Why is India building aircraft carriers and submarines that can be easily destroyed using anti-ship missiles?
Craig Mowbray, Inquisitive, creative, irreverent, flaneur
I have been reading all the answers to this question with great interest and and decided to join in all the fun;)
Forgive me if I don’t resort to vast quantities of intricate detail as I would like to take a slightly more distanced take on the matter and avoid arguing over intricacies.
So, in answer to your question
“India: Why is Indian Navy building Aircraft carriers and Submarines which can be easily destroyed using anti-ship missiles?”
Well basically because they can and what’s more they deserve it!
India is a strong, confident and technically proficient nation with a proud military history. It has great expectations and has a desire to be taken seriously, a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. It rightly considers itself a future global power with a seat at the top tables of influence. The commissioning and deployment of such vessels will be a clear illustration and manifestation of this intent
Irrespective of the strategic and tactical aspects of their proposed military application, the political and diplomatic advantages of their presence will be enormous to India moving forward. This together with the various non tangible benefits associated with such projects, for instance national pride, cannot be underestimated. Luckily India has both the industrial facilities, expertise and most importantly will to achieve its aims. The industrial, scientific and general learnings from their manufacture will assist India not only in other military projects but offshoot commercial ventures as well and will go a long way to projecting national status at home and abroad.
How will India deploy them? This will already have been resolved, so rest assured, the carriers will be protected by a corresponding carrier group. It will probably take the form of a layered approach with Pickets and AEW aircraft forming the outer perimeter, ASW frigates set inboard of this and then AAW ships close to the carrier to provide air detection and cover. Plus the odd sub or two and some of the ships maybe have a dual role and having ASuW capacity. Not forgetting all the aircraft on the carrier and the necessary supply ships in attendance. Pretty impressive.
Rahul Kardam, Entrepreneur, Web-Developer and an investor at heart.
I'd like to answer the part "easily destroyed using an anti-ship missile".
Till some years back I used to think the same. Then one day I happened to visit INS Viraat when it was berthed in naval dockyard in south Mumbai . There the naval officer explained that an aircraft carrier is protected by a multitude of assets. The first is the carriers own aircraft flying protective sorties which can engage an incoming enemy missile as far as 200 km away. The next is the the carriers own anti aircraft missiles capable of engaging enemy missiles upto 50 Km away. And they typically fire two missiles not just one. In case the enemy missile is still able to evade carrier's missiles, then aircraft carriers have a multitude of gattling cannons which start churning out bullets in the tune of thousands per minute, which create a sort of iron wall within 500 meters of the aircraft carrier.
I still did not believe that this much of protection would be enough.
Then one day I saw
( a single aircraft carrier was the only formidable naval asset US had just after Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and that was USS enterprise (while other carriers had been put out by Japanese navy). Long story short , USS Enterprise lived the world war 2 and survived, despite taking multiple poundings from Japanese.
The concept of carrier battle groups existed since WWII . Dozens of warships have protected the central carrier with their anti aircraft anti missile batteries. The Carrier is pretty much like a dinosaur which can take a lot of beating. Just one single missile , even if it had a straight shot at it, would not be able to sink it.
Abhishek Kb, studied at Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Engineering
Aircraft carriers are not a easy target,they wil be having heavy escorts(cruisers,destroyers etc) and they themself will be equipped with bunch of defensive tools,
Coming to submarines they are the difficult target to destroy before submarine gets spotted it could destroy that ship .They can penetrate into enemy waters without their notice & can carry an ambush over enemy teritory.
In the war of 1971 'INS VIKRANTH' played a vital role and helped to maintain supremacy in east cost of India & caused a huge damage to eastern pak naval fleet
And now a days defence systems are highly advanced like we have anti torpedo units ,air to air missiles etc , So Aircraft Carriers & Submarines are not waste of money they are the BEAST's of the sea.
And maintaining the aircraft carrier is not an easy job for the country it needs a stable economy ,thats the main reason for Pak not to have an aircraft carrier(pak admiral himself agreed that they cannot afford aircraft carrier)Lol
Chaitanya Ramesh, studied at The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
Mainly because such anti-ship missiles are unproven.
Such missiles have never been used in a full scale combat situation. Without actual use in combat, it is impossible to tell whether such missiles would change the face of naval warfare or just be ineffective gimmicks.
Soviet naval doctrine was indeed against carriers since they felt these were missile-magnets. But there were several other factors too.
The Soviet Navy, unlike its US and UK counterparts, did not play a major role in WW2. After that, during the Cold War, the Navy had the least priority among the 5 Armed Forces of the USSR, resulting in it getting minimum finance. Now aircraft carriers and aircraft themselves are extremely expensive. Thus, the Soviet Navy was forced to develop alternate tactics.
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Also, look at military naval history.
Prior to WW2, the dominant thought among naval circles was that submarines had been made obsolete by ASIDIC - an early version of sonar (which sends sound waves into water, enabling ships to locate submarines). Actual combat in WW2 proved that despite the deployment of ASIDIC, submarines were still extremely useful and were definitely not obsolete.
In contrast, many dismissed aircraft carriers as showpieces with only a marginal role in naval warfare (the dominant ships then were battleships). During WW2 however, it was aircraft carriers which became the dominant factor for Navies and the battleship was relegated to secondary roles.
Thus, it is impossible to say whether a technology is effective or not without use in warfare. And as I said, these anti-ship missiles have never been used in combat before.
Even if initially successful, there is no reason why counter-measures cannot be developed. In fact, one such counter-measure actually exists.
These are Close-In Weapons System (CIWS). This is basically a computer-controlled machine gun, firing a huge number of rounds per minute, which tries to shoot anti-ship missiles before they damage the ship.
Amit Gujar, like the cat, curiosity will kill me too
By your reasoning the following should also be excluded:
Tanks: easy targets for multiple medium barrel guns, aircrafts, enemy tanks, etc
And cost of making one is a few 100 times than of the device used to destroy one.
Aircrafts: easy targets for SAMs and enemy aircrafts.
Helicopters: Can be brought down by even a grenade launcher. Plus many other guns.
Soldiers: can be decapitated by a single bullet. Cost of bullet far far less than expense incurred on soldiers.
I am sure if you can think of counter reasons why above equipment is necessary, them air craft carriers and submarines are necessary.