Major combat units of the Indian Navy including the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier-led battle group, nuclear submarines “and scores of other ships, submarines and aircraft” were quickly shifted from exercises to operational deployment as tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad escalated, India’s Ministry of Defence revealed in a statement Sunday.
“A clear and resolute message regarding the operational posture of the Indian Navy to prevent, deter and defeat any misadventure by Pakistan in the maritime domain was also issued during the tri-services press conference” on 28 February, the statement added.
The Defence Ministry did not clarify which “nuclear submarines” were deployed, although the Indian Navy presently has two kinds of nuclear-powered subs at its disposal, including a single Chakra (Akula II) class attack submarine leased from Russia, and the INS Arihant, an Indian-made ballistic missile submarine capable of firing up to 12 submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missiles. The Navy also has some 14 diesel-electric subs…
Earlier Sunday, sources speaking to Reuters reportedly said that India and Pakistan had threaten to lob nuclear missiles at each other during the crisis, and that only US officials’ intervention helped to defuse what may have well turned into a much deadlier conflict.
In early March, the Pakistani Navy released a video of what it alleged was an Indian submarine attempting to enter Pakistani waters as tensions between the two countries flared.