Pakistan Navy's SSBN plans | World Defense

Pakistan Navy's SSBN plans

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I've been keeping mental notes of sorts...all of which piece together the puzzle of PN's SSBN(s). Going in chronological order(as I came across it)...
1) 4 of the 8 submarines were to be built at KSEW...and the order of these 8 subs included ToT.
2) Rafi(from "elsewhere") mentioned that a miniaturized nuclear reactor is being worked on.
3) Ababeel MIRV ballistic missile was revealed.
4) Khafee dropped hints of SSBN in the works.
5) PN Chief mentioned a ballistic missile that can be launched from ships.

1 & 2 are crucial to be able to build an SSBN. 4 is further confirmation of what 1&2 were pointing to. 3 & 5 are hints towards SLBM IMO...
...launching a ballistic missile from seaborne assets is a whole different ball game as compared to launching it from land...5 could be the basis of what will eventually become an SLBM. 3 is crucial to be able to hit multiple targets with one missile...and ensures that even in presence of ABM systems at least some warheads will still get through.

All that remains to be seen(or hinted at) is an ICBM capability(or development of it). This would ensure that the subs can be literally anywhere in the world and still be able to strike their targets...putting them truly out of reach of IN(literal needle in a haystack)...regardless of how massive and superior IN becomes. If Pak can develop(with or without Chinese help
...whichever the case may be) a sub, MIRV, miniaturized nuclear reactor, etc...then developing an ICBM shouldn't be too hard.

Below are quoted messages of @Khafee that I have gathered from various other threads regarding PN's SSBN plans
SSBN X 2 IA
4~6 SLBM's / SSBN
Of the 8 new subs from China, for PN, my understanding is that there will be 2 SSBN / boomers, min 2 SSN's and the rest AIP / SSK subs.
1) Yea kis mufti ka fatwa hai? Woh andha mufti to nahi?

2) The ones coming in, shall we cancel the order?

3) JL-3 will be the SLBM's they will carry.

EDIT: Pakistani version of JL-3
Outgoing admiral hinted at SSBN / SLBM ‘∞‘
@Caprxl @AliYusuf @Mingle @Counter-Errorist @Zulu @Pakhtoon yum @ali razza @Khafee @Gripen9
Tag other members and feel free to add any news related to this that I may have missed out on.
 
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Can anyone shine a light on the international laws regarding SSBNs? For example MTCR imposes restrictions on the export of missiles beyond a certain range...SSBNs are of far more strategic value than just a missile by itself...so I assume there must be some laws regulating/restricting those.

The reason I ask is to gauge how much of an indigenous effort Pak will have to put in. If it can be as "indigenous" as India creating Brahmos...then we can see PN fielding it sooner...if it has to be truly indigenous...it may take a while.
 

Khafee

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I've been keeping mental notes of sorts...all of which piece together the puzzle of PN's SSBN(s). Going in chronological order(as I came across it)...
1) 4 of the 8 submarines were to be built at KSEW...and the order of these 8 subs included ToT.
2) Rafi(from "elsewhere") mentioned that a miniaturized nuclear reactor is being worked on.
3) Ababeel MIRV ballistic missile was revealed.
4) Khafee dropped hints of SSBN in the works.
5) PN Chief mentioned a ballistic missile that can be launched from ships.

1 & 2 are crucial to be able to build an SSBN. 4 is further confirmation of what 1&2 were pointing to. 3 & 5 are hints towards SLBM IMO...
...launching a ballistic missile from seaborne assets is a whole different ball game as compared to launching it from land...5 could be the basis of what will eventually become an SLBM. 3 is crucial to be able to hit multiple targets with one missile...and ensures that even in presence of ABM systems at least some warheads will still get through.

All that remains to be seen(or hinted at) is an ICBM capability(or development of it). This would ensure that the subs can be literally anywhere in the world and still be able to strike their targets...putting them truly out of reach of IN(literal needle in a haystack)...regardless of how massive and superior IN becomes. If Pak can develop(with or without Chinese help
...whichever the case may be) a sub, MIRV, miniaturized nuclear reactor, etc...then developing an ICBM shouldn't be too hard.

Below are quoted messages of @Khafee that I have gathered from various other threads regarding PN's SSBN plans




@Caprxl @AliYusuf @Mingle @Counter-Errorist @Zulu @Pakhtoon yum @ali razza @Khafee @Gripen9
Tag other members and feel free to add any news related to this that I may have missed out on.
2 SSBN's of 8 silo each
1 already under trials
 

AliYusuf

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Are we economically strong enough to project power?
Nuclear powered subs are long range intercontinental marauders.
What national interests are we to protect thousands of miles from home?
SSN's are not very stealthy due to their excessive heat signature and not so quiet sound.
That is why they turn out to be big and cumbersome to mitigate these shortcomings with extra equipment.
Small SSN's are thus noisy and hot.
Where as an efficient, nimble, cooler and quieter deisel powered AIP equipped SSK with Nuclear Missiles is just what we need at the moment.
It is better to secure our locale first.
When that is done, we can then plan to build SSN's to challenge the Zionists and make them sweat.

Lets start our discussion from this point.
 

Gripen9

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Can anyone shine a light on the international laws regarding SSBNs? For example MTCR imposes restrictions on the export of missiles beyond a certain range...SSBNs are of far more strategic value than just a missile by itself...so I assume there must be some laws regulating/restricting those.

The reason I ask is to gauge how much of an indigenous effort Pak will have to put in. If it can be as "indigenous" as India creating Brahmos...then we can see PN fielding it sooner...if it has to be truly indigenous...it may take a while.
Russia has "leased" India their Akula class SSNs without any issues.
 
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Are we economically strong enough to project power?
Nuclear powered subs are long range intercontinental marauders.
What national interests are we to protect thousands of miles from home?
SSN's are not very stealthy due to their excessive heat signature and not so quiet sound.
That is why they turn out to be big and cumbersome to mitigate these shortcomings with extra equipment.
Small SSN's are thus noisy and hot.
Where as an efficient, nimble, cooler and quieter deisel powered AIP equipped SSK with Nuclear Missiles is just what we need at the moment.
It is better to secure our locale first.
When that is done, we can then plan to build SSN's to challenge the Zionists and make them sweat.

Lets start our discussion from this point.
- Economically...I have no idea how PAF, PA, and PN are managing all these things...seems almost miraculous considering the precarious economic condition of Pakistan.

- U r only looking at the long range nature of SSBNs from one perspective.
--> yes they can be used to strike at a distant enemy(like how US/USSR, US/China, etc. intended to use them).
--> the other aspect which applies in case of India/Pak is essentially the reverse of the above...using these from far away to strike at enemy targets in the neighborhood...
...Pak can put them outside of IN's range...to ensure a second strike capability.
In conclusion...the long range of SSBNs doesn't necessarily mean that the focus has shifted from India to some other "enemy".

- Regarding the heat and noise signature of nuclear powered subs...yes generally they are less stealthy in those aspects as compared to conventional AIP subs. However still keeping India as the focus...India does not have the capability(vast navy, sensors and satellites) comparable to that of US. If it was US that was trying to track PN's SSBN...the less stealthy nature of nuclear powered subs could be the reason why they would probably be able to find it(not guaranteed...but probable). India would have to spend like the US(probably more bcuz US makes everything in house while India doesn't at that level), which will be unsustainable.

Additionally...just being able to find an SSBN doesn't mean one can do anything about it immediately. The ocean is vast...to be able to target the SSBN...there better be some sub hunting assets present in the vicinity(a few hundred Km at max). If u miss that window...the sub could be long gone by the time sub hunting assets arrive. If an SSBN surfaces in the Arctic rn what could the PN do about it? What could the IN do about it? Likely nothing in a reasonable amount of time. Here again US probably has an edge(having vast navy deployed all over the world in different regions)...if IN wants to be able to hunt PN's SSBN...they would have to again match USN's capability(which would be unsustainable).

Lastly...the issues of heat and noise of SSBN have been known for decades now. The countries who build these and operate them...do so for a strategic reason. It essentially forms their second strike capability...so it would be counterproductive if they could be found easily. Therefore I assume that each new generation...takes some measures to try and reduce the heat and noise. So while it may still be the case that conventional AIP subs are stealthier than nuclear powered ones...the stealth capabilities of nuclear powered subs have increased too(as compared to older generations of those).

- As per the news that have been unfolding...it seems that the plans to secure our locale(PN Chief's statements of an expanded PN) are progressing in parallel to acquiring true second strike capability...and I see no harm in that if it can be afforded.
 
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Russia has "leased" India their Akula class SSNs without any issues.
Yes I'm aware of that...but I don't think PN would be "leasing" Chinese boomers.
1) It would be pointless for Pak to try and build a miniaturized nuclear reactor(which is in progress as per Rafi)...if PN was to "lease" Chinese boomers.
2) Khafee has mentioned 8 silos on the SSBN. The current Chinese boomers have 12 silos(6x2) IIRC...and the newer ones(Type 096) are planned to have 16 silos(8x2). This implies a different design...unless I'm unaware of some Chinese boomers that have 8 silos.

So I'm assuming...that these SSBNs will be made by Pak...in the same way as India made Brahmos. Essentially my question in that previous post boils down to...can they be bought(and therefore owned)? If not then that leaves the option of "collaboration" behind closed doors.
 

Gripen9

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Yes I'm aware of that...but I don't think PN would be "leasing" Chinese boomers.
1) It would be pointless for Pak to try and build a miniaturized nuclear reactor(which is in progress as per Rafi).
2) Khafee has mentioned 8 silos on the SSBN. The current Chinese boomers have 12 silos(6x2) IIRC...and the newer ones(Type 096) are planned to have 16 silos(8x2).

So I'm assuming...that these SSBNs will be made by Pak...in the same way as India made Brahmos. Essentially my question in that previous post boils down to...can they be bought(and therefore owned)? If not then that leaves the option of "collaboration" behind closed doors.
My response was to your MTCR question. I do not believe there are are international restrictions on submarines per se. But usually SSBN / SSN are built by countries internally.

Even though UK / France could have gotten US Ohio/Los Angeles class SSBN/SSN, UK built its own Vanguard/Trafalgar SSBN/SSNs.
Same for France
 

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...Pak can put them outside of IN's range...to ensure a second strike capability.
In conclusion...the long range of SSBNs doesn't necessarily mean that the focus has shifted from India to some other "enemy".
But that can be easily done by Nuclear armed SSK's too and more stealthily.
Why would we need specifically nuclear powered SSBN's for that?
Operating a nuclear powered sub is prohibitively exorbitant.

That is why I believe that the SSBN's @Khafee Sahib spoke about is for a bigger game.
 

Caprxl

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I've been keeping mental notes of sorts...all of which piece together the puzzle of PN's SSBN(s). Going in chronological order(as I came across it)...
1) 4 of the 8 submarines were to be built at KSEW...and the order of these 8 subs included ToT.
2) Rafi(from "elsewhere") mentioned that a miniaturized nuclear reactor is being worked on.
3) Ababeel MIRV ballistic missile was revealed.
4) Khafee dropped hints of SSBN in the works.
5) PN Chief mentioned a ballistic missile that can be launched from ships.

1 & 2 are crucial to be able to build an SSBN. 4 is further confirmation of what 1&2 were pointing to. 3 & 5 are hints towards SLBM IMO...
...launching a ballistic missile from seaborne assets is a whole different ball game as compared to launching it from land...5 could be the basis of what will eventually become an SLBM. 3 is crucial to be able to hit multiple targets with one missile...and ensures that even in presence of ABM systems at least some warheads will still get through.

All that remains to be seen(or hinted at) is an ICBM capability(or development of it). This would ensure that the subs can be literally anywhere in the world and still be able to strike their targets...putting them truly out of reach of IN(literal needle in a haystack)...regardless of how massive and superior IN becomes. If Pak can develop(with or without Chinese help
...whichever the case may be) a sub, MIRV, miniaturized nuclear reactor, etc...then developing an ICBM shouldn't be too hard.

I was thinking of creating a separate thread based on all of this above...but then I decided against it since it's just speculation still. My guess is that for PN...operational SSBN(s) would be 2030s at the earliest(very optimistic)...but for sure by 2040s.

@Caprxl @AliYusuf @Mingle @Counter-Errorist @Zulu
@Pakhtoon yum @ali razza
Feel free to add any news related to this that I may have missed out on.

@Khafee feel free to drop some more cookie crumbs *he unsuccessfully tries to fish for info* ~^~
I would like to address a side issue which has confused many a brothers as it has a direct relation with SSBN.

The issue/question of a Pakistani ICBM & IF developed & deployed it's consequences on Pakistan as this will be seen as a direct threat to West. In my inexperienced opinion, I think the Legitimisation of a Pakistani ICBM can be made Only if we acquire SSBN.

For those members who have not understood the link already, I will explain a bit.

A SSBN will require to have her deployed far from home naturally as to guarantee a 2nd Strike capability, therefore an equally long ranged missile is needed to reach the far ends of Sub-Continent.
Given the fact that a PN SSBN leaves the port from Pakistan's coast & has virtually unlimited range constrained only by supplies which can or cannot be (according to inherent storage capacity of SSBN & deployment/mission requirement) replenished from a sister base in Africa & reaches South-East Continental Africa. At the current location SSBN Commander receives an order (which I wish he never receives) to let the loads out.

We can see from the rough calculation on google map the distance needed by the SLBM to cover whole of Indian State crosses 7000km (depending on current hypothesised location of Sub). So definitely such a Long range SLBM can be categorised as an ICBM, rather a sub version of a Ground Launched ICBM.

SLBM.png
Now I think the 1st step to make a working 7000km SLBM is to have a working Ground launched ICBM (TIPU/TAIMUR: unofficial names of our ICBM according to rumours) & then move to next logical step of converting it into SLBM.
We have Alh gained the capability of MIRV already which is essential for a SLBM to ensure a successful 2nd Strike.

Now we do not need to produce/deploy a ground version of our ICBM to have the moral high grounds & avoid economic/trade/military Sanctions from the WEST but at the same time achieve our goal.
Definitely the powers concerned are not to be taken as fools & they would get what we are up to but still Pakistan will have achieved her objective & ready to throw the party not just to our Eastern friend but To Whom Ever It May Concern.

Maybe I made some grave mistakes in my above given scenario which Professionals can point out to but this point had been poking inside my head for some time & I let it out today by penning it for fellow bothers.

To conclude, if there is a will (which definitely is) there is a way.

Can anyone shine a light on the international laws regarding SSBNs? For example MTCR imposes restrictions on the export of missiles beyond a certain range...SSBNs are of far more strategic value than just a missile by itself...so I assume there must be some laws regulating/restricting those.

Good point raised. For the highlighted part, One has to Prove MTCR violation has taken place before giving the verdict or even accusing (:-)
Just saying (*_-)

PS: Though Pakistan has a very mature Ballistic & Cruise Missile Program & Alh we have proven it by our achievements & need not any foreign help 😇
 
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But that can be easily done by Nuclear armed SSK's too and more stealthily.
Why would we need specifically nuclear powered SSBN's for that?
Operating a nuclear powered sub is prohibitively exorbitant.

That is why I believe that the SSBN's @Khafee Sahib spoke about is for a bigger game.
Conventional subs armed with nuclear tipped cruise missiles are limited by two factors. Range of the sub(which is much less than that of a nuclear powered one) and secondly by the range of the cruise missile.

Let's for example take the example of Babur III SLCM. It has a stated range of 450 km(let's set aside for a moment the discussion that stated range may not be true and take this number for the sake of the discussion)...
...if in the event of a second strike PN subs could miraculously fire these from the Indian coast...it still leaves a rather large portion of inland area of India out of reach of the missile. This is best case scenario btw...
...given the rather large IN fleet along with its P8I and SeaHawk helicopters(on order)...chances are high that the subs would have to stay a considerable distance out in the water(at least 100-200 Km if not more). This further reduces the range of Babur SLCM(the more distance it will have to travel over the water...the less distance it can then travel over land).
This range limitation also gives IN a rough area to search for PN subs(from their coast to about 450 Km out to sea). Add to this the fact that even AIP equipped subs still have to surface for air at some point...and conventionally powered subs have range limitations...this adds more predictability for the search area. For example a PN Agosta will be far more likely to strike(in the event of a second strike) from Pak's side of Indian waters than from BD's side of Indian waters.
...in conclusion...limited range of missiles(whether cruise missile or ballistic missile) and limited range of subs doesn't offer a true second strike capability.

To increase the range of the missile...the simplest option for Pak is to switch to ballistic missiles. It has been much easier for nations around the world to develop long range ballistic missiles as opposed to cruise missiles of that similar range. In addition Pak has been making ballistic missiles for decades now. There exist ballistic missiles currently that have the stated range of a couple thousand Km.

This however means that the missile is going to be rather large...and if multiples of these ballistic missiles are to be carried...it necessitates an SSBN. The only conventional sub that is to carry ballistic missiles...is the North Korean one(in news recently)...the effectiveness of which remains to be seen. It will only carry 3 of their SLBMs and I assume with such a heavy load with the same fuel capacity...it wouldn't have a lot of range(which then adds to predictability).

Yes SSBNs have huge operating costs...but for now...the only TRUE second strike capability lies with having an SSBN.

In separate news Rajnath Singh(as the defence minister of India who is also a high ranking member of BJP)...has implied(in his tweet) that India may discard its no first use policy...BJP had promised to change it in 2014(not so in 2019). With increased pressure from China...and facing two fronts(two nuclear armed neighbors)...along with Modi's need to show a "strong man" image...
...the no first use policy can change. If that happens...it would make it imperative that Pakistan has in place a TRUE second strike capability.
 
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Caprxl

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My response was to your MTCR question.
Why we have to worry about MTCR in the 1st place? Didn't Khafee just mentioned that that outgoing PN Chief hinted about home made SLBM 😉
 
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