China’s geographic advantage over the valiant Indian army in the Himalayas will now be neutralized by our advantage in the Indian Ocean
The Indian Navy commissioned its tenth destroyer, the INS Visakhapatnam, on Sunday. News18.
On Sunday, the Indian Navy commissioned its tenth destroyer, the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Visakhapatnam, built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai. The Vishakhapatnam is a 7,500-ton warship whose main offensive armament is the BrahMos surface-to-surface missile, eight of which will be grouped into two quadruple vertical launch systems. With a range of 290 km, supersonic speed and pinpoint accuracy, it can be fired against both ships and land targets, making it a formidable weapon.
Against the submarines, it has Indian sensors guiding the Indians Brahmastra Heavy torpedoes and long-range anti-submarine rocket launchers. It also carries Israel’s famous Barak anti-aircraft and anti-missile system, probably the best in its class in the world. Its sensor suite is world-class, as even a glance at its photograph will confirm, and it can steer our own fighter plane using long-range aircraft steering radar. Equipped with the most modern Indo-Israel electronic warfare suite, it can perform soft attacks on enemy sensors.
In the nuclear age and the diminishing probabilities of open conventional warfare, one factor that contributes to the success of a warship is its longevity. Things are looking good for INS Visakhapatnam, as an older class of destroyers with similar gas turbine main engines are still performing well into their fourth decade. However, the most powerful weapon on board the ship may not be the BrahMos missiles, but the monoblock helicopter, equipped with submarine search sonar and anti-ship missiles.
Observers with nautical scientific knowledge would have understood that although the BrahMos has a range of 290 km, the range of the ship’s own search radar is limited by the curvature of the earth to a maximum of 100 km. So without what is called horizon targeting, the full range of BrahMos cannot be exploited. This is where pairing the ship with its own helicopter or other research aircraft makes the Visakhapatnam a formidable combat platform.
Normally, it would be part of the escort screen around the aircraft carrier, adding tremendously to the capital ship’s defense in depth. But he would also be the leader of a formidably independent task force on a search-and-destroy mission. It is currently equipped with the Seaking 42B helicopter, but this will be replaced by the new Seahawk helicopters from the United States. The ship will inspire naval headquarters to speed up the formulation of a new maritime strategy, to replace the dated Mahanian concept of protecting sea lanes and escorting convoys.
Naval theorists are putting the finishing touches on a grand aggressive strategy where the army holds the Chinese on the Himalayan border, while the navy goes on the offensive in the Indian Ocean. Angered by questions that arose in the domestic media during the Galwan Crisis as to what the Navy could do to compensate for Chinese aggression on the Real Line of Control (LAC), maritime strategists have been working overtime to provide a response strategy in the Ocean.
China has the advantage of geography in Tibet, which is a plateau. With its huge infrastructure budget, it was easy to build an intense road network facing the border with India. As a result, it has a six-lane highway connecting its offensive posts across from Arunachal Pradesh to Daulat Beg Oldi and beyond to Xinjiang. The Chinese military has therefore been able to maintain an offensive strategy against India despite reducing its army’s strength to 975,000, almost 250,000 less than the active-duty strength of the army. Indian. Yet by moving sideways on the highway acclimatized troops to the altitude, Beijing is able to overwhelm the Indian defenses, numerically at any point they choose. Not anymore, after the execution of the new maritime strategy.
China’s only Achilles heel is its dependence on oil imports and commodity exports on Indian Ocean routes. However, its naval forces are immobilized in the South China Sea by the overwhelming presence of the United States.e fleet, and soon by Australian nuclear submarines. This constraint leaves very few Chinese naval escorts to defend their sea lanes in the Indian Ocean. In any case, India has an immensely favorable geography in the Indian Ocean, while China is severely disadvantaged by the constraints of the Strait of Malacca.
With India suffering losses in the Himalayas, the Indian navy will spring into action, after a diplomatic warning and an ultimatum. The Quad’s aerial research assets will be used to closely monitor the Indo-Pacific, while warships will quarantine tankers and cargo ships bound for China in the Nicobar Islands. With the predominance of information in the South China Seas and the Strait of Malacca, a geographically limited “kill zone” will be set up in the strait for any Chinese naval unit intervening or reinforcing. This is where the 400 km range of the Visakhapatnam BrahMos and its search helicopter will be deployed.
China’s geographic advantage over the valiant Indian army in the Himalayas will finally be neutralized by our advantage in the Indian Ocean. The more ships Beijing sends to intervene, the more serious their losses will be. For the first time, we are using a true three-serve strategy against an aggressive Chinese hegemon, with the intention of blocking the rise of an Asian competitor. With the use of the Car-Nicobar air base, the Strait of Malacca can become a real battle space dominated by India.
The writer, former Navy Rear Admiral, is the author of “A Nuclear Strategy for India”. The opinions expressed are personal.
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