July 31, 2013

Pakistan Submarine Capabilities


 
 One of Pakistan's three miniature MG110 (Cosmos Class) submarines (see the two men for scale). Perhaps mainly a reconnaissance and intercept vehicle?
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On 29 July 2013 the US privately funded Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) published the following update on Pakistan submarine capabilities http://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/pakistan-submarine-capabilities/ . Note the disclaimer "This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies [MIIS] and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright © 2011 by MIIS [unclear whether the information is dated 2011 or 2013]"

I've added some extra comments within {...} brackets, extra links and boldings for emphasis.

"The Pakistan Navy operates a fleet of five diesel-electric submarines and three MG110 {40 ton, 6 frogmen or 2 tons of explosive, Cosmos Class from Italy 1988 onwards} miniature submarines (SSI). [1] Although these vessels are currently based at Karachi, it is possible that in the future some may also be based at Port Ormara {specifically at the Jinnah Naval Base}. [2]

The nucleus of the fleet is comprised of:

 - two {aging} Agosta-70 boats {PNS Hashmat and PNS Hurmat} and

 - three modern Agosta-90B {PNS Khalid, PNS Saad and PNS Hamza} submarines,

all of French design. Pakistan's third Agosta-90B, the S 139 Hamza, was constructed indigenously and features the DCNS MESMA (Module d'EnergieSous-Marin Autonome) air-independent propulsion (AIP) system. Pakistan began retrofitting the two earlier Agosta-90B vessels with the MESMA AIP propulsion system when they underwent overhaul in 2011. [3]

Submarine Tables for Pakistan
 

The Agosta-90B Hamza (Khalid-class) was constructed at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW). [4] Pakistani officials and media outlets extolled the accomplishment, treating the indigenous {but French designed...} submarine's 26 September 2008 commissioning as a significant step in the enhancement of the country's naval capabilities vis-à-vis India. [5] It is the first conventional submarine in the Indian Ocean to feature the AIP system (in this case a 200KW liquid oxygen MESMA AIP), which allows the vessel to increase its submerged endurance for up to 3 weeks and improves its stealth characteristics. [6]

old Agosta 70 Hashmat Class  
During the 1971 war between India and Pakistan, India effectively blockaded the port of Karachi, Pakistan's only major harbor. In response, Islamabad was able to curtail India's naval supremacy only through the use of its submarine force.

{In 1971 Pakistan's PNS Hangor a Daphne Class submarine} sank one Indian frigate. [7] {PNS Hangor was decommissioned in 2006}. Drawing on these experiences and the perceived threat posed by a larger Indian Navy, Pakistan has been continuously investing in its submarine force, within the constraints posed by its economy.
An effective sea-denial capability is vital to Pakistan. Given that over 96 percent of this trade is seaborne, the Pakistan Navy and its submarine fleet is charged with protecting the country's sea lanes of communication (SLOC). [8]

Developments in India's naval infrastructure and force posture significantly inform Pakistan's own naval planning. In February 2001, the Pakistan Navy publicly considered the deployment of nuclear weapons aboard its submarines, arguing that it had to keep pace with developments in India. [9] Islamabad later rescinded its statement in January 2003, reaffirming Pakistan's commitment to a "minimum credible deterrence." [10] In the wake of India's short-range Agni-I test that month, then Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Shahid Karimullah left the option open, saying that the country had no plans to deploy nuclear weapons on its submarines, and that it would do so only if "forced to." [11] But most experts agree that Pakistan is, at the very least, attempting to develop a sea-based version of the indigenously built nuclear capable ground-launched 'Babur' cruise missile. [12] This missile is similar in design to the American Tomahawk and Russian KH-55 cruise missiles. [13]


newer Hamza-Khalid Class Agosta 90B    
Pakistan has explored options to purchase additional advanced diesel-electric submarines in an attempt to address the country's "critical force imbalance" with India, which plans to begin acquiring six French AIP-equipped Scorpène submarines at a rate of one per year in 2014. [14] Discussions between the Pakistan Navy and Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) began in 2004 concerning the possible purchase of three diesel-electric {HDW}Type 214 submarines equipped with an AIP system based on fuel cell technology. Although the deal appeared close to completion in 2008, it stalled over financing concerns and German political opposition to fueling an arms race in South Asia. [15] Parallel to the negotiations with TKMS, France also attempted to sell its Marlin or Scorpène-class submarines to Pakistan, and revived discussions after Pakistan failed to finalize the contract with Germany. [16] In May 2011, the Pakistani cabinet approved the start of negotiations with China over the purchase of diesel-electric submarines equipped with AIP. [17]"

See original report included detailed list of endnotes at http://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/pakistan-submarine-capabilities/
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Pete
 

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