Reproduced below is the reaction of Vice Admiral RN Ganesh (Retd) to my op/ed — “India’s submarine production”, published in the web version of the ‘New Indian Express’, Aug 23, 2013:
A very perceptive article that highlights the dire need for the Navy to expedite the restoration of dwindling submarine force levels in Navy. The relative failure of indigenous submarine construction stands out in stark contrast to the nuclear submarine project, delays and all. The reason for this, in my view is the autonomy that the latter project has, and the competence of the private sector shipbuilder and his ability to attract and retain skilled and experienced personnel across the board.
Posted by RN Ganesh at 08/23/2013 12:56
The reason VADM Ganesh’s reaction is important is because of his singular qualification to speak on the subject. He is a Russian language expert, a graduate of the Admiral Makarov Pacific Fleet Naval Academy, Vladivostok, and uniquely for an Indian naval officer commanded both the Charlie-I class SSN leased from USSR in the mid 1980s and the aircraft carrier, Vikrant; was Flag Officer (Submarines) at NHQ and, significantly, after retirement as FOC-in-C, Southern Naval Command, Kochi, headed the ATV (SSBN) Project. No better person in the navy to know the substantive role Russia has played in strengthening India’s sea denial forces and on the need for SSK production to be carried out in “mission mode”, with its managers enjoying “autonomy” and the private sector fully and centrally engaged in the SSK manufacture, as is the case with regard to nuclear submarines.