Sunday, November 11, 2007

Your Tax Dollars at Work

The Daily Mail: When the U.S. Navy deploys a battle fleet on exercises, it takes the security of its aircraft carriers very seriously indeed.

At least a dozen warships provide a physical guard while the technical wizardry of the world's only military superpower offers an invisible shield to detect and deter any intruders.

That is the theory. Or, rather, was the theory.

American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk - a 1,000ft supercarrier with 4,500 personnel on board.

By the time it surfaced the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine is understood to have sailed within viable range for launching torpedoes or missiles at the carrier.

According to senior Nato officials the incident caused consternation in the U.S. Navy.

The Americans had no idea China's fast-growing submarine fleet had reached such a level of sophistication, or that it posed such a threat.

One Nato figure said the effect was "as big a shock as the Russians launching Sputnik" - a reference to the Soviet Union's first orbiting satellite in 1957 which marked the start of the space age.

The incident, which took place in the ocean between southern Japan and Taiwan, is a major embarrassment for the Pentagon.

The lone Chinese vessel slipped past at least a dozen other American warships which were supposed to protect the carrier from hostile aircraft or submarines.

And the rest of the costly defensive screen, which usually includes at least two U.S. submarines, was also apparently unable to detect it.


jjs said...

Here's how I gut this figured: the chinese are incapable of manufaturing anything but crap. they had this billion year old submarine and it was probably stalled in the water, below the surface for two weeks. the american fleet wanders into the area and they start bailing with buckets inside the sub to get it to rise. they probably all wanted to be rescued but the americans, fearing War With The Giant, backed slowly away from it and will try and blame someone in their own ranks for the crappy performance of the chinese sub. thank you

Bill Crider said...

Great theory. You should write a book.

juandos said...

Ahhh, those wiley Chinese...

I have to wonder if folks weren't doing their homework: Incorporating a German propulsion system and advanced hydrodynamic design, the Song-class is said to be as quiet as the American Los Angles nuclear submarines. But its overall performance is constrained by the use of 1980s technology, and the fact that the PLAN purchased the Russian Kilo-class submarines suggests that there are problems with the Song-class. Various upgrades to the Song are reported under development, and an improved version may have already entered service...

In littoral waters just how much more advanced does a sub need to be?

Well the good news doesn't stop with the Song class subs...

Its gets better as Bill Gertz of the Washington Times noted in '99: China is beginning work on a new strategic submarine that will be targeted against U.S. nuclear forces and carry missiles with small warheads similar to American weapons, The Washington Times has learned.

The People's Liberation Army Navy will start construction in the next several weeks on its first Type 094 missile submarine, according to Pentagon and other administration officials with access to intelligence reports.

Preparations for the construction were detected by U.S. spy agencies and reported to senior Pentagon officials late last month. The submarine will carry a smaller underwater variant of China's new DF-31 -- Continued from Front Page -- intercontinental ballistic missile, which was flight-tested in August.

The JL-2 submarine-launched missile to be deployed on the Type 094 and the DF-31 are the first strategic systems that will contain stolen U.S. warhead and missile secrets, the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Times.

That view contradicts claims of other administration officials who believe there is no evidence so far that Chinese strategic weapons will be copied from U.S. systems.

According to the intelligence officials, the new Type 094 is being built to provide "a strategic deterrent" to the United States. Both the JL-2 and the first Type 094 are expected to be deployed around 2005 or 2006. The JL-2 also is known as the Julang-2 and will have a range of about 7,400 miles. Julang means Great Wave in Chinese
... (thanks Slick Willie)

Well the Chinese haven't bee asleep at the switch: New Chinese Ballistic Missile Submarine Spotted

Bill Crider said...


Cap'n Bob Napier said...

The whole thing was probably made of bamboo and undetectable by sonar.

Brent McKee said...

Diesel-electric submarines tend to be far quieter than Nuclear subs - a sub operating submerged under battery power tends not to make the same sort of noise as a nuclear reactor that needs to have pumps to recirculate coolant if you don't want bad things to happen. And contrary to popular opinion ships don't spend their days going "ping ping" to detect submarines anymore. They (and in particular your own screening submarines) listen for the acoustic signature of subs. So just about any diesel-electric sub is going to have an advantage. Canadian submarines - the old Oberon class at least - have been doing this sort of thing in exercises for years, the big difference being that they were part of the exercises.

The scary part isn't that this sub popped up in the middle of a US task force, it is that the Chinese have them on the international sales market. They offered an export version to Thailand which was said to be equivalent in quality to the twenty year old French Agosta class but $100 million cheaper. Now imagine if they sold a few to Iran or some other people who were far less friendly to the USA.

Rainlady said...

I wonder why this "true" news story was buried,(at least on AOL) and Britney, Paris, Lindsay, Tom/Katie (or is it now Kate), Angelina / Brad, etc.. make "headlines". This is something the American public should really be made aware of. I remember hearing rumors back in the mid-late '70's of China working on a tank that would not be picked up on radar.... with the MASSIVE number of people in that country.... well.... we should all be wary... and the Pentagon should wake up!

Bill Crider said...

I confess to running the occasional, or more than occasional Paris H. item, myself.