RUSSIA HANDS OVER REFITTED SUBMARINE TO INDIA. SCORE ANOTHER FIRST FOR THE TIGERS THEY TAKE THE HAND OFF IN ICE CONDITIONS.
|Late Model Soviet Diesel Electric Submarine Possibly Similar To Those Being Acquired From Russia By India|
Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that we are big fans of the Indian Navy who we refer to as the "Tigers". They are a growing, increasingly competent force for good in the Indian Ocean. We believe India to be a non aggressive state and a competent and law abiding member of the international community. They are also the world's largest democracy. So when we hear that the Tigers have demonstrated an important naval skill that indicates they are becoming not only masters of their home ocean but increasingly capable of global operations we have to cheer even when the naval vendor in this case is that old Bear and thug state Russia.
The Bear refitted a submarine for the Tiger. The Tiger performed another naval task associated with global navies, they took the hand off in winter ice conditions in the far north. You would have to sail far down toward Antarctica to find ice conditions in the Indian Ocean. The tigers operate submarines and aircraft carriers with grace and aplomb, now they show they can operate in ice. The West, particularly the United States and Great Britain should be on a charm offensive to bring these sailors into greater alignment with us and less dependent on thug states like Russia for ship sourcing and technology transfers. But instead, if you read our blog from the week end, our clueless leaders were in Taiwan talking about selling submarines to Taiwan at a time when Taiwan is cooperating with mainland China in illegal bully tactics against Japan. So we propose to sell submarines to a nation more likely to use them on one of our closest allies, while we hardly talk with the Tigers?
Not only is India a democracy and a trust worthy and competent state, English is an official language there and is in widespread use in their fleet. Instead of ignoring them because they avoid formal alliance we should be trying to encourage them to move into NATO level interoperability. They are rapidly moving despite the neglect of the West, into a naval power capable of policing the Indian Ocean. They would be a reliable, fair, and competent policeman for that beat. But should they face invasion by a larger thug power, or an alliance of thug powers, its going to be in the best interest of the West to come to India's aid. That is a lot easier with interoperatability. It really is time that the West figured out that India's non alignment isn't a problem for us since they are far from a failed or rogue state. We should be encouraging their naval development and we should be doing so with one eye towards NATO interoperatability.
Below is a link to the recent Times of India article on the event.
We wish the submarine source in this event wasn't that old bear, but none the less congratulations are in order for the tigers.