Monday, November 13, 2006

This is going to be expensive

The fact that a Chinese sub stalked a U.S. aircraft carrier is really no big deal. That happens all the time. But the real news is that Chinese subs are quiet enough and have the stealth technology to elude the sub-detecting technology of a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier. The ball is now in the U.S.'s court to improve its sub-detection technology. And that's probably going to cost an awful lot of money.


A Chinese submarine stalked a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group in the Pacific last month and surfaced within firing range of its torpedoes and missiles before being detected, The Washington Times has learned.
The surprise encounter highlights China's continuing efforts to prepare for a future conflict with the U.S., despite Pentagon efforts to try to boost relations with Beijing's communist-ruled military.
The submarine encounter with the USS Kitty Hawk and its accompanying warships also is an embarrassment to the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, Adm. William J. Fallon, who is engaged in an ambitious military exchange program with China aimed at improving relations between the two nations' militaries.
Disclosure of the incident comes as Adm. Gary Roughead, commander of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet, is making his first visit to China. The four-star admiral was scheduled to meet senior Chinese military leaders during the weeklong visit, which began over the weekend.
According to the defense officials, the Chinese Song-class diesel-powered attack submarine shadowed the Kitty Hawk undetected and surfaced within five miles of the carrier Oct. 26.
The surfaced submarine was spotted by a routine surveillance flight by one of the carrier group's planes.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Must be some red faces after that. But, is this a matter of the Chinese spending a lot of time and money muffling old-school diesel hardware, or were the Americans just alternately cocky and asleep at the sonar? Diesel can run very silently, but they also can't stay down anywhere near as long as boomers or dive as deep. I am betting the Chinese Navy would live a short but exciting life in a shooting war with the U.S. Navy.

Ottawa Watch said...

The Chinese probably bought the "stealth" fighter wreckage ofrom the Kosovo bombing campaign, which gives them the metalurgy to do some cool stuff.
I'd like to see what kind of sub this was, whether it was new, and what was powering it.

Anonymous said...

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/006353.htm

The particular incident is no big deal. The bigger deal is China's pursuit of blue-water power-projection capabilities into the future.

Ottawa Watch said...

And look at Japan's self-defence force fleet review this fall. Some beautiful ships there, first-rate cruiser-sized missile ships. Japan's now seriously talking about building an aircraft carrier.
I'll see if I can find a link.

Anonymous said...

Here's one.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1728017/posts

Ottawa Watch said...

The Japanese still really like those high pagoda-style bridges and masts.
That's an impressive fleet, one that could do serious damage. Now, who would that fleet defened Japan from? There are only two countries that pose any threat to Japan. One has a fleet. The other does not.
At the very least, as the Yahoo News article says, those fast, powerful, well-armed and well-armoured ships would be great for blockading the Norh Korean coasts.
North Korea has also left Japan with no choice but to join SDI. Japan and South Korea are the only real potential target of North Korea's nuke program, and Japan is within reach of Korea's 1950's-style missiles.

Anonymous said...

Diesel can run very silently, but they also can't stay down anywhere near as long as boomers or dive as deep. I am betting the Chinese Navy would live a short but exciting life in a shooting war with the U.S. Navy.

It's not really necessary to stay under long when you're only conducting littoral defence.

I'm not terribly certain that the Chinese navy would perform all that badly in the most likely scenario - a confrontation in Chinese waters. They have some wonderful torpedo and missile technology from the Russians - namely the world's fastest and most maneuverable antiship missile (the Moskit) and next generation supercavitating torpedoes like the Shkval.

Song-class submarines are garbage, though. They have much better machines - the Kilo and soon, Type 93 subs.

Anonymous said...

Now, who would that fleet defened Japan from? There are only two countries that pose any threat to Japan. One has a fleet. The other does not.
At the very least, as the Yahoo News article says, those fast, powerful, well-armed and well-armoured ships would be great for blockading the Norh Korean coasts.


Actually no. The Japanese fleet is very very good, but almost useless at force projection. It's meant for one thing and one thing only, and that's protecting Japanese waters - preventing North Korean subs from blockading Japan, detecting Chinese subs spying on Japan, and so forth.

The Japanese fleet would never dare venture near North Korean waters; it would suffer such a tremendous barrage of firepower from land-based aircraft, missiles, and tubes that it wouldn't last very long at all.

In an open conflict with China, Japan's surface fleet would be destroyed - both by China's own fleets and China's airpower. But it would be extremely costly for China, and severely degrade its capability to deter an American counterattack.