Well-known new Chinese news site The Paper recently reported that India has successfully launched a ballistic missile from its first domestically produced Destroyer-class nuclear submarine, hitting a target area in the Bay of Bengal with very high accuracy. This shows that the India’s nuclear submarine officially has the ability to launch ballistic missiles from a submerged state. India has become the sixth country in the world after the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom to have nuclear strike and counterattack capabilities on land and from the sea and air, enhancing its “trinity” nuclear deterrence capability, while also bringing more instability to the already-complex situation in South Asia. As an important platform for sea-based nuclear forces, nuclear submarines have the advantages of self-sufficiency, endurance, and high raid power. They can stay away from bases and go deep into enemy-controlled areas for long-term patrol and for surveillance activities, which can effectively make up for the lack of range of submarine-launched ballistic missiles. However, India currently has only one strategic nuclear submarine capable of using submarine-launched ballistic missiles. It also has the lowest number of missiles in the world. According to the plan of the Indian Navy, five nuclear submarines are part of its strategic plan. The sea-based nuclear force has always been a weak link in the construction of India’s nuclear force system. This is a major technical challenge for India due to the high technical reserve required to launch missiles from nuclear submarines. This recent success shows that India has made significant progress in the construction of sea-based nuclear forces. However, the number, technical level and range of missiles that are among India’s strategic nuclear submarines are far behind those of the world’s leading nuclear powers.
Source: The Paper, October 22, 2022