Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Chinese Submarine Fleet Stirs

The Federation of American Scientists has issued an analysis of Chinese submarine deployment numbers over the last 25 years, based on FOIA information from the Navy. Here's how the story starts:
China's entire fleet of approximately 55 general-purpose submarines conducted a total of six patrols during 2007, slightly better than the two patrols conducted in 2006 and zero in 2005.
The 2007 performance matches China's all-time high of six patrols conducted in 2000, the only two years since 1981 that Chinese submarines conducted more than five patrols in a single year.
The new information, obtained by Federation of American Scientists from the U.S. Navy under the Freedom of Information Act, also shows that none of China's ballistic missile submarines have ever conducted a deterrent patrol.
The analysis by the FAS is pretty good. Basically, they say that the Chinese submarine force lacks proficiency in open-ocean operations, but considering that the force's mission is coastal defense, that might not mean the attack sub force is ineffective. We'll have to see which direction the numbers go in future years to see if the Chinese are really trying to develop a blue-water Navy by 2020.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never thought the Chinese are a threat to the U.S. They are slowly moving to Capitalism and just how many countries have they invaded in the last hundred years? Russia and Islam are our true enemies.

1/13/2008 12:01 PM

Blogger T.J. said...

I beg to differ anon,

The Chinese are a threat and they are waging war against us - it's an economic war and they are kicking are butts because we mostly do not even think we are in an economic war. Of course they are not a threat militarily - who is? (Russia is only in a nuclear exchange)

The Chinese at a time of their choosing can totally ruin the dollar and essentially pull back the curtain on our Wizard of Oz we have going on here. We have allowed our government to rack up a $9 Billion debt - we are the single biggest debtor this planet has ever known. China gets richer as we get more stuff. It won't last forever - I don't know what their angle is or their intentions - I do know we are behind the eight ball right now with them though.

1/13/2008 8:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made my first SpecOp in the Yellow Sea onboard a fleet snorkel boat in 1962. I did my last SpecOp in the Yellow Sea in 1974. Probably spent close to 10 months on station there during all those trips. Only saw one T-43 class minesweeper underway in all those years. Not only do those guys not have a blue water navy, they rarely get underway--period! There's a lot of smoke and mirrors going on with the Chinese naval threat. DoD is gonna go along so they can continue to ride the $$$$$ train for new ship construction like we did with the soviets. Remind me to tell you a story or two about how competent the soviet navy was.....

T.J. is right about the economic situation. We're selling our national debt to China. They can tell the prez to go fly a kite anytime they want. They don't even have to cash in, all they gotta do is tell him we're not buying anymore of your notes...

Yep!, WalMart and China own the USA....

My two cents......

Keep a zero bubble......

1/14/2008 1:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does a ballistic missile boat have to leave the dock to be effective?

I would think that an FBM could launch weapons from wher ever it was and be effective, as long as its missiles were within range of some type of meaningful target.

If a situation arose where an FBM did launch, that boat would probably not be heading home to reload for another go-round. What would be the point? And it there's no need to survive until reloaded, what's the point of going to sea in the first place? Are they not just land based ICBM being housed in a dock side launcher?

So I ask again, do the Chinese FBMs really need to leave the dock to be effective?


1/14/2008 11:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are considering a Chinese FBM as a first strike weapon, in which case being in port is just as good as a missle silo. But I think an FBM's true strategic advantage is as a second strike deterrent. If you can't find the sub, you can't account for those missles, therefore they are available for a return strike.

1/14/2008 12:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been saying for years to whoever would listen that the chinese are absolutely the biggest threat to us. Besides the economic threat, and the advanced cyber-threat, their Navy is transforming before our eyes.
They are building and buying advanced submarines and ships at a staggering rate, while we are not. They're being smart about it too...designing a Navy that may not be an open ocean one, but one that will fulfill their immediate need (defending a takeover of Taiwan perhaps, or their sovereign claim to the Spratley Islands, or both).
One example: The PLA Navy bought two Sovremmeny DDGs, and later two more Sovremmeny IIs from the Russians. This was a genius is a Cold War-era ship that has been designed after decades of research and trial and error with the specific intent to counter the US Navy. Rather than go through all the analysis and design, they just bought Russia's instead.
My crazy conspiracy theory is that China is quietly waiting, building, and probing. When the time is right (in the next ten years), they will invade Taiwan, and we will be hard-pressed to stop them. Wait and see...
As for their SSBNs, the missiles they currently have cannot hit the continental US from their own homeports, but almost. That will certainly change in the next few years.

1/14/2008 8:30 PM

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