A Good Submarine Article
Normally, when I see an article about submarines in the mainstream press, my first reaction is to laugh at all the inaccuracies. Therefore, I was surprised today to find, via The Sub Report, a really good article in the Washington Times giving an overview of the Chinese submarine fleet.
"A newer domestic-built submarine is the Song. The first prototype failed and had to be redesigned, but the bugs seem to have been worked out. Song-class submarines reportedly are equipped with Air Independent Propulsion, enabling them to be very quiet and remain underwater for weeks. And they carry modern anti-ship cruise missiles. Song-class submarines are in production, with seven currently in service. "
"Last year, The Washington Times reported the appearance of yet another new non-nuclear Chinese submarine, the Yuan-class, which appears to be a completely new design combining elements of China's Song and Russia's Kilo submarines. Two Yuan-class boats have been launched to date. Over the last three years, China has launched 13 new submarines from three different shipyards.
"But most notable was Beijing's purchase from Russia of four Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines, two of which are Project 636 type. These are excellent submarines, quieter than most, and have modern sensors and torpedoes. China has ordered eight more advanced Kilos, described by the Russians as "state-of-the-art Russian submarines." They will carry modern long-range anti-ship missiles, and are to be delivered by 2007.
"Beijing also is improving its nuclear-powered submarines. For years China had six nuclear-powered subs, five Han-class attack submarines and one Xia-class ballistic missile submarine, which were very noisy and leaked radiation, among other problems. But the nuclear reactors have been rebuilt and French electronics and sonar equipment added. They now carry submarine-launched cruise missiles."
While I still don't think that China will dare challenge the U.S. for at least 15 years, this article gives excellent background information for anyone considering a reduction in the U.S. Navy's submarine capabilities (not that I don't say "ASW capabilities" -- for all intents and purposes, only submarines can fight other modern submarines).
Staying at PD...