Navy chief wary of Chinese subs
India would like to avoid a situation where it faces the prospect of large number of nuclear submarines in its neighbourhood, the navy chief said, HT reportsUpdated: May 06, 2008, 02:28 IST
The Indian Navy Chief expressed concern on Monday over the number of nuclear submarines China is acquiring. Admiral Sureesh Mehta said though India is not worried about Beijing building a strategic naval base on the Hainan Island near South China Sea, it is concerned about the numbers.
“Nuclear submarines have long legs it is immaterial where they are based,” Mehta said. Nuclear submarines can remain under water for several months unlike conventional ones. The Navy had been tracking the developments on the Hainan island for sometime now but the recent reports carried high resolution satellite images of the base. The images showed that China has deployed its new Jin class submarine at the base.
India would like to avoid a situation where it faces the prospect of large number of nuclear submarines in its neighbourhood, the navy chief said. New Delhi has its own nuclear submarine programme but it is still in experimental stage. The navy chief refused to comment on the indigenous nuclear submarine programme. “It is not my project. I can’t talk about it,” said Mehta. The nuclear submarine is being developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation. Defence minister AK Antony said Indian forces are capable of meeting any military threat to the nation.