Sunday, April 21, 2013

4/21/2013 Naval Interest

India's Scorpene Subs Facing More Delays

  Tigers Welcome to The World of Cost Over Runs.

Image , Spanish Navy S-80 Navantia Class Submarine 

 Below are a lead in and hyperlink to a recently published story by UPI.Com.  In America we are quite used to naval construction cost over runs, especially for first in a class. Once a production line is established prices usually become more stable. There is no doubt that the cheapest way to get reliable war ships is to buy widely accepted models on the open market. The Indian Navy who we refer to as the "Tigers" out of admiration for the job they have done and the bright future they seem to be moving towards, has done a lot of that. However, India's naval professionals know that buying best available proven technology only builds parity in technology and increases the size of the fleet. While sometimes "quantity has a quality all its own" you don't want to depend on quantity alone when facing the masters of quantity, that old swimming dragon, China. In addition to quantity you need the occasional technological advantage.

 Listen India's law makers, your Tigers in the naval profession have virtually done the impossible with leased, borrowed, and used vessels. In very short order they have stunned and amazed the naval professionals of the world by mastering the following skills only found in the best navies on Earth. They routinely operate an air craft carrier, a skill that the Dragon is just now starting to learn, they have successfully operated a nuclear submarine, They have successfully fired missiles from a submerged submarine, and they have performed underway replenishment at sea, a skill that gives the U.S. Navy its "long legs". You clearly have some of the best sailors in the World, doing miracles with aged, and irregular equipment. This kind of performance indicates superb technical competency and effective leadership at all levels from Flag officers to deck watch and engineering officers to petty officers, especially in the technical ratings. You have a navy where clearly no one is resting at their oar. As law makers you need to educate your voters to the importance of this navy and the totality of sea power. Dedicated sailors can take a navy very far, but ultimately they need a national sea power infrastructure, the ability to support the fleet ashore, and the ability to produce domestically produced war ships and weapons, in secret when necessary. Building advanced air independent submarines in India is important, building Indian warship manufacturing capability is important. More importantly building these submarines is an important step in improving and standardizing  your fleet while continuing to grow it. So we urge the law makers of India to continue to support this submarine building effort and to support your navy. 

 We routinely read Indian English language news sources looking for naval and maritime news. We must say that your general media seems almost as oblivious to maritime events as the U.S. media has become. Some how if it happens at sea, unless lots of people die, its out of sight and out of mind. But danger, whether amphibious landed terrorist, or economy killing disruptions of shipping often comes by sea. India needs a strong navy. The world needs India to have a strong navy, the Indian Ocean is a troubled place, and India is the world's largest democracy, a stable democracy, and a law abiding nation. The Indian Ocean is a long way from the home ports of the naval powers of the democracies. India is surrounded by authoritarian and thug states, and lives in close proximity to theocratic states with rulers of dubious mental health. The world needs its biggest democracy to also be a powerful nation in every way including economically and militarily, especially in the naval sphere. The Indian Navy has performed in such a way that they have impressed naval professionals  around the world.  Its past time for the people of India and their law makers to join the many foreign admirers of the Indian navy in a chant of "Go Tigers'! Indian law makers keep the faith, absorb the cost over runs, learn from it, build the submarines, and in any way you can grease the skids to help your navy continue moving forward. 

 The Mediterranean Sea area and parts of the Pacific are challenged but these seas are still dominated by the navies of free peoples. The Indian Ocean region is severely challenged from pirates, failed and failing states, and the occasionally intruding and excessively acquisitive dragon. Unlike the situation just prior to World War II The United States and Great Britain no longer control the "Sea Gates", those narrow natural straits and canals that provide short cuts to the world's shipping. The World largest democracy must be able to dominate the Indian Ocean against big odds for a long period alone. The expense of maintaining a first rate navy is not easy on an emerging nation with great social needs. But to continue to emerge into great power status India must remain free. The Good news is that India presently only has to develop a one ocean dominant navy with moderate out of region force projection capability. That's a lot less expensive than a two or more ocean navy.

 Your navy has already brought you a long way towards that goal on a pretty eclectic fleet of vessels. They have proven that they can operate anything that floats or flies. Take it from foreign naval professionals observing; you can trust your present navy with the finest fleet you can possibly equip them with, they will not let you down.

Below is the lead in and link to the UPI article

MUMBAI, April 19 (UPI) -- India's Scorpene submarine project likely will face an 18-month delivery delay after the pullout of consultants from Spanish shipbuilding partner Navantia.
A report by India's Times News Network said Mazagon Dock Ltd., the government shipbuilder in Mumbai where the vessels are being made, informed the navy that the project would be delayed by another 18 months to the end of 2016.
Last year Defense Minister A.K. Antony announced in Parliament that the project would be delayed three years until 2015

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