Not only the Indian Army, but the Indian Navy was also on its toes after the Pulwama terror attack on February followed by an airstrike by the Indian Air Force on terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26. After the Balakot strike, one of the most advanced Pakistani Agosta-class submarines - PNS Saad - vanished from the Pakistani waters and that led the entire Indian Navy to swing into action, a senior government source told news agency ANI.
Reports suggest that Pakistan was on high alert after the aggressive deployment of the naval assets by the Indian side following the Pulwama suicide attack that killed 40 CRPF jawans. The movement gave Islamabad the impression that New Delhi might use its maritime force to avenge the killings.Having accounted for all other surface warships and all the submarines, the vanishing act done by the PNS Saad fitted with Air Independent Propulsion (a technology which allows the submarines to stay for a longer period under the water than normal submarines) swung the entire Indian Navy swung into action.
"The location near Karachi, Pakistan, from where the PNS Saad vanished, it could reach the Gujarat coast in three days and the headquarters of the western fleet in Mumbai within five days and was seen as a major threat to the security of the country," the sources told the news agency.
So much so that India positioned anti-submarine warfare specialist warships and aircraft to help in the hunt for the missing Pakistani submarine."All the areas where it could have gone in the given timeframe, extensive searches were carried out by the Indian Navy.
P-8Is were pressed into service to locate the submarine along with the coastal areas of Gujarat followed by Maharashtra and other states," the sources said.ANI reported that all precautionary measures had been taken by the Navy to ensure that even if the PNS Saad had entered Indian waters, all necessary actions were to be taken to force it to come on the surface, and if required take military punitive action against it.
Nuclear submarine INS Chakra and Navy's latest induction, Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari, had also been deployed in an aggressive posture along the Pakistani waters and instructed to keep looking for the missing Pakistani submarine.
The Indian Navy kept expanding its area of search for the Pakistani boat and satellites were also used to locate it, meanwhile, the force was almost certain that the Pakistanis may have kept it hidden somewhere else.After 21 days of an extensive search, the Indian Navy finally located the PNS Saad on the western side of Pakistan.
It was sent there for hiding in order to ensure a covert capability in case of extension in hostilities in the aftermath of the Balakot airstrikes.Sources said the Navy is maintaining complete surveillance of the Arabian Sea, especially Pakistani waters, and is aware of Pakistan's naval activities in the area.