Yesterday it was reported that the Iranians were routinely tracking US carriers with drones. Naval history is replete with example after example of unsinkable and invulnerable ships and fleets being reduced to being both sinkable and vulnerable. Virginia is going to be represented by a Senator James Webb, Jr, a Marine Corps veteran, former member of Ronald Reagan's cabinet, A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a Marine Corps infantry officer until 1972, and a Vietnam War combat veteran. During his four years with the Reagan administration, Webb served as the first Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, then as Secretary of the Navy. It would be very interesting to know what the Senator has to say about these two stories. I will send him a copy of this post and ask him.
The Washington Times is reporting this story:
China sub secretly stalked U.S. fleet
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 first of this new class of SSG (Type 039, 2,250t dived) was launched in May 1994 but not commissioned until 1998. Although it still retains the stepped conning tower similar to the old Ming/Romeo class, the overall design represents a major step forward compared with the obsolete Ming class. The improvement includes a hydrodynamically sleek profile, new cylindrical bow mounted sonars (H/SQG-04?) and German MTU 12V 493 diesel engine. With a large asymmetrical seven-blade skewed propeller, the Song class is much quieter than its predecessor. This class is also the first Chinese submarine capable of launching YJ-82 AShMs as well as new wire-guided torpedos (Yu-4G & Yu-6/Mk-48?) from its 533mm torpedo tubes. However, the construction of Type 039 ended after only a single hull (320) was built due to some design flaws. As the result, all boats following 320 are the improved Type 039G, the first of which (321) entered the PLAN service at the end of 2001. The 2nd 039G (322) was believed to be undergoing sea trial in late 2002. Since then at least three new hulls were launched at Wuhan Shipyard and two more at Jiangnan Shipyard, a clear indication that Type 039G has finally evolved into a mature design and entered series production. This version has the stepped conning tower removed making it similar to French Agosta-90B in external appearance. A new coat of anechoic tile is believed to have been applied to further reduce the noise. In additon it might be fitted in the future with an AIP system believed to have been tested onboard a Ming class SS. So far 6 more 039As (314-316, 318, 323-324) have been identified.
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.