A German Type 214 Advanced Diesel Electric Submarine

by Sultan M Hali

And its need to blame others

India raised a hullabaloo over the $700 million sale of eight US F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. The move was scuttled in the US Senate on March 10, 2016, when the 30 days hold on US financing for the deal expired. Indian lobbyists in the US had raised a hue and cry, citing disparity in the balance of arms in the region if the sale of 8 F-16s went through. US Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Senator Bob Corker, whose committee has jurisdiction over foreign arms sales, Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and one-time presidential candidate as well as Senator John McCain, prodded by India tried to create hurdles for the arms sale to Pakistan but their efforts came to naught. Lawmakers voted 71 to 24 against an attempt introduced by Republican Senator Rand Paul to prevent the sale under legislation known as the Arms Control Act with the understanding that the South Asian state needs to modernise its air force and counter-terrorism activities.
Contrast this with the insatiable Indian appetite for acquiring sophisticated arms. Franz-Stefan Gady, Associate Editor of “The Diplomat”, in his March 1 op-ed titled ‘Russia Remains India’s Largest Arms Supplier (For Now)’, states that over the past three years, Russian defence deals with India exceeded 340 billion rupees (over $5 billion), with the United States coming in at a close second with 300 billion rupees (around $4.4 billion) in deals. He goes on to add that over the last three fiscal years, Russia was also able to claim the majority of signed defence contracts. Quoting India’s defence ministry, Gady reveals that from 2012-2013 to 2014-2015 fiscal years, 162 arms purchase contracts were signed, among them 67 with other countries, including Russia (18 agreements), the United States (13) and France (six).
Russian equipment made up around 75 percent of all of New Delhi’s weapons imports from 2004 to 2014. From 2009 to 2013, India and Russia signed defense deals worth an estimated $30 billion. In comparison, France signed contracts worth $30 billion and the United States contracts worth $11 billion during the same time period.
S-400 is the world’s most advanced Air Defense System
In 2014 the United States supplanted Russia as India’s top weapons supplier, with the total value of US imports increasing from $200 million in 2009 to $2 billion in 2014.
US defence contractor Boeing alone has won bids to supply the Indian military with ten C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft (worth $4.1 billion), eight P-8I maritime patrol aircraft (worth $2.1. billion), 22 AH-64E Apache, and 15 CH-47F Chinook helicopters (both helicopter deals have a combined worth of $2.5 billion).
The French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation is in the final steps of concluding a contract for the sale of 36 Rafale fourth-generation multirole fighter jets to the Indian Air Force at an estimated cost of $9 billion. In addition, European defence contractor EADS has been selected to supply six Airbus A330 Multirole Tanker Transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force in a $1 billion tender.
According to the Russian Military Complex chief, Moscow and New Delhi have also agreed to perform design work in India on what Russia claims would be a “fifth generation” version of the Su-35, an agreement that may lead to an Indian variant of the fighter jet. Russia claims the Su-35S would be a fifth generation fighter, as opposed to the legacy fourth generation Su-35. That implies stealth, but it’s unclear whether the jet would be on par with an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Russian industry sources said the fighter will be priced at $85 million. That could make it competitive with Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, and could have implications for India’s proposed purchase of 126 Rafales.
German daily “Der Spiegel” reports that Germany and India are already in discreet talks over the possible acquisition of six small German Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) diesel-electric submarines, equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems, for a total cost of $ 11 billion. The subs would be built by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) in Kiel.
While the “Der Spiegel” article does not offer any details over the precise TKMS submarine type offered, some reports surfaced earlier that Germany was going to offer the HDW Type 214, an export variant of the stealthy HDW Type 212. The Type 214 lacks some of the Type 212′s classified technologies such as its non-magnetic steel hull, which makes the sub particularly difficult to detect.
India currently operates four older HDW Type 209 submarines with the first commissioned back in 1986. Two of the four vessels, the INS Shalki and INS Shankul, were produced in India under a technology transfer agreement. “The very fact that INS Shalki and Shankul were made in India by an Indian shipyard under a technology transfer agreement is proof that TKMS has been supporting India’s indigenous defence industry for over a quarter of a century,” according to Gurnad Sodhi, Managing Director of TKMS India.
The Indian government has been deliberating over the purchase of six additional stealth submarines, capable of attacking land targets and equipped with AIP, since 2008 and is expected to make a decision by the year’s end (in a previous deal, India already opted for the purchase of six French Scorpene-class diesel-electric attack submarines the first of which was floated out in April, 2015). According to the original Project 75-I proposal, two submarines would have been directly bought from one selected foreign shipyard with the remaining four built in India. Now, with the Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ program all six vessels are to be built in India.
India is also going to acquire the world’s most advanced anti-ballistic missile system — the S-400. Previously known as S-300PMU-3, S-400 is a new generation anti-aircraft weapon system developed by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. It is currently in service with the Russian Armed Forces.
The S-400 is designed to protect nuclear reactors, population centres and government installations. The system can also deflect enemy missile more than 400 km away. India’s voracious lust for arms is ceaseless.