Skip to comments.Chinese sub, US sonar collision accidental: report [yeah right]
Posted on 06/14/2009 10:20:09 PM PDT by rabscuttle385
BEIJING (AP) A state-run newspaper said Monday that a Chinese submarine's reported collision with an underwater sonar apparatus towed by a U.S. destroyer last week in the South China Sea was likely an accident.
The official China Daily cited Chinese military experts as saying the submarine's collision with the sonar array connected to the USS John S. McCain while sailing near the Philippines probably occurred due to a misjudgment of distance.
Yin Zhuo, a senior researcher with the People's Liberation Army's Navy Equipment Research Center, said the American destroyer appeared to have failed to detect the submarine, while the Chinese vessel set its distance from the McCain assuming it was not carrying sonar arrays, according to the paper.
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
This would be a career-ender for a USN sub captain.
I find this hard to believe.
A towed US Navy sonar unit did not detect a Chinese sub before the sub crashed into it?
Hopefully that is not the full story.
Well...it WAS the McCain. I’m just sayin’.
1. The average military members are not the bogey man that we make them out to be. While clearly they will do things we will not or at least we show restraint to do they are doing jobs too.
2. They make many a mistake...and so do we. We brought a sub up under a Japanese fishing boat. It was an accident that could have been avoided but we messed up.
The towed sonar array may not have been on, may not have been functioning properly and I am sure there are a few more possibilities. I guess what I am trying to say is that we don't have all the facts and immediately think its another Wang Wey pilot incident like what happened to our EP-3 over the South China Sea forcing it to land on Chinese owned Hainan island.
Things like this happen...its a bit of a dangerous game. Fortunately no one hurt or dead. Makes for some humorous headlines and yes, I am sure that a Chinese Sub Commander is getting his right now.
Do you suppose this Chicom sub was diesel-electric? Just how quiet are diesel electric subs these days? I know a bit about sub technology, but it is rather dated and I’ve heard that diesel-electrics are more of a challenge than they used to be, but I’m not terribly sure why this would be.
” the statement that we did not know the sub was there is absurd”
Well, that’s what the Chicoms said. Did we say anything that might have supported the statement?
Weren't there over three USN submarine collisions of steel-reinforced concrete structures underwater in the last few years? I wonder how RCC shows up on sonar...
Diesel-electrics are some of the most silent and dangerous subs out there.
what is it with Chinese military pilots crashing into our stuff? 2001, and now this?
“Things like this happen...its a bit of a dangerous game”
I doubt all that, but one thing’s for sure, the Chicomm sub knew it was sneaking up on a US boat.
Yeah. The sub was intended to hit the destroyer and it missed.
Why the heck doubt it that things like this happen? To do so assumes they are perfect, which they are not, it assumes we are perfect, which we are not, and I can assure you the Chinese boat knew it was shadowing a US boat. they do it, we do it and the Russians and the Britts and the Indians and on and on.
Yes, I doubt it. I apologize if my not thinking like you makes you angry. Work on that.
There was a thread started on this yesterday...here is my take on this.
The destroyers dont just trail those things along for no reason (I am a brown shoe, so any of you SW types out there who know ASW better than I do can comment on it)
They have a cable that is more than a thousand feet long (I don’t know how much more) it is maybe an inch in diameter, and the array at the end is VERY expensive. Knowing how those things are, they dont just put them in the water for a swim unless they were doing an exercise, and to have it just randomly hit a Chinese sub...well, the odds would be very long indeed.
My understanding of the Chinese sub fleet is that the numbers of platforms are limited, equipment is okay, not great, and the crews havent spent a lot of time at sea. I read that their entire fleet did twelve patrols in 2008, which is a lot more than any previous year. Last I heard, they did six in one year, and had a few years they only did one or two.
It is possible that our military is keeping an eye on the Chinese subs now the way we did with the Soviet subs. We try to pick them up on satellite as they leave port, track them with hydrophones as far as we can, then they are handed off to ASW planes and surface ships that keep tabs on them. This is just a guess.
My take on it is that the folks aboard the USS McCain knew that sub was **somewhere** out there, was trying to pin it down and ended up dragging their array right across it.
People are correct in that a decent modern diesel electric boat is a very significant threat indeed. But my guess is that lacking blue water capability, replenishment vessels and such is that this was not the case. In the absence of those things, the diesel subs are better suited to littoral roles. Ill bet it was one of their nuclear subs.
Again, my knowledge of this is from talking to S3 guys when I was in and what I have read, all unclassified stuff which has been worked into biographies and novels.
I see you fancy yourself as far more important than I. What in the world makes you think I was “angry?”
You need some serious getting over yourself. I am not nearly shaken at the rebutt to my position as you obviously are to your own.
I was an ASW officer many moons ago. The towed array sonar is a passive sonar, that listens only. They were certainly aware of the presence of the Chinese sub, but would not have had an accurate range. The towed array would have to be baffled to mask the towing ship’s signature noise. Perhaps, the Chinese attempted to hide in the “baffled” zone, and miscalculated it’s postition, since it’s sonars were also in passive mode.
“I see you fancy yourself as far more important than I.”
Not at all. I don’t know what I said that would make you think that. Let me know? Seems like you’re in an argument. I’m not.
“What in the world makes you think I was angry?”
“heck” is a substitute for “hell”, and shows real consternation. Many people have an extremely valid opinion that this is less than accidental. Your reply discredited the validity of the opinion, simply because it didn’t align with yours. It’s not uncommon, and something I’ve been guilty of from time to time.
Listen..I am willing to be we have an aweful lot in common, but this is nothing more than simple disagreement.
That sounds like another reasonable explanation to me.
An ASW person would know better, but I don’t think they tow that array through expanses of empty ocean trolling, but only stick that thing in the water when they are (A) Doing an exercise or training, or (B) have a high suspicion that there is something there.
I would also guess that if they were outside a base like Yokosuka or Norfolk, they might have ships doing that, but this was near Subic Bay where we don’t have a base anymore.
It would be interesting to know, but we might never get the story.
Submarines have always been able to sink surface ships including aircraft carriers. This is nothing new.
ASW is a constant struggle of measure and countermeasure.
My Dad Served on the Mccain back in the 50s or early 60s. He said it was not the most awesome vessel ever.
The US is mapping the sea floor/shelf.
There are overlapping claims regarding the shelf and mineral rights. China and Japan already settled their dispute over the Spratleys but there are still disputes between China, Viet Nam, the Phillipines, etc.
The US has no claims in this area except it benefits the US for this area not to belong to any of these nations, but to be international waters under the control of UNCLOS.
You have the same conflicts in the Arctic Ocean. Russia, Canada, and Denmark have overlapping claims on the Lomonosov Ridge, but it benefits the US for that area be international.
Same way in the Antarctic with the dispute between UK/Falklands and Argentina.