India’s “Deccan Chronicle” of the 4th said that the new way to fight the Chinese navy is to build more submarines. Coincidentally, the U.S. website “National Interest” also published an article saying that if the U.S. Navy were to repeat its experience, it would make more submarines and fewer aircraft carriers.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that 35 years ago, when India had an underwater fleet of eight F-Class diesel-electric submarines imported from the Soviet Union, China had already equipped a large number of submarines. Moreover, China was already capable of producing its own submarines at the time and had better control over the use of submarines than most countries. The situation has not changed today: India has 14 imported submarines (plus the first domestic submarine to be operational next week), while the Chinese Navy has 54 indigenously built submarines and 12 imported ones.
The article said that China has greatly improved its submarine combat capability. “It is reported that the maximum diving depth of the (Chinese) Type 032 ‘Clear Vessel’ is 600 meters (as the case may be), more than twice that — about 300-400 — of most of the world’s submarines”. “The deeper the dive of the submarine, the more difficult it is to track it, which in turn makes it more aggressive.” The article also said that the Chinese navy’s three fleets are now equipped with 9 submarine combat units. Beijing has consistently insisted on (adding) an average of 2.5 conventionally powered submarines every year. The reason is simple: the submarine controls the sea secretly and prevents surface ships from doing so.
The article boils down to the longstanding difference between India and China – India loves surface ships, while China values submarines. The article said India must pay more attention to submarines, rather than the carrier, because these carriers can not well protect India’s coastlines of thousands of miles and ocean-going lanes affecting the economic lifeline of the country.
The article argues that long-range missiles and unobtrusive “invisible” stealth submarines are excellent maritime deterrents against naval forces with carrier battle groups, especially for a navy that has no matching capabilities. The article says, “if the aircraft carrier is vulnerable to attack, why should China develop a four aircraft carrier Navy?” The answer lies in the fact that before it developed the second aircraft carrier, China had developed and deployed 66 submarines in response to its “main rival” (U.S. Navy) and built a self-defense shield for the aircraft carrier Liaoning. This aircraft carrier may thus increase Beijing’s offensive and defensive capabilities.
Chinese experts say it is not a new topic whether to give priority to the development of aircraft carriers or to develop submarines. This actually depends on national strength and strategic needs. The biggest feature of the submarine is strong concealment, relatively high ability to operate of independently and cpzcity to play a defensive role. However, the comprehensive operational effectiveness of submarines can not be compared with aircraft carriers. The aircraft carrier is not out of date. The aircraft carrier, using the latest technology, is still the most powerful platform at sea.