Red sub scare

SUBMARINES: The Chinese Threat (May 21, 2004 entry)

Last week I wrote about plans to possilby reduce the US Navy’s attack sub force and what this might mean, especially where the Chinese are concerned.

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?


  1. This should be a concern for the entire nation. Although, at present, our country is going through rounds of nation building, various peacekeeping activities and small wars — we have to remember that our long term threat comes from China (and Russia as well). We should not be entirely averse to large defense expenditures on ‘cold-war era’ weapons technology that is designed to fight large armies as some in the current administration or others in parts of the defense establishment have been. PS. Not to say that the Middle-East isn’t a long term problem itself, but that we should be prepared to deal with the next up-and-coming superpower — China — who would no doubt see the world in an entirely different dimension than that of the United States.

  2. This is disturbing news… Considering they are already building some nice fat aircraft carriers… and now this? This is truly troublesom. China will be our new Soviet Union in just a few years and we are the ones bankrolling it! However do not fret, my friend. The US Navy is working on super-cavitating torpedoes that will give us a huge advantage/force multiplier and will change the nature of submarine warefare completely just like how the rifle changed land warefare. And since Clinton isn’t in the White House, Chine wont have it for a very long time yet.

  3. I just don’t understand why the U.S. is looking for enemies in all corners of the world. China is only interested in its own business and nobody’s else. It is not interested to have spy planes, submarines, aircraft carriers just off New York or San Francisco. Why the U.S. think that it is its right to have these anywhere they want is just beyond any reasonable person’s understanding. A Chinese proverb most Chinese know: What you don’t like happening to you, we should not do it to others. That defines justice as well as anything I heard. The rise of China will see a fairer and better world where all peoples will have its place in the world.