The People’s Liberation Army Navy could block India’s western and eastern coasts with just 10 submarines in the event of conflict in the Indian Ocean, according to the Sina Military Network website on June 2.
An article published last year claimed that a single attack submarine deployed to the Bay of Bengal or Arabian Sea could threaten the entire operations of the Indian Navy. It could even challenge the INS Vikramaditya, the former Russian aircraft carrier commissioned in 2013. This is a primary mission why India decided to build two additional carriers with the assistance of the United States, the piece said.
With the Indian Navy also adding more submarines to its fleet, the Sina Military Network concluded that the PLA’s three Type 091 Han-class, four Type 093 Shang-class and two Type 095 attack submarines are not sufficient for a total blockade of the subcontinent. However, it said it would not be necessary for the PLA Navy to block the country’s southern waters that are closer to the coast of Africa. In this case, about 10 attack submarines could suffice.
India has eight primary naval bases but only the three located in Mumbai, Karwar and Visakhapatnam are used for actual military operations. This being the case, the article said that even six nuclear-powered attack submarines are needed to block India’s major naval bases completely with two covering each base.