… sources in the Indian Navy denied reports that an Indian submarine was “locked in a tense standoff” with Chinese destroyers on January 15. The warships reportedly came close to a confrontation in the Bab al-Mandab Strait that separates Yemen and Djibouti.
A senior official said the navy did keep track of warships transiting close to the Indian waters but denied that the Chinese destroyers intercepted an Indian submarine. The Indian Navy is believed to have kept track of the Chinese warships when they transited the Strait of Malacca on way to the Gulf of Aden.
The South China Morning Post said the standoff was triggered after the Chinese warships picked up an unidentified submarine on their sonar, a sound technique used in navigation, communication or detecting other vessels.
The Indian Navy also denies reports that the Chinese ships “Forced the submarine to surface after an hour” and I believe them. Technology being what it is today, I doubt anyone can make a submarine surface after an hour, unless their batteries were already drained beyond belief. Of course, if they were in that situation, I have to think the Indian CO would bail out before getting himself in a situation where he’s that close to the “enemy” with no battery life.
And then there’s always the veracity of Chinese reporting, which offers up this little gem (as quoted in an Indian Publication)
Ok, a) I WISH I had a sonar jamming system. That would be sweet. Period.
The South China Morning Post said … the warships identified a 70-metre-long vessel armed with 20 torpedoes, which tried to evade them by diving deeper. When the submarine allegedly tried to jam the warships’ sonar system, the Chinese navy scrambled an anti-submarine helicopter to track it. The warships had their torpedoes ready.
b) the report sounds a little “Hunt for Red October”. You know, where Jonesy gets a blip on a sonar screen that looks suspiciously like a radar and immediately recognizes it as an AKULA. Or maybe we’re just not cool enough to have sonar that tells us how many weapons are onboard what we’re tracking and how long it is, and what the Captain’s favorite soup is.