Skip to comments.The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise,(military chiefs red-faced)
Posted on 11/09/2007 4:55:08 PM PST by fanfan
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.
According to the Nato source, the encounter has forced a serious re-think of American and Nato naval strategy as commanders reconsider the level of threat from potentially hostile Chinese submarines.
It also led to tense diplomatic exchanges, with shaken American diplomats demanding to know why the submarine was "shadowing" the U.S. fleet while Beijing pleaded ignorance and dismissed the affair as coincidence.
Analysts believe Beijing was sending a message to America and the West demonstrating its rapidly-growing military capability to threaten foreign powers which try to interfere in its "backyard".
The People's Liberation Army Navy's submarine fleet includes at least two nuclear-missile launching vessels.
Its 13 Song Class submarines are extremely quiet and difficult to detect when running on electric motors.
Commodore Stephen Saunders, editor of Jane's Fighting Ships, and a former Royal Navy anti-submarine specialist, said the U.S. had paid relatively little attention to this form of warfare since the end of the Cold War.
He said: "It was certainly a wake-up call for the Americans.
"It would tie in with what we see the Chinese trying to do, which appears to be to deter the Americans from interfering or operating in their backyard, particularly in relation to Taiwan."
In January China carried a successful missile test, shooting down a satellite in orbit for the first time.
The Chinese consider themselves to be in competition with us -- at War if you will. It's not a shooting war, but a War just the same. There's value in putting it in the US Navy's head that they can't safely push a carrier battlegroup into Taiwanese waters should a real shooting war start.
Frankly, I think the sub was sitting nearly motionless in restricted waters having been alerted to the possible track of the CVBG. Then they just 'pop-up' when the get the acoustics in stereo. Let's see if they can do it in deep water or without their satellite 'eyes'.
You can thank Mr. William Jefferson Clinton for that.
The question is, just how much technology did Clinton give China for all that payoff money he recieved for the Chinagate incident? Are the payoffs by Hsu and other Chinese to Hillary further payment?
Here is what you do.
Make every sentence a paragraph.
He pretty much says the same thing over and over in his article.
But with all those paragraph breaks, it looks like he has a long column.
I almost think he relished writing this piece.
Mathew did not seem alarmed that the lives of American sailors might be at risk, or that Taiwanese security has been lessened.
Some people on the left see nothing wrong with communism, or real tyrants. They imagine President Bush is a tyrant. It’s that old “moral equivalence” thing. If Mathew had his head screwed on straight, he'd realize this is nothing to smirk about.
My own inside sources told me that the sub was...uh, "convinced" to surface, and that the sub itself, and not the carrier, was what was in danger.
No, McCain’s A-4 was the one hit by a Zuni. There were a number of factors that led to the severity of that fire, including superannuated 1000 pound bombs (some of pre-WWII vintage!) and most of the crew not having a good grounding in fire fighting when the first line fire fighters were taken out by the secondary explosions.
Chain rattling again or have they come up with something high tech? No,don’t tell me what it is. I have no need to know.
We don't need ASW platforms anymore, since the USSR collapsed.
Nope, detected it at a safe distance from the carrier, and run all over the top of it pinging the hell out of it, to send THEM a message, instead of them sending US a message.
“Id also have to think that it might be to our advantage to let them think we cant detect their subs.”
I like your way of thinking. It leads to a possible explanation of the statement posted below from the article, which to me seems a manufactured response to a “Duh, that’s what subs do” question:
“It also led to tense diplomatic exchanges, with shaken American diplomats demanding to know why the submarine was “shadowing” the U.S. fleet while Beijing pleaded ignorance and dismissed the affair as coincidence”
“I think it shows the folly of investing a lot of money in new surface fleets. I think the surface warship may be obsolete.”
No, it doesn’t. It does, however, highlight the need for new and improved sonar gear.
I wouldn't count on that. The sub driver may have not been playing by the normal rules of peacetime engagement. We could hardly drop depth charges or other ordnance on him. Well, one of the attack subs could, after all who would know, other than the crew of our sub would of course. But they don't call 'em the "Silent Service" for nothing. So if he just kept driving in, in spite of being detected, pinged and otherwise humiliated, there really wouldn't be much our guys could do to drive him off.
An OHPr myself - god I loved huntin’ the shadows with that tail. This happened a lot with the russians before - someone mentioned that diesels are hard to detect - this is true. But I still caught quite a few japanese and korean diesels before they could do much. I think as with our “cia” skills - we have laxed off in our asw skills as well.
My real question though is where was the Battle group sub. My guess is they were sitting behind and below the diesel and watching the whole thing - of course if it had been a real situation ....
That does seem to be the theory.
Of course if we really are detecting these subs by some yet unknown, more or less, method, but which we don't want to expose, for obvious reasons, we still have plenty of ways to sink 'em, if and when the time comes. Why show our hand now?
For example, I seem to remember reading something about using radar or other sensors on satellites to detect the disturbance, (displacement of the water by the sub) caused by a moving sub.
I remember reading something 20 years ago about using lasers to detect the vibration of glass windows to determine the conversation going on within a room. My physics background saws that it would not be impossible (though difficult) to determine via some detectable wavelength such a disturbance as you note.
That’s a lot to hope. I hope our navy doesn’t get stuck on the wrong side of a paradigm shift, like the British in early 1942.
The sub could have been on the bottom, silent, waiting for the group to pass overhead, then surface.
Another problem for the science boys to fix...
“No. It was a missile from another plane that hit his.”
So he managed to get shot down sitting on the carrier deck? Not a good omen for him.