Motivations for Submarine Acquisitions in Asia
Hutton, Rodney E.
Lavoy, Peter R.
Eyre, Dana P.
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Submarine acquisitions are on the rise throughout Asia. This thesis examines the national motivations behind this trend in three cases: India, China and Japan. Four hypotheses - focusing on national security, factional interests, technological momentum and institutional theory - are utilized in order to gain insight into the decision making process surrounding submarine acquisitions. The development of a conventional submarine fleet is strongly influenced by national security issues. The remaining three factors are also present in each case of submarine acquisitions, but to a much lesser degree. Indian and Chinese nuclear submarine developments are difficult to justify based solely on security threats due to the submarine's lack of strategic integration and the availability of low cost conventional submarines to cover professed strategic interests. In each case, factional interests influenced the control of the nuclear programs, while at the decision making level, nuclear submarines are perceived as an avenue to higher international standing or as a means to fulfilling the international role to which the country aspires.
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