Monday, April 6, 2015

Israel and Pakistan Bolster Second Strike Capability With AIP Subs

Israel does not trust Iran just as Pakistan does not trust India. While Israel is preparing for eventual nuclear-armed Iran in the future, Pakistan is threatened by India's growing nuclear triad and atomic arsenal today. So what are Israel and Pakistan doing to deter potential nuclear attacks by their regional rivals? They are both building sea-based nuclear second strike capability with diesel-electric submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP).


Israel's Submarine Fleet:

Israel has just taken delivery of the 5th of 6 Dolphin II class AIP-equipped submarines built by Germany. More than 225 feet long, the diesel-electric Dolphin II class is part attack submarine, part nuclear strike ship and part commando taxi.  Each sub has 10 tubes. Four of these tubes are larger 26-inch tubes—the size is rare for a Western-built submarine—capable of launching small commando teams or firing larger nuclear-capable cruise missiles. The remaining six tubes measure at 21 inches, according to Real Clear Defense.

Israel's German-built Dolphin Class AIP Sub


Several German defense ministry officials interviewed by German news magazine Der Spiegel believe that Israel intends for these submarines to carry nuclear weapons. The missiles can also be launched “using a previously secret hydraulic ejection system,” the magazine reported.

Diesel-Electric AIP Vs Nuclear-Powered Subs:

A key requirement for submarines is to be stealthy—and the Dolphin II is indeed very quiet. The trick is in the submarine’s air-independent propulsion fuel cells, which provide power under the surface as the diesel engines—used for running on the surface—rest and recharge. This system is quieter than the nuclear-powered engines on American and Russian submarines, which must constantly circulate engine coolant. Nuclear submarines are virtually unlimited in terms of range, and are better used for deep-water operations. But Israel has no need for nuclear-powered subs when quiet diesel subs can do the same job, according to Real Clear Defense.


Pakistan's AIP Submarine Fleet:

The details of Pakistan's planned submarine fleet are not clear yet. However, Pakistan too is acquiring a fleet of AIP-equipped diesel-electric submarines.

Pakistan Navy operates a fleet of five diesel-electric submarines and three MG110 miniature submarines (SSI). The nucleus of the fleet includes two Agosta-70 and three modern Agosta-90B submarines. 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 retrofitted the two earlier Agosta-90B vessels with the MESMA AIP propulsion system when they underwent overhaul in 2011, according to Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Model of Chinese-made S20 Sub Ordered by Pakistan

Pakistan is expanding and modernizing its underwater fleet with 8 additional AIP-equipped submarines ordered from China. Whether the Chinese submarines are the S-20 export derivative of the Type-039A/Type-041 Yuan-class submarine, or a bespoke design, is unclear. But the Yuan has also been mentioned, and according to government officials. If the deal transpires, it will be the largest ever Sino-Pakistani deal. Mansoor Ahmed of Quaid-e-Azam University's Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, believes the submarines will each cost $ 250 million to $325 million.

Mansoor Ahmed told Defense News that AIP-equipped conventional submarines "provide reliable second strike platforms, [and] an assured capability resides with [nuclear-powered attack and nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines], which are technically very complex and challenging to construct and operate compared to SSKs, and also very capital intensive."

Balance of Terror as Deterrence:

Let's hope that nuclear deterrence works and the world never again sees the use of the growing stockpile of nukes in South Asia, the Middle East or anywhere else. Here's the full video of a recent interview with Pakistan's General Khalid Kidawi on Pakistan 2nd strike capability:

https://youtu.be/CNZCw0BXKyE





I think senior American analyst and South Asia watcher Stephen Cohen summed up the current situation in South Asia when he said: "The alphabet agencies—ISI, RAW, and so forth—are often the chosen instrument of state policy when there is a conventional (and now a nuclear) balance of power, and the diplomatic route seems barren."

I see little likelihood of full-scale war between India and Pakistan. The best way for the two nuclear armed neighbors to proceed is sustained diplomatic engagement to resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir. If the diplomatic route remains barren, there will be continuation of covert and proxy wars in the region.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Second Strike Capability

Pakistan's Shaheen 3 Can Hit Deep Inside India and Israel

Pakistan Building Nuclear Submarine?

India's Israel Envy

Pakistan Space Program

Revolution in Military Affairs

Pakistan Defense Production Goes High-Tech

Drones Outrage and Inspire Pakistanis

RMA Status in Pakistan

Cyber Wars in South Asia

Pakistan's Biggest Ever Arms Bazar

Genomics and Biotech Advances in Pakistan

India's Israel Envy: What if Modi Attacks Pakistan

Eating Grass: Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Kerry Challenges Modi With Hard Evidence

22 comments:

Singh said...

Isn't Pakistan has more nuclear arsenal than India and the numbers are further going up? Then how come Pak is threatened by India's "growing" nukes? India has "No First Use" policy on nukes while Pak is ready to battle it out with her tactical nukes. Isn't the very first sentence of the article is foxy?

India has combined threat from China and Pakistan, both nations being defence and strategic partners and both having territorial disputes with India. Any balance of power should weigh India on one side and China-Pak on the other. Any assumption of balance of power with with only Pakistan will grossly undermine India's security. Pakistan can not be equated with India in terms of area, population, economy or defence and hence there can not be balance of power.

The article ends suggesting that covert and proxy wars are a result of lack of diplomatic effort. But Pakistan's proxy war on India using terror is an overt as well as covert state strategy and nothing to do with dialogues and diplomacy.

Riaz Haq said...

Singh: " India has "No First Use" policy on nukes while Pak is ready to battle it out with her tactical nukes. Isn't the very first sentence of the article is foxy?"

India's NFU is not worth the paper it's written on. Past track record of India shows it can not be trusted by any of its neighbors, including Pakistan.

Teaching Akhand Bharat and huge arms imports are just the tip of the iceberg of India's ambitions.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2014/07/bjp-makes-akhand-bharat-part-of-indian.html

Riaz Haq said...

Both Israel and Pakistan have decided to field tactical nuclear weapons aboard their small flotillas of diesel-electric submarines. While Pakistan is a declared nuclear power and Israel has opted to pursue a policy of nuclear ambiguity for the past four decades, both nations’ military thinkers echo each other in their frequent referrals to the sea as a source of strategic depth. This shared emphasis stems, in large part, from their growing sense of continental claustrophia. Both countries are territorially shallow, and resulting sentiments of vulnerability have helped shape and sustain already potent senses of embattlement.

Israel’s Naval Nuclear Option

For strategists in Jerusalem, apprehensions over the widening demographic divide between Israel and its more populous Arab neighbors has been compounded by the severe political turmoil and uncertainty in the wider Middle East. In particular, there is growing concern that further waves of upheaval in the Arab world could produce a regional climate more staunchly hostile to Israeli interests. In addition to the potential existential threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran, Israeli planners must also confront a rapidly changing conventional military environment – one in which the shallowness of Israeli territory increasingly acts as a major liability. Whereas in earlier years Israel’s very compactness generated certain operational benefits — by enabling its armed forces to maneuver with fluidity within interior lines – the diffusion of precision guided munitions (PGMs) and precision strike systems amongst Israel’s prospective antagonists has largely negated any such advantage. Hybrid and non-state actors such as Hamas and Hezbollah increasingly have the aptitude to “see deep and shoot deep,” while Iran continues to acquire a bristling array of ballistic missiles aimed at Israel. The Israeli Defense Force’s stationary bases and airfields are thus increasingly exposed to missile attacks. Hezbollah, for instance, is estimated to be sitting on a steadily growing stockpile of more than 40,000 rockets and missiles. In previous conflicts, Israel could rely on its command of the skies as a means of offsetting its numerically superior foes. In the long run though, the difficulties inherent in prosecuting hybrid actors concealed within crowded urban environments, along with the densification of cheaper and more capable anti-aircraft systems, are liable to impede the Israeli Air Force’s freedom of action. In sum, Israel’s continental exiguity acts as a growing constraint on its ability to guarantee the safety of its citizens from both conventional and nuclear attack.

http://thediplomat.com/2013/05/recipe-for-disaster-israel-pakistans-sea-based-nukes/

Riaz Haq said...

The U.S. military is relying on sub-hunting tech that’s decades old. Meanwhile, the targets they’re trying to find are getting quieter and more invisible by the day.
Submarines are getting quieter, stealthier, and better armed. And that could mean major trouble for the U.S. Navy and its aging fleet of sub-hunters. The tactical balance between the surface warship and the submarine has strategic impact. The submarine is not made for a show of force. Its principal weapon is designed not to damage a ship, but to sink it—rapidly and probably with much loss of life. It’s a sure way to shift the trajectory of any conflict in a more violent direction.

The best deterrent against submarine attack is robust defense—but as little as surface sailors like to discuss it, that defense has seldom been less assured.

Modern diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) are very hard to detect. It’s not that SSKs with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems are much quieter, but they mitigate the SSK’s drawback: lack of speed and endurance on quiet electric power. When the Swedish AIP boat Gotland operated with the U.S. Navy out of San Diego in 2005-07, the Navy’s surface ships turned up all too often in a photo album acquired by the submarine’s mast. The sub was so quiet, that it consistently managed to get within easy torpedo range.

AIP submarines are a high priority in the budgets of nations such as Singapore, Korea and Japan. Russia has struggled with its Lada-class boats, but persisted, and is selling them to China. Sweden, whose Kockums yard developed the AIP technology for Japan’s big 4,100-ton Soryu-class subs, had trouble getting its A26 replacement submarine program started. In an indication of its importance, Saab will buy the Kockums yard back for Sweden from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

AIP—which uses stored liquid oxygen and fuel to generate power underwater—seems to be here to stay, whether it uses the Swedish-developed Stirling-cycle engine (a 19th-century curiosity, but very efficient) or fuel cells, favored by ThyssenKrupp’s German yards and Russia. Lithium-ion batteries will further increase underwater performance. Kockums advertises another step in invisibility called Ghost (genuine holistic stealth) which, like stealth technology on an airplane, involves the careful blending of hull shapes and rubber-like coatings to make the submarine into a weak sonar target.

Other improvements are making the submarine more elusive and lethal. Masts with high-definition cameras are as clear as direct-vision optics—so the mast needs only to break the surface and make a single sweep to provide a full horizon view. Finmeccanica’s WASS division and Atlas Electronik offer modern all-electric torpedoes with multiple guidance modes, from fiber-optic to wake-homing, and back-breaking influence fuzes that work too often for comfort.

Antisubmarine warfare (ASW) has not stagnated, but it shows signs of disarray. After the end of the Cold War stopped the Soviet Union’s push for quieter submarines, the U.S. scrapped improvements to the P-3 sub-hunting plane and the P-3’s replacement. The carrier-based S-3 Viking went the same way, and the U.K., more recently, retired the Nimrod and canceled its deeply flawed MRA4 replacement sub-hunters. ASW assets and crews have been diverted to reconnaissance missions in overland and littoral wars. The Navy’s strategy for the new Boeing P-8A Poseidon is to get the airframes first, because P-3s are wearing out.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/12/tomorrow-s-stealthy-subs-could-sink-america-s-navy.html

Riaz Haq said...

The S-20 SSK was first offered at the IDEX 2013 arms show in the UAE; it is a quiet 2,600 SSK capable of firing cruise missiles and torpedoes, in addition to inserting special forces and mines. Pakistan's Chinese subs are likely to be based off the S-20 design.
On March 31st, Pakistan announced plans to buy eight new Chinese-made submarines. The submarines are likely to be based of the Type 39B Yuan SSK, of which the export version is designated the S-20. The S-20 displaces about 2,300 tons, but air independent propulsion (AIP) is not standard to the submarine. AIP a closed off propulsion system, like a gas compression Stirling engine or fuel cells, that doesn't require a separate oxygen supply It is a must have for modern SSKs, allowing them to stay underwater for up to four weeks without using noisy snorkels to recharge batteries (often SSK batteries have enough charge to last several days at most). Pakistan's S-20s are likely to have AIP since its Agosta 90B submarines already have the technology; the PLAN's 12 Yuan SSKs all have sophisticated AIP systems.

The Type 039C Yuan SSK is the latest Chinese conventional submarine, launched in 2014. It features a redesigned conning tower, as well as better sonar. The Yuan class's AIP system makes it China's most capable conventional submarines.
The significance of the plan is that it Pakistan badly needs to modernize and expand its submarine fleet, especially given rival India's acquisition of domestic, French and Russian conventional and nuclear submarines. Overall, Pakistan's 2015 naval plan calls for twelve submarines. The Pakistani Navy currently operates five French Agosta submarines, with two of its Agosta 70s 40 years old and in need of replacement soon.

The Babur LACM has a range of 750-1000km, and is equipped for both conventional and nuclear attack. It is likely that it will form the basis of a submarine launched LACM, potentially giving Pakistan an underwater second strike nuclear capability.
The other important features of the S-20 purchase stems from its weaponry and its effect on regional balances of power. The S-20 has a standard load of six torpedo tubes, able to fire up to 18 torpedoes and missile canisters, which include the 533mm Yu-6 heavy torpedo, naval mines and 300km range YJ-82 anti-ship missile. Such capabilities could prove quite important in any conventional war scenario in the region. In addition, Pakistan is working to modify its nuclear capable Babur land attack cruise missile for launch from its current Agosta 90B submarines, so the new S-20s would almost certainly also be designed to carry nuclear armed Babur missiles. In addition to being able to launch nuclear strikes from previously inaccessible areas like the Bay of Bengal, an underwater nuclear deterrent would finally give Islamabad a credible second strike capability.

http://www.popsci.com/new-chinese-submarines-pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

Der Spiegel on German-built Israeli subs to be used for 2nd strike:


Many have wondered for years about the exact capabilities of the submarines Germany exports to Israel. Now, experts in Germany and Israel have confirmed that nuclear-tipped missiles have been deployed on the vessels. And the German government has long known about it. By SPIEGEL

--------

..former top German officials have admitted to the nuclear dimension for the first time. "I assumed from the very beginning that the submarines were supposed to be nuclear-capable," says Hans Rühle, the head of the planning staff at the German Defense Ministry in the late 1980s. Lothar Rühl, a former state secretary in the Defense Ministry, says that he never doubted that "Israel stationed nuclear weapons on the ships." And Wolfgang Ruppelt, the director of arms procurement at the Defense Ministry during the key phase, admits that it was immediately clear to him that the Israelis wanted the ships "as carriers for weapons of the sort that a small country like Israel cannot station on land." Top German officials speaking under the protection of anonymity were even more forthcoming. "From the beginning, the boats were primarily used for the purposes of nuclear capability," says one ministry official with knowledge of the matter.

Insiders say that the Israeli defense technology company Rafael built the missiles for the nuclear weapons option. Apparently it involves a further development of cruise missiles of the Popeye Turbo SLCM type, which are supposed to have a range of around 1,500 kilometers (940 miles) and which could reach Iran with a warhead weighing up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds). The nuclear payload comes from the Negev Desert, where Israel has operated a reactor and an underground plutonium separation plant in Dimona since the 1960s. The question of how developed the Israeli cruise missiles are is a matter of debate. Their development is a complex project, and the missiles' only public manifestation was a single test that the Israelis conducted off the coast of Sri Lanka.

The submarines are the military response to the threat in a region "where there is no mercy for the weak," Defense Minister Ehud Barak says. They are an insurance policy against the Israelis' fundamental fear that "the Arabs could slaughter us tomorrow," as David Ben-Gurion, the founder of the State of Israel, once said. "We shall never again be led as lambs to the slaughter," was the lesson Ben-Gurion and others drew from Auschwitz.

Armed with nuclear weapons, the submarines are a signal to any enemy that the Jewish state itself would not be totally defenseless in the event of a nuclear attack, but could strike back with the ultimate weapon of retaliation. The submarines are "a way of guaranteeing that the enemy will not be tempted to strike pre-emptively with non-conventional weapons and get away scot-free," as Israeli Admiral Avraham Botzer puts it.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/israel-deploys-nuclear-weapons-on-german-built-submarines-a-836784.html

Riaz Haq said...

New Delhi, Aug 20: The recent disaster in the Indian submarine INS Sindhurakshak that perhaps killed all 18 Navy personnel on-board has raised a pertinent question on the Indian Navy's submarine conditions as well as its underwater combat edge. According to a TOI report, currently, India can only deploy 7-8 "aging conventional" submarines against enemy forces. The stark reality is that the Indian Navy is left with only 13 aging diesel-electric submarines - 11 of them over 20 years old. Out of the 13 submarines - 9 Kilo-class of Russian origin and 4 HDW of German-origin - are undergoing reparation to 'extend' their operational lives. The only "face saver" of the Navy seems to be the INS Chakra, the only nuclear-powered submarine, taken on a 10-year lease from Russia last year. But due to international treaties, it is not armed with nuclear-tipped missiles. With its 300-km range Klub-S land-attack cruise missiles, other missiles and advanced torpedoes, the INS Chakra can serve as a deadly hunter-killer' of enemy submarines and warships. Moreover, India has been indecisive to fit Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) in the last two of the six French Scorpene submarines being constructed for over Rs 23,000 crore at Mazagon Docks under "Project-75". The first Scorpene will be delivered only by November 2016. On August 12, the Indian Navy launched its aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, placing India in the fifth rank, after US, Russia, Britain and France, who have the ability to design and build aircraft carriers of 40,000 tonnes and above. With a capacity to deploy over 30 aircraft and helicopters, it is considered to be the biggest aircraft carrier in India. Pakistan Navy Power: Whereas the neighbouring country Pakistan, which is continuously violating ceasefire bilateral agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) since last month, is far more more advanced and well prepared in terms of submarines. Presently, Pakistan is well equipped with five "new conventional" submarines and is considering to get six more 'advanced' vessels from its all-weather friend China. China already flexes its muscles with 47 diesel-electric submarines and eight nuclear-powered submarines. Incidentally, the Pakistan Navy is the first force in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to have submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) in the shape of three French Agosta-90B vessels. The difference: The conventional submarines have to surface every few days to get oxygen to recharge their batteries in contrast with the AIP equipped submarines that can stay submerged for much longer periods to significantly boost their stealth and combat capabilities. OneIndia News

Read more at: http://www.oneindia.com/2013/08/20/india-far-behind-pakistans-powerful-submarines-report-1287237.html

Riaz Haq said...

#China vows to deepen maritime security ties with #Pakistan: report http://tribune.com.pk/story/859341/china-vows-to-deepen-maritime-security-ties-with-pakistan-report/ …

BEIJING: China on Thursday vowed to deepen maritime security, anti-terrorism, security and military cooperation with Pakistan to further strengthen their ‘all-weather’ strategic ties.

The “pledge” was made by Chinese Central Military Commission Vice Chairperson General Fan Changlong during his meeting with Pakistan Navy Chief Muhammad Zakaullah in Beijing.

Fan said China hopes to enhance coordination and cooperation with Pakistan on regional security affairs.

“China is willing to deepen cooperation with Pakistan in anti-terrorism, maritime security and military technology,” Fan said.

China together with Pakistan will push for the construction of the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor within the construct of China’s “Belt and Road” initiatives.

Zakaullah said that Pakistan will work with China to deepen logical cooperation between the two armed forces.

Previously, the Pakistan naval chief said that Pakistan Navy and PLA Navy are strengthening their existing maritime cooperation, keeping in mind the changing regional international scenarios.

Yesterday (Wednesday) Zakaullah met with Commander of the PLA (Navy) Admiral Wu Shengli and said that the navies of Pakistan and China have been cooperating for decades.

He said that military cooperation between the two countries is extensive and it covers equipment, personnel exchanges and joint exercises.

Zakaullah said Pakistan strongly supports PLA Navy’s enhanced role in the

Riaz Haq said...

ALTHOUGH most Iranians are celebrating their nuclear deal with the P5+1, the framework ‘understanding’, once implemented, will effectively block Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapons capability for the foreseeable future.

After #Iran, #Pakistan? #Irandeal #Nukes http://www.dawn.com/news/1175368

Hardly a week after the Iran deal was announced, the New York Times — which often reflects official US policy — editorially propagated that attention be turned to constraining Pakistan’s nuclear and strategic capabilities. The issue was also covered by other US media.

The NYT arguments, taken from the Indian hymnbook, were not surprising; the timing of the proposal to target Pakistan is significant. If the editorial indeed reflects official US thinking, it would confirm the view of many in Pakistan and the Muslim world that America’s aim is to denuclearise all Islamic countries. With Iran neutralised, Pakistan remains the only nuclear-capable Islamic nation.

The world should be made to understand why Pakistan remains ‘obsessed’ with India.
Pakistan has fought off numerous US attempts, initially to prevent and, after 1998, to retard Pakistan’s nuclear and strategic programmes. Pakistan’s ‘establishment’ is confident that future attempts will fail also. But, it would be a mistake to become complacent.

The US is engaged in a strategic contest with China. It sees India as a ‘strategic partner’ in this Asian power game. India can challenge China effectively only once it has neutralised Pakistan. The Indian lobby in the US is now second in influence only to the Israeli lobby. Thus, unless persuaded otherwise, Washington can be expected to do all that is possible to assist India in neutralising Pakistan’s power.

The following stratagem, used against Iran and others, may be used to restrict Pakistan:

First, concerns about Pakistan’s programmes will be spread through the media and diplomatic channels. Then, Islamabad would be pressed to give assurances and accept constraints ostensibly to assuage these ‘concerns’.

Next, an effort would be made to translate these restraints and restrictions into binding commitments, including through the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, the IAEA and the UN Security Council.

If Pakistan then ‘violates’ such restrictions, it would be subjected to multilateral or unilateral sanctions.

Numerous grounds will be cited to restrain Pakistan. Previously, it was argued that Pakistan was a nuclear proliferator; that its nuclear weapons could be captured by ‘Islamist terrorists’; that the Pakistan Army could turn ‘Islamist’. The new tack, reflected in the editorial, is that:

— Pakistan should no longer be “obsessed” with India, which is now preoccupied with becoming “a regional economic and political power”;

— Pakistan’s nuclear and military deployments against India are destabilising; and;

— Pakistan is descending into chaos.

These motivated assertions need to be refuted effectively. Pakistan’s diplomacy should be actively mobilised for the purpose.

First, the world should be made to understand why Pakistan remains “obsessed” with India. As the editorial itself observes (almost approvingly), Prime Minister Modi has threatened “retaliation” against Pakistan “if Islamic militants carry out a terror attack in India” — irrespective of whether or not the Pakistan government is responsible for this. Given Modi’s aggressive policies in Kashmir and the BJP’s persecution of Indian Muslims, such a “terrorist” attack appears almost inevitable, sooner or later. If Modi’s doctrine is applied, an India-Pakistan conflict also becomes inevitable.

The Indian threat is real “on the ground”. Over 70pc of India’s land, air and sea forces are deployed against Pakistan. India’s capability for aggression against Pakistan is being rapidly enlarged by the $100 billion in advanced weaponry being sold to it including by the US, Europe and Israel. Indian generals have not disavowed their ‘Cold Start’ doctrine envisaging a sudden and massive attack against Pakistan....

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan is the only #Muslim nuclear state – so why is #Israel's hysteria reserved for #Iran? http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.657319 …


Unlike Iran, Pakistan doesn't call for Israel's destruction. But in certain ways, Islamabad poses more of a threat to Israel than Tehran does.


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry caused a stir recently, when he said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 that Israeli critics of the emerging deal with Iran were guilty of “a lot of hysteria.” He has a point. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the Lausanne deal would “endanger Israel – big time” and “make the world a much more dangerous place.”

Yet in March, Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile, the Shaheen III, which Pakistani officials said can reach Israel. This event was barely noticed in Jerusalem.

In view of the disturbing nuclear developments in Pakistan as well as in North Korea and Russia, the hysteria expressed by prominent Israeli politicians and journalists over the recent draft agreement with Iran is unwarranted. The threat posed to India, South Korea, Poland and the Baltic states from their nuclear-armed neighbors is arguably at least as great as that which Israel is facing from Iran.

Regular warnings are sounded in Israel about the dangers facing the world from nuclear terrorism once Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, but is this not a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted? The threat of nuclear terrorism has existed since the collapse of the Soviet Union and has grown significantly as Pakistan has cemented its status as a nuclear weapons state.

Indeed, one could argue that Islamabad poses more of a threat to Israel than Tehran does. After all, we cannot be certain that Iran will take the next step and acquire a nuclear weapon, but Pakistan already possesses over 100 nuclear warheads.

It is understandable why this is rarely discussed in Israel: Though Pakistan is the first Muslim state with a nuclear weapons program, it does not call for Israel’s destruction or sponsor terror attacks against Israel. A nuclear Iran, by contrast, would receive cover to step up its hegemonic ambitions in the region and intensify its support for terrorism against the Jewish state.

In addition, Pakistan has taken measures in recent years to strengthen oversight for its nuclear facilities and has dismantled proliferation networks. And even if Pakistan were to disintegrate tomorrow, it would be India, not Israel, that would be first in line to face Islamabad’s nuclear warheads, whereas Israel would certainly believe itself to be the first potential target of a nuclear Iran.

But despite Islamabad’s obsession with India, Pakistani officials have also spoken on occasion about the need to deter Israel. And were Pakistan to disintegrate, it could pose an imminent threat not only to India but also to the Middle East, including Israel.

During his first term in office, U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly told his staff that the possible breakup of Pakistan and the subsequent danger of a scramble for nuclear weapons was his greatest national security concern. Indeed, terrorists have tried on several occasions to assassinate the former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. In such circumstances, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons could be stolen or smuggled out of the country, with the possibility of rogue elements targeting Israel.

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.657319

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan hopes to revive its naval modernization program through a warship construction deal with China that will also expand Pakistan's shipbuilding industry.

Chinese media reports have outlined a construction program involving six of eight S-20 variants of the Type-039A/Type-041 submarine under negotiation; four "Improved F-22P" frigates equipped with enhanced sensors and weaponry (possibly including the HQ-17 surface-to-air missile developed from the Russian Tor 1/SA-N-9); and six Type-022 Houbei stealth catamaran missile boats, to be built by Pakistan's state-owned shipbuilder Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW).

The reports indicate Type-022 construction may be delayed by the ongoing Azmat fast attack craft building program, but also highlight a significant expansion of KSEW's facilities.

These include a foundry, fabrication facilities to cover all aspects of ship construction, berthing facilities, and two graving docks of 26,000 and 18,000 dead weight tons, spread over 71 acres.

A 7,881-ton ship lift transfer system will be completed next year.

KSEW will expand to occupy facilities vacated by the Navy as it transfers from Karachi to Ormara. The Pakistan Navy Dockyard, which is adjacent to KSEW, already has facilities upgraded by the French during construction of Agosta-90B submarines.

Pakistani officials would not comment on these reports. Repeated attempts to secure comment from the Ministry of Defence Production, KSEW, the Navy and federal politicians connected with defense decision-making bodies were turned away.

The program will follow a Sino-Pakistani agreement for six patrol vessels for Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency agreed to on June 10, with two built by KSEW.

Author, analyst and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad Brian Cloughley said the groundwork laid by the Agosta-90B program that included upgrades to PN Dockyard facilities and the training of some 1,000 civilian technicians greatly facilitated present plans.

However, Trevor Taylor, professorial research fellow, defense, industries and society, at the Royal United Services Institute highlighted the problems KSEW's construction and expansion plans could encounter.

"Experience from around the world shows that it is very easy to be optimistic about the difficulty of naval shipbuilding and the time taken to complete construction and systems integration," he said. "Plans for rapid expansion of warship production are unlikely to proceed on schedule. The coordinated and sustained application of extensive managerial and technical skills is required, and submarines especially have vital safety dimensions."

He highlights the importance of a sustainable program.

"The lesson from the UK and elsewhere is that, once a warship design and build capability is in place, it is best maintained and developed through a planned and steady drumbeat of programs, rather than a rapid expansion of activity for a limited period of years followed by a sudden drop-off in orders. Clearly this requires a consistent stance of support for the industry from political authorities."

Cloughley is optimistic, however, that the extensive Chinese help provided to Pakistan in warship construction, in addition to agreements made during Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit, "indicate that all types of cooperation will continue and expand."

He said this is related to the burgeoning Indo-US relationship, India's increasingly antagonistic anti-Pakistani rhetoric, and clearer Sino-Indian divisions that mean the Sino-Pakistan "axis of understanding has become more tangible."

Consequently, "KSEW can expect considerable input from such as [China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co]. Money, certainly; but also, and perhaps of more importance, provision of expertise."


http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/naval/ships/2015/06/17/pakistan-revive-naval-modernization-shipbuilding-china-frigates-dockyard-ksew/71074464/

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan posseses nuclear second strike capability - top official | http://GulfNews.com http://bit.ly/1iAAJdP


Islamabad: A former top defence ministry official has claimed that Pakistan possesses nuclear second strike capability against India.

Retired Lieutenant General Naeem Khalid Lodhi, former defence secretary, made the claim at a seminar organised by the Strategic Vision Institute, an Islamabad-based think-tank.

The issue of second strike capability came up in the context of the conventional superiority enjoyed by India and the options for Pakistan.

The second strike provides a military the capability to hit back at an enemy in a situation where its land-based nuclear arsenal is neutralised.

The former defence secretary said in remarks published Thursday that despite the growing conventional imbalance, Pakistan had certain strengths including nuclear parity with India and credible nuclear deterrence.

The nuclear deterrence, he said, had been augmented by the second strike capability, efficient delivery systems and effective command and control system.

President of the think-tank Zafar Iqbal Cheema said Pakistan had improved its second-strike capability.

He said this capability has been augmented by deployment of Hatf-VII/Baber nuclear capable cruise missile that can be launched from aircrafts and conventional submarines.

It is further fortified by air-launched cruise missile in Hatf series, he added.

Technically the best mode of second-strike capability is submarine launched ballistic missile, which neither India nor Pakistan have deployed as yet, Cheema said.


Riaz Haq said...

The discussions are being led by Peter R. Lavoy, a longtime intelligence expert on the Pakistani program who is now on the staff of the National Security Council. White House officials declined to comment on the talks ahead of Mr. Sharif’s visit.

But the central element of the proposal, according to other officials and outside experts, would be a relaxation of the strict controls imposed on Pakistan by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a loose affiliation of nations that try to control the proliferation of weapons.

“If Pakistan would take the actions requested by the United States, it would essentially amount to recognition of rehabilitation and would essentially amount to parole,” said George Perkovich, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who has maintained contacts with the Pakistani nuclear establishment.

“I think it’s worth a try,” Mr. Perkovich said. “But I have my doubts that the Pakistanis are capable of doing this.”

David Ignatius, a columnist for The Washington Post, first disclosed the exploratory talks in a column a week ago. Since then, several other officials and outside experts have talked in more detail about the effort, although the White House has refused to comment.

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But American leverage has been hard to find. Unlike Iran, Pakistan never signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the international agreement that prohibits nations, except for existing declared nuclear states like the United States, from possessing a nuclear arsenal. Pakistan is not alone in that distinction: India and Israel also have not signed.

(North Korea left the treaty two decades ago.)

Ordinarily, any country’s refusal to sign the treaty would preclude American nuclear cooperation. So Pakistani officials remain angry with the American decision to enter an agreement with India in 2005 allowing India to buy civil nuclear technology, even though it remains outside the treaty and put no limits on its nuclear program. Under that agreement, India’s nuclear infrastructure was split with a civilian program that is under international inspection, and a military program that is not.

Pakistani officials have demanded the same arrangement.

That does not appear to be on the table. Instead, the United States is exploring ways to relax restrictions on nuclear-related technology to Pakistan, perhaps with a long-term goal of allowing the country to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which regulates the sale of the technology. That would be largely symbolic: Pakistan manages to import or make what it needs for its nuclear arsenal, and China has already broken ground on a $9.6 billion nuclear power complex in Karachi. Mr. Sharif presided over the ceremony.


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/16/world/asia/us-exploring-deal-to-limit-pakistans-nuclear-arsenal.html?_r=0

Riaz Haq said...

This #Pakistan #nuclear missile, Shaheen III with 2,750 Km, can hit targets anywhere in #India. #Nukes #Missiles http://journalobserver.com/2015/12/this-pakistan-missile-can-hit-targets-anywhere-in-india/ …

Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Friday (Dec 11), the military said, two days after the government confirmed it would resume high-level peace talks with arch-rival India.

The military said it had fired a Shaheen III surface-to-surface ballistic missile which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads within a range of 2,750km.

Shaheen-III has a maximum range of 2,750 kilometers (1, 700 miles).

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system.

Pakistan became a declared nuclear power in 1998.

The test was witnessed by senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, Strategic Forces, Scientists and Engineers of Strategic Organisations. He said Pakistan desires peaceful co-existence in the region for which nuclear deterrence would further strengthen strategic stability in South Asia.

It may be noted here that the Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II missiles were test-fired in Pakistan a year ago.

India and Pakistan are longtime foes engaged in a regional arms race, stemming from a conflict dating back to Britain's partitioning of its Indian protectorate into what now are India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Riaz Haq said...

#Karachi Shipyard cuts steel on first of 6 MPVs of 600 tons each for #Pakistan #Navy. #China | IHS Jane's 360 http://www.janes.com/article/59973/ksew-cuts-steel-on-pakistan-s-first-mpv-as-new-details-emerge#.VyoBf5NDKoM.twitter …

Key Points
KSEW has begun building the first of six MPVs for the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency
The vessels will replace the Barkat-class patrol boats that have been in service since the late 1980s
Pakistan's state-owned shipbuilder Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) has held a steel-cutting ceremony for the first of six maritime patrol vessels (MPVs) on order for the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA).

New details on Pakistan's capability requirements for the vessels have also emerged.

The steel-cutting ceremony was held on 3 May and was attended by senior officials from the Pakistan Navy, KSEW, and China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC).

The MPVs, each displacing 600 tonnes at full load, are being constructed under a transfer-of-technology arrangement signed between KSEW and CSTC in June 2015. KSEW will construct two vessels in Pakistan while the remaining four will be built by CSTC in China.

No further details on the vessels were provided by KSEW in its media release for the ceremony; the company also declined an interview request from IHS Jane's on 4 May, citing confidentiality issues.

However, a tender document on the MPV programme, published by the Pakistani government's planning commission, revealed a requirement for a platform that can attain a maximum speed of 30 kt and a cruising speed of between 12-16 kt. The vessel should also have a standard range of 4,500 n miles at cruising speed, and have an endurance of 21 days at sea without replenishment.

Armament to be fitted onboard includes either a 37 mm or a 30 mm gun as a primary weapon, in addition to mountings for two 12.7 mm machine guns.

An artist's illustration of the MPV, shown at the ceremony, suggests that the PMSA has opted for an automatic stabilised naval gun system as the platform's main weapon.

The illustration also suggests that the platform can accommodate a single helicopter on its flight deck on top of two rigid-hull inflatable boats at the stern section.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian Warship INS Khukhri was sunk by a Pakistani sub. Ghazi was sunk in a mine-laying accident, not by enemy. Indian Navy stayed away from Karachi after the sinking of INS Khukri which was the heaviest loss of life in a single incident in the entire war in which 18 Indian Navy officers and 178 sailors perished. Rishi Raj Sood, captain of INS Kirpan - which was accompanying Khukri, fled the scene. “We were hoping that Kirpan, our sister ship would come to rescue us but we saw her sailing away from the area”, Commander Manu Sharma, a survivor of Khukri, has been quoted by Cardozo as having said.

“An early rescue was what everyone hoped for. We thought that at least INS Kirpan would send boat for our rescue, but no rescue boat came from INS Kirpan” Lt Commander SK Basu, who was aboard Khukri and survived the Pakistani attack, told Cardozo. Sood perhaps could have saved the lives of at least some of the 194 people (18 officers and 176 sailors) who died in the attack on Khukri. He continues to defend himself saying that in no way he can disclose the secret behind his questionable action. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110110/main4.htm

Riaz Haq said...

#Saudi delegation in #Jerusalem, #Israel signals broader #MidEast change: @AaronDMiller2 analyzes: http://on.wsj.com/2aroX4T via @WSJPolitics

This is not necessarily a harbinger of strengthening ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel. But it indicates how Saudi Arabia and the region are changing.

The Saudi delegation was led by a retired general, Anwar Eshki (now chairman of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies, a think tank in Jeddah) and included academics and business executives. They met with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and attended meetings with Israeli Knesset members. Perhaps most significant, the Saudis met with Dore Gold, the director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s coordinator of activities for its territories.

Mr. Gold and Mr. Eshki have met before. And non-governmental ​meetings between Israelis and Saudis in academic and policy forums are fairly common. Prince Turki bin Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. published a column in a leading Israeli newspaper in 2014 arguing for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. I participated in a panel in Washington that year that included Prince Turki and Yossi Alpher, a former Mossad official. In the 1990s, during the heyday of the peace process, Israelis and Saudis met frequently in the course of multilateral forums.

But publicly announced meetings​ in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel are​ ​different. The nominal purpose was discussion of​ the 2002 Arab initiative, developed by then-Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who later became king.​ ​

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Th​is​ visit reflects far more ​change in​ Saudi views than those in Israel. The Jewish state has long pressed for normalization with the Arab states, particularly those in the Gulf. Such a public visit suggests Saudi willingness to test the waters. Changes in the region wrought by the Arab Spring, the rise of Iran, and shared worries over the Iran nuclear agreement have narrowed the divide between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Saudis appear to be more worried about Iran and the rise of ISIS than about being seen with the Israelis. The logic of shared enemies has created more intimacy in Israeli-Egyptian relations as well. Egypt and Israel both have interest in restraining Hamas and the jihadis operating in Sinai. What’s striking is that Saudi Arabia and Egypt seem to be using the Palestinian issue not to isolate Israel but as a basis to engage.

Riaz Haq said...

Israel and Pakistan Take Part in Joint Aerial Combat Exercise in U.S.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.736991

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In recent days photographers in the area, near Las Vegas, have filmed Israeli, Spanish and Pakistani aircraft in advance of the joint exercise. In addition, a transport plane belonging to the United Arab Emirates was also photographed, indicating that, as reported, that country’s air force will also participate in the exercise.
The Israeli plane that will be used in the exercise is the F-16I (the “Sufa,” or Storm). In footage from Nevada one can see that IAF jets belonging to three different Sufa squadrons were sent to the United States. Air and ground crews will also participate.
The Red Flag exercise is scheduled to end on August 26.

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“The Red Flag is the biggest and best simulation of war in the world,” one IAF officer said at the end of the 2015 exercise.
All of the squadrons participating are assigned to “red” and “blue” forces. They practice intercepting other aircraft, attacking targets, rescuing pilots and engaging in aerial activity under the ostensible threat of ground-to-air missiles.
Haaretz received no response when questioning Israel Defense Forces sources two weeks ago about the possible participation of Pakistan and the UAR in Red Flag.
At the time the IDF Spokesman's Office said only that, “The air force trains regularly in Israel and abroad in order to maintain operational fitness for various operational plans. The Red Flag exercise involves unique and high-quality training. When the IAF was invited to participate, it accepted the invitation.”



read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.736991

Riaz Haq said...

#French #India #submarine #ScorpeneLeak Lets Vital Stats Are Out In Open: 10 Facts http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/more-scorpene-leaks-tonight-says-australian-newspaper-10-facts-1450394 … via @ndtv

The sonar system, including the frequencies used by its key components, the Flank Array, the Sonar Intercept Receiver, the Distributed Array and the Active Array have been compromised. All these systems work together to allow the submarine to detect enemy warships and submarines and attack them using torpedoes.

The latest tranche of data appears to contradict the Ministry of Defence statement earlier today that there was no immediate security risk from the leak of secret documents detailing the capabilities of the Scorpene.

The Australian newspaper, which reported on the leak two days ago, posted new details this evening on its website but with sensitive info redacted.

So though the documents prove that the classified information had been compromised, it is not in the public domain.
The documents posted earlier have been examined and do not pose any security compromise as the vital parameters have been blacked out," the defence ministry said in a statement earlier. However, it is The Australian which has redacted sensitive data. It is possible that these documents are also available to others.

Six Scorpenes designed by French shipmaker DCNS are being built in Mumbai. The first is expected to join service before the end of this year.

On Tuesday night, the Australian said it had 22,000 pages of details that exposed the combat capability of the submarines, being built at a cost of $3.5 billion.

The documents were stolen from DCNS and not leaked, an unnamed French government source said to news agency Reuters, adding that the information published so far shows only operational aspects of the submarines.

The source said the documents appeared to have been stolen in 2011 by a former French employee that had been fired while providing training in India on the use of the submarines.

India and France have opened investigations with Delhi asking for a detailed report.

Riaz Haq said...

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- Pakistan Air Force F-16C/D aircraft traveled more than 7,700 miles to participate in Red Flag 16-4 here from Aug. 15-26.

The training allowed the Pakistan and U.S. air forces to continue building and strengthening their relationship. It also provided them the chance to improve integration, further training and enhance the readiness of air operations.

“The F-16 has been the lynchpin in accomplishing our mutual desired objectives,” said Pakistan Air Vice Marshal Syed Noman Ali, the deputy chief of air staff. “At the strategic level it has been extremely valuable. On the capability enhancement and objective achievement on the ground, this aircraft has been the most useful.”

Pakistan brought a unique set of skills to the exercise, from their willingness to collaborate to their motivation to get the most out of the training scenarios.

“For me, it is absolutely phenomenal to have a partner who is willing to do that and looks at this as truly an opportunity to not only get better as a force within the Pakistan Air Force but also how to better integrate with everyone else,” said Maj. Gen. Rick B. Mattson, the chief of the Office of the Defense Representative, Pakistan. “That has been a major focus for the team that has been here and I have already heard about ways they are able to integrate better through technology and we will try to work on that part.”

Not only have the Pakistan pilots been impressive but also their maintenance team as well.

“I have a lot of experience in the Middle East and this is a very unique capability that they have,” Mattson said. “When you go through the maintenance facility, bays, it’s all Pakistan enlisted working on these aircrafts.”

Integration has been a major focus for Red Flag 16-4 and the Pakistan Air Force has played a key role in helping achieve that goal.

“When you have a force that is that professional and is dedicated to training and working together as a coalition you are going to get better as a group and I think that has been the biggest lesson from this,” Mattson said.

The exercise has helped both air forces learn each other’s strengths and utilizing those strengths in real-world situations.

“Whenever we’ve been together with the U.S. in terms of an exercise or other engagements it has been amazing, productive and mutually rewarding experience on both sides,” Ali said. “Whether its actual strategies that have been going on in the region or it has been exercises that train for certain events, I would expect this type of relationship to grow stronger in the future.”

http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/931965/f-16s-help-strengthen-bond-between-us-pakistan-air-forces.aspx

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Unveils VLF Submarine Communications Facility for #Nuclear Armed Subs Under Naval Strategic Forces Command http://www.defensenews.com/articles/pakistan-unveils-vlf-submarine-communications-facility …

Pakistan on Tuesday unveiled a very low frequency (VLF) communication facility that will enable it to communicate with deployed submarines.

Mansoor Ahmed, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center and expert on Pakistan’s nuclear program and delivery systems, said the facility is vital for command and control of submarines carrying a nuclear deterrent patrol, and the announcement essentially confirms Pakistan has established a preliminary, sea-based arm of its nuclear deterrent.

"The Naval Strategic Force Command inaugurated in 2012 is now closer to being the custodian of the country's second-strike capability," he said.

According to an official news release by the military’s Inter Services Public Relations media branch, the VLF facility is at a new base, PNS Hameed, near Pakistan’s main port of Karachi, and is the first of its
kind in the country.

“The secure military communication link in the VLF spectrum will add new dimensions by enhancing the flexibility and reach of submarine operations," the news release said.

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Ahmed said Pakistan likely will deploy a nuclear-armed, sub-launched variant of Babur “during the next decade.”

The Babur is similar to the United States' BGM-109 Tomahawk and has long been speculated to be modified for launch by Pakistan’s three French-designed Agosta 90B submarines, thereby offering the shortest route to a second-strike capability.

A dedicated nuclear role places an additional burden on the submarines, however, with the two Agosta 70 subs near obsolete.

Author, analyst and former Australian defense attaché to Islamabad, Brian Cloughley, said Pakistan’s submarines are the “only means that Pakistan will have to seriously counter the Indian Navy. No matter
how professional the surface fleet might be — and it's very impressive — it's tiny and would be the target of concentrated Indian strikes.”

Therefore, a continuous at-sea deterrent capability may only be realized once the eight Chinese-designed, AIP-equipped submarines on order begin to commission from 2022 onward.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's Nuclear Submarine In #Pakistan's Waters Triggers War Worries http://www.valuewalk.com/2016/11/india-submarine-pakistan-sea/ … via @ValueWalk

As war tensions between India and Pakistan are soaring, an Indian nuclear submarine attempted to enter Pakistani waters but found itself pushed out by the Pakistan Navy. India had tried to send its nuclear-powered submarine into Pakistani waters in what appears to be an attempt to provoke Pakistan to a military stand-off. But the Pakistan Navy successfully intercepted the submarine before it entered its marine territory.


The Pakistan Navy has once again “proved its vigilance and operational competence” by preventing the Indian submarine from entering Pakistani waters, according to the Pakistan Army’s press office. Pakistan Navy Fleet units detected and localized India’s nuclear submarine, which may have been spying south of the Pakistani coast. Pakistanis noted that the submarine had made “desperate” attempts to escape detection but was eventually pushed out of Pakistani waters.

“This is a proof of Pakistan Navy’s extremely skilled anti-submarine warfare unit,” the Pakistani Army’s press release stated on Friday.

The Pakistan Navy has once again “proved its vigilance and operational competence” by preventing the Indian submarine from entering Pakistani waters, according to the Pakistan Army’s press office. Pakistan Navy Fleet units detected and localized India’s nuclear submarine, which may have been spying south of the Pakistani coast. Pakistanis noted that the submarine had made “desperate” attempts to escape detection but was eventually pushed out of Pakistani waters.

“This is a proof of Pakistan Navy’s extremely skilled anti-submarine warfare unit,” the Pakistani Army’s press release stated on Friday.

In the press release, Pakistan warned that it remains vigilant and fully prepared to respond to India’s aggression. Hours after the press release was published, India denied Pakistan’s claim of detecting and chasing away its nuclear submarine.

The nuclear submarine that was pushed out of Pakistani waters is one more indication that India continues making attempts to destabilize the situation. On Monday, India’s unprovoked firings along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir resulted in the deaths of seven Pakistani soldiers. Pakistanis responded to the aggression and killed 11 of India’s soldiers, according to Pakistani Army Chief Raheel Sharif on Wednesday.

However, India strongly denies the accusations and claims that “no fatal casualties” took place along the LoC between November 14 and 16.

Sharif said, “The Indian Army should man up and own up the loss of lives of its personnel.”

The Army chief claims Pakistanis have killed “40-44 Indian troops” in the current clashes. Pakistan views India’s recent violations as a means of diverting the world’s attention away from the atrocities committed by Indian forces in the disputed Kashmir region.

Some Pakistanis believe that India’s increasing aggression is designed to drag their country into a direct military confrontation. India’s “No First Use” policy on nuclear weapons means it won’t unleash war against Pakistan unless attacked by it.