requires significant understanding of the underwater channel behavior and mitigation. The South China Sea like the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) being in the tropical littoral region requires special efforts and cannot be compared to the SOSUS system deployed in the temperate or near polar seas. Sonar suffers near five times degradation in range when deployed in the tropical waters compared to the SOSUS location. The underwater medium acoustically behaves like shallow waters in the tropical region, up to 2000 m depth based on the sound axis location. The ongoing strategy to replicate the Cold War development of underwater technology in the tropical littoral settings is a far cry. They have repeatedly failed in the absence of massive infrastructure investment to understand the medium characteristics. Such investments are possible only with the pooling of resources across maritime stakeholders.
The Cold War trend of massive military investments gave rise to significant technology developments, however even in the US today; massive military funding is no more politically and economically viable. The massive military infrastructure, particularly in the underwater domain, was opened up for the so-called civilian research to support the sustainability of the projects post the Cold War. The SOSUS was also opened up for marine mammal and acoustic research post the Cold War period.
The UGW comes amid growing tension over the South China Sea disputes. The announcement, therefore, emerges as a defensive reaction by China over its position on the South China Sea disputes. The project has been designed in a comprehensive manner. It is expected to perform a number of tasks including environmental protection undersea, providing early warning of a disaster like tsunami, sea quakes, and typhoons, and to detect any underwater threat. The project can be considered as a major proposal to strengthen China’s maritime power . With growing concern over maritime security, this project will continue to occupy a significant place in Beijing maritime interest in the times to come. Hence, UGW project has the potential to play a major role in China’s long-term maritime interests.
The UGW project is a significant initiative to build underwater capability for any maritime power that aspires to compete with the global powers. Even if it does not achieve the stated objectives, it is still worthwhile to invest and develop the capability. A comprehensive UDA concept in the tropical littoral waters is a first of its kind effort and may have only deterrence value for its adversaries rather than any credible response to the growing tension in the South China Sea. Optimum sonar performance will continue to remain a challenge in the tropical littoral waters. The initiative in its construct does reflect the participation of all the four stakeholders of UDA namely, the national security, marine environment and disaster management, Blue economy and the underwater technology development. The earlier efforts by only the military have failed as the resource requirement for any underwater network initiative in the tropical littoral waters is huge, and no single stakeholder can build the infrastructure on their own.
India faces similar challenges in the IOR. Effective UDA will be the backbone of maritime growth that is sustainable, safe and secure. The UGW project represents an initiative that has emerged from a well-conceived maritime strategy. The Chinese project will significantly enhance their underwater capabilities for both military and non-military applications. The IOR and the South China Sea have evolved as the strategic hotspots of the 21st century. The political instability and economic opportunities in an unregulated maritime space make them extremely vulnerable and contested maritime zones. Similar UGW project in the IOR for India does have significant merit.
Autonomous Underwater vehicles
China unveiled their first large-displacement Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) at the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing on 1st October. The new UUV is approximately the same size as the US Navy’s LDUUV projects suggesting that it is large enough to carry smaller UUVs or, potentially, sensors or mines.
The design appears to be intended primarily for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). It features twin screw-back propellers suggesting that it is optimized for slow speed cruising relatively near the surface (as opposed to a deep-diving AUV). It has both vertical and horizontal thrusters both fore and aft. The spikes on the top of the hull are for launch and recovery. There appear to be external stores mounting points (‘hard points’) either side of the hull.
The HSU-001 is primarily a reconnaissance drone. The masts atop the drone would be used to transmit intelligence back to the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) via satellite. While that communication could potentially be intercepted, in all likelihood the drone would move positions by the time it did, posing little risk for the vessel itself.
It has twin propellers, called screws in nautical circles, are optimized for cruising. So the HSU-001 is likely to be used for long range patrols. There are also thrusters buried in the hull which allow it to hover or move vertically up or down, even sideways.
The flat nose is a telltale sign that it has relatively large sonar there for detecting underwater targets. The above-surface eyes and ears are carried by two masts which fold down into the streamlined hull when not in use. The small bumps either side at the front might be part of a homing system to allow it to locate underwater objects, possible even a mother submarine.
Large underwater robots are seen as one of the key emerging technologies in naval warfare but so far the cost and complexity of this solution has meant that no country, has fielded them operationally. As the size of the AUV gets larger and more capable the complexity of operating it, transporting and maintaining it increases. So most operational AUVs are very small. The HSU-001 is therefore at the leading edge of AUV adoption.
The name of this class AUV, Zhi-Shui, is an abbreviation of intelligent underwater robot. This class of AUV is developed based on the experience gained from Explorer AUV developed earlier.
HEU developed the “Zhishui I” prototype in 1992.The first model which is rumored (yet to be confirmed) used as training and teaching aid instead of being deployed in the field.Development timeline 1990–1992
Zhishui 2 is an improved version of Zhishui 1. Zhishui II was introduced in 1995. It can dive upto100m.
Zhishui-3, completed trials in July, 2000 and subsequently entered Chinese service. The Zhishui III UUV completed testing in 2000 and has entered service in the PLAN since. This 2000 kg autonomous UUV is used for missions like mine hunting and salvage surveys. UUVs of this size often have an endurance of a couple days due to their power hungry propellers. It can dive upto300m. This large has two cross-tunnel thrusters for maneuvering, and was developed with the help of Harbin Engineering University.
Zhishui-3 has a similar appearance to earlier Explorer AUV, with a cylindrical body resembling a miniature submarine without the conning tower. Contrary to most other AUVs that are often powered by a single propeller, Zhishui-3 is powered by twin propellers. The two shrouded propellers are installed just below the horizontal control surfaces of the crucifix control surfaces at the stern. Zhishui class AUV is claimed to be capable of performing a variety of tasks by the designers, but no details are released because it is designed for military application from the start, as opposed to other Chinese AUVs that are also used for civilian applications. Zhishui-II/III is currently in service with PLAN.
Zhishui 4 is an improved version of Zhishui 3. It can reach up to 300m of depth. Development started in 2001 and completed in 2005.
Zhishui 5 is further improved version of Zhishui. It can reach up to 1000m of depth. Development started in 2006 and completed in 2010.
AUV-RS 'Smart' Unmanned Underwater Combat System
AUV-RS family consist five different models of varying sizes. At least one of the models is capable of deploying weapons (Torpedoes/Missiles). As seen in the photo below, it can deploy missiles to attack surface ships, to detonate mines. It can even deploy payload that pops onto the surface to communicate with satellites. What it isn't clear to me is whether the featured payloads also belong in the same AUV-RS family.
Sea Wing is an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) developed by China's Academy of Sciences Institution of Oceanology. Like other underwater gliders, Sea Wing moves through the water using a buoyancy compensation system filled with oil.
The glider is used for oceanographic research and has on board sensors for to measure seawater temperature, salinity, turbidity, chlorophyll, oxygen content and ocean current changes.
In 2014, a Sea Wing completed a 30 day test in the South China Sea totaling 1022.5 kilometers.
In 2015 Sea Wings were deployed in the East China Sea, South China Sea and other waters of the western Pacific to complete observations of ocean phenomena including the Kuroshio Ocean Dynamic Processes spindle, eddies, and Nanhai Xi boundary flow.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang Institute of Automation has also developed a Hybrid Driven Underwater Glider, which uses a feathering propeller that gives it additional speed and maneuverability.
An Upgraded Haiyi (Sea Wing) underwater glider deployed from a Chinese government scientific research vessel on December 11, 2019 have successfully conducted an underwater survey expedition in the East Indian Ocean, the company responsible for manufacturing the gliders announced in late March.
Underwater gliders, which glide through water columns by use of a pair of wings, are efficient long-distance, long-duration marine environment observatory platforms. The Sea-Wing underwater glider, developed by the Shenyang Institute of Automation, CAS, is designed for the application of deep-sea environment variables observation.
DSRV Deep-Submergence Rescue Vehicle
Type 7103 DSRV
Type 7103 DSRV is usually carried by Type 925 Dajiang class submarine rescue / salvage ship (ASR/ARS) of PLAN, which also carries the training submersible. A total of 4 Type 7103 DSRVs are built, but in general, only two are readily available at any given time, while this pair is deployed on ships, the other pair would be at base for maintenance and providing secondary shore-based training. Under emergency situations, all four could be readily available for deployment. While at sea, each Type 925 Dajiang class ASR/ARS would only carry one Type 7103 DSRV, while the slot for the second is used to carry the training submersible for training at sea. During rescue missions, the training submersible would be replaced by a second Type 7103 DSRV
LR7The LR7 is a manned submersible undersea rescue vehicle in service with the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) since 2009, and is usually deployed onboard one of China's Type 926 submarine support ships. Constructed by the British firm Perry Slingsby Systems, of the Triton Group, as a development of earlier LR5, the 25 ft long LR7 is designed for retrieving sailors from stranded submarines at a depth greater than 300 meters, and is capable of rescuing 18 at a time
China recently revealed the MS200 midget submarine design at the Defense & Security 2017 defense exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand. The 200 tons submarine is a new single-hulled design which differs greatly from previous Chinese midget submarine designs. It is likely intended solely for export, being aimed at countries like Pakistan who are Chinese submarine customers and happen to have a fleet of midget submarines (Italian Cos.Mo.S MG110 type) which are due for replacement.
Displacing 600 tons, the design has a length of about 50 meters; a breadth of 4.6 meters and a height of 5.6 meters. In terms of performance, its maximum submerged speed is about 15 knots (9 knots surfaced), its range is 2000 nautical miles (400 nautical miles while submerged on AIP module). Its maximum diving depth is 200 meters. Its endurance is 20 days at sea. The submarine can accommodate a crew of 15 personnel. Based on the model, the submarine has 4 torpedo tubes.
Displacing 1,100 tons, the design has a length of about 60 meters; a breadth of 5.6 meters and a height of 6.8 meters. In terms of performance, its maximum submerged speed is about 15 knots; its range is 3000 nautical miles (800 nautical miles while submerged on AIP module). Its maximum diving depth is 200 meters. Its endurance is 30 days at sea. The submarine can accommodate a crew of 18 personnel. The service life of the submarine is 25 years. Based on the model, the S1100 submarine has 4 torpedo tubes.
Anti Submarine Warfare
Type 056A ASW corvette ~3
Type 056 Jiangdao is a new class of stealth corvettes built by four Chinese shipbuilders to replace the ageing Type 037 fleet of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.
A total of 70 Type 056 frigates were built by four Chinese shipyards from 2011 to 2019.
The Jiangdao Class corvette can be deployed in patrol, escort, search-and-rescue, surveillance, exclusive economic zone (EEZ) protection, electronic warfare (EW), fishery resources protection, anti-aircraft warfare (AAW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASUW) operations.
The first Type 056 entered service in February 2013. An anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant, commonly known as Type 056A, has also entered service. The stealth corvette class was built at Wuchang, Huangpu, Hudong-Zhonghua and Liaonan shipyards.
People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Type 056A is an improved variant of the Type 056 class corvette intended to perform anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Type 056A adds towed array and variable depth sonar’s (VDS); the towed body suggests the VDS are "not an exact copy" of either the Italian/US DE-1163 or the French DUBV-43. It is likely that the Chinese will have undertaken extensive trials and analysis of any imported equipment and built a nominally indigenous system using the knowledge gained.
The weapon system's YJ-83 anti-ship missiles have been removed and replaced by 2x4 multi-barrel rocket launcher to engage submerged submarines. Besides, the weapon system comprises a PJ26 76mm naval gun, two PJ17 30mm cannons, a single 8-cell HQ-10 air defense system (eight FL-3000N surface-to-air missiles) and 2x3 torpedo tubes filled with Yu-7 or Yu-8 torpedoes. The lead Type 056A ship was commissioned in November 2014.
Type 927 ~3
Recently a new class of twin hull surveillance ship has been identified, with a similar size and configuration to the U.S. Navy’s Impeccable class, which is designed to deploy a large and capable “surveillance towed array sensor system” (SURTASS). The Chinese ship has sometimes been referred to as Type 927 (though that designation has also been used to refer to the new training ship in service), with three vessels launched up to date. Six ships of another, smaller type are also currently in service.
Very few navies operate a robust fleet of SURTASS vessels. Such ships are intended for peacetime monitoring of a large expanse of water, rather than operating directly in support of a combat element during anything greater than a low intensity conflict. Simplistically, SURTASS ships can be thought of as a peacetime force multiplier for combat units engaged in ASW such as surface combatants, helicopters, MPAs, and even other submarines, by providing oceanographic and sonar data gathered during peacetime. The pursuit of a number of large, capable SURTASS ships is among the most credible indicators of the PLAN’s seriousness in tackling the ASW mission.
Type 927 vessels are twin-hulled, with a displacement of approximately 5,000 tonnes. The ships are 90 meters long and have a beam of 30 meters being completed at a shipyard in Huangpu near Hong Kong that has built SWATH designs for the Chinese navy before. SWATH vessels are both extremely stable and extremely quiet, especially when outfitted with electric motors for propulsion. Their stability and quiet make them especially useful for hydrographic surveying and research utilizing sonar and other sensitive acoustic equipment, and for locating submarines.
While the photographs do not yet show any obvious equipment such as reels for towed sonar arrays, the vessel is almost certainly intended to support Chinese anti-submarine warfare operations to detect and track submarines. The Chinese vessel bears an unmistakable resemblance to U.S. Navy Ocean Surveillance Ships, which are equipped with advanced sonar arrays to detect and track submarines at great ranges. These ships trail sensitive listening equipment on long cables that can pick up the sound of submarines travelling underwater and track their movement. Some can augment their passive listening arrays with low-frequency active arrays that send sound waves into the water to bounce off submerged submarine hulls to reveal their location.
Shipboard ASW Weapons
Two new ship-launched ASW rocket and missile systems in recent years have contributed to this. The first of these is the Yu-8, a weapon similar to the U.S. Navy’s VL-ASROC that can be vertically launched from the 054A’s vertical launch system (VLS). This system is said to have a range of about 50 km, and carries either a Yu-7 or Yu-11 lightweight torpedo. A 50 km ranged weapon greatly extends the capability of a surface ship to organically engage a submarine at safer distances, especially when paired with more capable sensor suites such as the two tail Variable depth sonar (VDS) and towed array sonar systems (TASS) outfit. Furthermore, the Yu-8 is almost certainly capable of being equipped aboard all 054A ships, not merely the two tail “054A+” ships, which greatly expands the ASW lethality of single tail 054A FFGs as well. There is currently no evidence that Yu-8 has been integrated into the universal VLS that equips the 052D and 055 – however, it is likely only a matter of time until Yu-8 or a similar weapon is paired with the universal VLS.
A second, more mysterious weapon is a larger cruise missile-like weapon that has been test fired from the ST-16M slant launcher. The launcher typically carries YJ-83 family anti ship missiles and is widely fielded aboard PLAN warships, including all 054As, 056/As, and older DDGs and FFGs. This mysterious weapon is equipped with fold out wings, a ventral air intake, and thought to carry a lightweight torpedo; however, the overall size and configuration of this weapon’s platform suggests a much greater range than the Yu-8. It is not known if this system is currently in service, though its development implies the PLAN is looking to greatly expand the ASW engagement envelope that some warships can enjoy, at the expense of giving up an YJ-83 missile one-for-one. If a vertically launched variant of this weapon is developed, it will likely be too large for the 054A’s VLS but the more voluminous universal VLS aboard the 052D and 055 may be able to accommodate it.
Organic sensor capabilities aboard PLAN surface combatants have made a vast leap in quantity and quality in merely four years due to the introduction of the two tail VDS and TASS suite. When paired with the in service Yu-8 system employed from 054A FFGs, as well as new and upcoming ASW weapons, PLAN warships are finally adequately equipped with organic ASW systems comparable to other international high end ASW ships.
However, a navy’s overall ASW capability depends on more than organic shipboard sensors and weapons. The situation for PLAN shipboard ASW helicopters remains in transition, and land-based fixed wing ASW platforms are also a burgeoning new capability that has yet to reach a critical mass. Other relevant ASW developments include a class of new ocean surveillance ship, as well as developments of seabed mounted sensors and advancements in new technologies such as unmanned underwater vehicles.
Frigates (FFGs) and destroyers (DDGs) also have organic ASW weapons, such as vertically launched missile/rocket launched torpedo systems.
ASW helicopters greatly expand a warship’s surveillance and engagement area and range against subsurface targets. ASW helicopters are typically equipped with a number of sensors such as surface search radars, sonobuoy launchers, dipping sonar, electro-optic cameras, and the ability to carry torpedoes. Datalinks between the helicopter and warship help to coordinate ASW activities between to optimally prosecute a target.
Therefore it is desirable for an ASW helicopter to have a large payload capacity (both for onboard sensors and weapons) and long range and endurance, all while being small enough to be accommodated aboard a surface combatant’s helipad and hangar.
Z-9CThe Z-9C is an ASW helicopter developed by Harbin Aircraft based on Harbin Z-9 helicopter, a license-built version of the French AS365 Dauphin. it was outfitted with a pulse-compression radar and low frequency dipping sonar to aid in ASW operations.
The helicopter integrates advanced anti-submarine systems such as search radar, dipping sonar system, and ET-52C anti-submarine torpedoes for hunting submarines. The Harpoon landing/take-off system aboard the helicopter ensures operations from ships.
The Z-9C enhances the operational range of the host platform while meeting the challenging requirements of modern ASW warfare. The helicopter has a maximum range of 427km and can remain airborne for 2.27 hours.
Z-9EC:- ASW variant produced for the Pakistan Naval Air Arm. Configured with pulse-compression radar, low frequency dipping sonar, radar warning receiver and doppler navigation system, it is also armed with torpedoes for use aboard Pakistan Navy's Zulfiquar-class frigates.
The Ka-27 and Ka-28 are naval anti-submarine helicopters and the Ka-29 is a naval combat and transport helicopter, designed and manufactured by the Kamov Design Bureau in Russia. The Ka-28, a modification of the Ka-27, is powered by two more powerful TV3-117VK turboshaft engines, with increased fuel and take-off weight.Ka-27 or Ka-28 (export designation) can conduct missions from a variety of naval vessels to counter modern subsurface and surface threats. The helicopters are equipped with VGS-3 dipping sonar and sonobuoys to track and detect submarines.
The helicopter is capable of firing torpedoes and anti-submarine missiles and can also be armed with PLAB-250-120 anti-submarine bombs and OMAB bombs. The Ka-27 has a flight range of 900km.
The Z-18F is an anti-submarine variant of the Z-18 medium-lift helicopter developed by the Changhe Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG). The helicopter, with a maximum take-off weight of 13.8t, can be deployed on smaller surface combatants of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). It forms a part of the helicopter wing aboard the Liaoning (CV-16) aircraft carrier.
The Z-18F is equipped with an electro-optic/infrared sensor, a dipping sonar, and a chin-mounted surface search radar. It can carry up to 32 sonobuoys and four Yu-7 light-weight ASW torpedoes or YJ-9 anti-ship missiles.
Powered by three WZ-6C turboshaft engines, the Z-18F ASW helicopter attains a top speed of more than 330km/h and a maximum range of 900km.
Z20 F is a naval version of Z20 Helicopter. The Z-20F is expected to perform anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue missions, and other shipboard operations on the Chinese Type 055 cruisers and aircraft carriers. The service has operated the smaller and more limited Harbin Z-9.
The new type is also likely to embark on board some of the later Type 052D destroyers of China’s naval force.
The helicopter is closer in form to the mold line of the Black Hawk than its general utility counterpart, especially in terms of its nose section. It features apertures for a missile approach warning system (MAWS) and it has a landing gear arrangement similar to SH-60B/F and MH-60R Seahawks that operate from the small decks of surface combatants. A FLIR sensor is seen underneath the helicopter's nose, as well as what looks like some sort of larger radome for surface search radar under its fuselage.
A square hole similar to those found on Seahawk and other maritime-optimized helicopters that use the RAST system for recovery is available in Z20F. The helicopter's tail boom holds a number of features, including a downward-facing UHF communications antenna and a directional data-link antenna under a dome. These are key components that give the Z-20F the capability to send large amounts of information to receivers that are located on the surface of the earth within line-of-sight. For beyond-line-of-sight connectivity, a "towel rack" high-frequency antenna is visible, as is a large satellite communications antenna system is located just aft of where the fuselage connects with the tail boom. An APU exhaust appears to be located just before it on the helicopter's fuselage. There are also brackets for flare dispensers on the tail .
Fixed Wing ASW Aircraft
Compared to ASW helicopters, the sensors on ASW maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) are more powerful and sometimes more comprehensive in nature, such as including magnetic anomaly detectors and a more robust electronic support measures (ESM) suite. Fixed wing MPAs tend to be larger compared to ASW helicopters, providing not only longer range, endurance, speed, and payload, but also space for more operator consoles to allow the aircraft to conduct more complex missions independently.
Many MPAs are derived from existing aircraft such as commercial airliners or transporters. Until recently, the Chinese aerospace industry lacked an appropriate aircraft that could modified into an MPA, and a historical inability of PLA combat aviation to credibly contest air superiority meant the PLAN likely did not consider MPA procurement to be a high priority.
KQ-200 Maritime Patrol Aircraft
The KQ-200 (also known as Y-8Q or GX-6 or High New 6) MPA is based on the Y-8 Category III Platform featuring WJ-6C turboprops with 6-blade each. The Y-8 is a medium transport aircraft produced by Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation (SAC), itself based on the Soviet An-12. Y-8 Category III is the base platform for most Chinese special mission aircraft.
The KQ-200 is designed to equip the PLAN Air Force (naval aviation force) of the North Sea Fleet and South Sea Fleet. It is believed that the special anti-submarine model in 2011, code-named "Gaoxin No. 6", began test flights. The appearance of the aircraft has an enlarged nose radar cabin and a tail. The magnetic anomaly detector, the new internal weapon bay that can carry torpedo weapons in the belly
The first two prototypes were first seen at the SAC factory airfield in November 2011. The mass production is believed to have begun in 2015. The aircraft has a range of approximately 5,000 km and a patrol endurance of about 10 hours.
Search radar is installed under the nose, while the single sideband radio, inertial system, Omega navigation system, and domestic self-defense warning system and infrared search are added. Submersible systems, sonar buoys, life-saving devices, etc.
Its reconnaissance camera system includes high- and medium-altitude optical cameras, low-altitude cameras, infrared cameras, infrared submarine search devices, sonar buoys and delivery devices, sonar receivers, ultra-high frequency directional devices, etc., as well as radar crews and submarine search crews. Seats, life-saving devices include 5-person lifeboats or single-person life-saving devices. Other improvements include: in order to improve the anti-corrosion ability and extend the service life, the external skin, steel parts and all non-air-tight parts of the magnesium alloy parts of this machine are all adopted three kinds of anti-salt spray, anti-humidity and anti-mold Preventive measures: the rear of the fuselage is equipped with a camera hatch on each side, and a vertical camera hatch is installed at the lower part of the tail. The rear door of the cargo compartment is equipped with an infrared camera, an infrared search instrument, a sonar buoy pylon, and a tail gun compartment. It does not carry anti-submarine torpedoes, so it cannot undertake the attack task. It is fitted with four openings to deploy sonobuoys (SQ-4 and SQ-5 by AVIC), and a cargo/weapons bay that can carry anti-submarine grenades and torpedoes. Rumors mention the ability to carry four YJ-83K anti-ship missiles under the KQ-200 wings, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Y-8X Maritime Patrol Aircraft
The Y-8X or Y-8 MPA is a four-engine turboprop maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). It is a land-based maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, based on the Y-8 turboprop transport aircraft. The aircraft was developed and built by Shaanxi Aircraft Industry Corporation, a subsidiary of AVIC 1.
It is the first long-range maritime patrol aircraft of the PLAN. The PLA Naval Aviation Corps operates a small fleet of the aircraft.
The Y-8X development programme was commenced in 1983 when Shaanxi Aircraft Company (now Shaanxi Aircraft Industry Corporation) proposed the development of a special purpose aircraft based on the Y-8 turboprop transport aircraft. The Y-8 is a Chinese licensed copy of the Soviet / Russian An-12 Cub aircraft. Y-8X is the first special mission variant derived from the Y-8 military transport aircraft. The development project was assigned to Shaanxi in October 1983 and design proposal was approved by the PLAN in November 1984.
The aircraft development was concluded with the completion of flight tests in less than a year. The first Y-8 MPA was delivered to the PLAN in late 1984. The aircraft received national design certification in 1985.
The Y-8 MPA is based on the airframe of the Y-8 transport aircraft. The design incorporates high-mounted wings with drooping outer wing panels. The aircraft has a stepped cockpit and glassed-in nose. A large cylindrical radar dome is installed under the nose. The tail flats mounted on the fuselage are pointed with blunt tips. The landing gear pods are fitted on the midsection of the lower body.
The aircraft is fitted with infrared anti-submarine detection equipment including sonobuoys and a sonar receiver. There are low-altitude and medium to high-altitude optical cameras, and an infrared camera installed for aerial imagery.
The rear cargo door has been removed to accommodate the mission equipment window. An additional seat has been provided for the radar operator. The sonar operator cabin is added in place of the tail cannon turret on the Y-8 aircraft. Emergency equipment includes five-man or single-man lifeboats.
The Y-8X can perform maritime patrol, surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue (SAR) missions. The aircraft conducts patrols in the East China Sea region. The PLAN also deployed the aircraft in various reconnaissance missions to collect aerial photos of the islands near the South China Sea. The aircraft can also be equipped for electronic and signal intelligence missions.
The Y-8 MPA features upgraded avionics suite and mission equipment. The aircraft is equipped with Doppler navigation radar, radio compass, radio altimeter, beacon marker receiver and identification friend or foe (IFF).
There is APSO-504(V) 3 surface search radar housed in the under-chin dome. The aircraft also features an inertial navigation system (INS) and Omega global navigation system.
The aircraft is equipped with a self-defence electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite, which consists of an all-aspect radar warning receiver (RWR) and chaff / flare dispenser.The aircraft can fire chaff / flare to deceive incoming anti-aircraft missiles.
The Y-8 MPA can conduct day or night operations during all weather conditions. The aircraft can fly at a maximum speed of 662km/h. It has a range of 5,620km and service ceiling of 10,400m. The flight endurance is 10.5 hours. The aircraft can climb at a rate of 10m/s. The maximum take-off weight is 61,000kg.
Y-8AF: ASW platform under tests, with extended magnetic anomaly detector at the tail, the latest military version
Chinese Secret Submarine Bases
Yulin Naval Base
Yulin Naval Base is a naval base for nuclear submarines along the southern coast of Hainan Island, China. This underground base has been reported by several intelligence agencies, especially Indian agencies. The images collected by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in February 2008 shows that China constructed a large scale underground base for its naval forces.
China's tend to be built directly into rocky outcrops which may provide many feet of overhead protection. The entrance is usually facing inland (but with water access) so that it is harder to hit from offshore.
The caverns are capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines based on reconnaissance satellites data collected. The harbor houses nuclear ballistic missile submarines and is large enough to accommodate aircraft carriers. The US Department of Defense has estimated that China will have five Type 094 nuclear submarines operational by 2010 with each capable of carrying 12 JL-2 intercontinental ballistic missiles. Two 950 metre piers and three smaller ones would be enough to accommodate two carrier strike groups or amphibious assault ships.
The best known of these tunnels are two which protect the strategic submarine force. One built at Jianggezhuang Naval Base (36° 6'20.76"N, 120°35'2.39"E) near Qingdao provides a hiding place for ballistic missile submarines based there. And more recently one has been built at Yulin (18°12'8.97"N, 109°41'39.34"E). This is where a new base for nuclear submarines was constructed around 12 years ago. Yulin allows Chinese submarines (and aircraft carriers) easy access to the South China Sea, an important operating area.
Recent visitors to the bay surrounding a submarine base on the southern coast of China’s Hainan Island describe a curious nocturnal phenomenon. Powerful spotlights are sometimes trained directly on the ocean frontages of neighboring hotels at night, making visibility out to sea virtually impossible. Some of the lights are mounted on land and others on passing naval patrol boats.
We are leaving the conclusions parts to the readers.
Even though both countries are technologically almost in the same level but china significantly outnumbered India. India should immediately act to close the numbers gap as well as need to improve its indigenous technology to outperform china.