SUBMARINES: The Chinese Threat (May 21, 2004 entry)
Today’s Strategy Page has a post about China’s plans to increase her sub force.
China has commissioned the first of a new class of Type 093 SSNs. These were built with help from Russia and France and are similar to the old Russian Victor III class SSNs. The 093s are quiet and modern in their equipment. By 2009, there will be at least three of them in service. More worrisome is the purchase of more Kilo class diesel-electric subs from Russia. China only has four Kilos (Type 035) now, but will have fifteen by 2009. These are very quiet boats, and use modern French and Russian electronics. And in 2009, three of the Kilos will have AIP (Air Independent Propulsion), which gives them long, silent, endurance underwater. China is still building its own diesel-electric subs, and are getting better at it. Buying ship construction technology from France and Russia, the Chinese submarine construction work force gets more skilled year by year. And all Chinese sub construction efforts are to build nuclear powered boats. Chinese submarine crews are getting a lot more time at sea, and China has bought modern torpedoes from Russia for all its subs.
Why is it that we’re always up against nations backed by Russia and France? They’re on our side. Right? Right? Come on, folks. We really should check with them before we decide what’s best for us. Right?