At The Stupid Shall Be Punished:
USS Kitty Hawk And The Chinese Sub
More on the story noted yesterday. Of particular interest:
The media will probably try to make a big deal out of the presence of Asheville and Seawolf in the exercise, and claim that even our vaunted nuclear attack subs couldn’t stop the Chinese sub from approaching the carrier. Even if that is true, it’s more likely that the subs would have been some distance off, tasked with preparing for the exercise. To re-iterate: any decent diesel boat could approach this close to a carrier during peacetime. This doesn’t mean they could do it during periods of heightened tensions. The Chinese Song-class sub is a tiny little 2,250 ton boat that is the first indigenously-designed Chinese boat; it’s probably about two generations behind Western or Russian diesel boats.
Yes, this isn’t an earth-shaking event. And, like the Iranian drone that supposedly shadowed our carrier in The Gulf, there are ways of looking at this incident which probably underscores the fact that our potential enemy is struggling to enter the modern age. But both should also demonstrate that these potential enemies are not sitting back. We shouldn’t be, either.
For all we know, our own subs had the Chinese Song-class boat dead-to-rights all along. I certainly hope so. And our Navy would have very good reasons for not disclosing such a thing, particularly where diesel subs operated by China are concerned.
If we’re much more capable of tracking these things than common wisdom suggests, we could possibly be best served by keeping that fact quiet. If the shooting starts, the Chicoms all start sneaking up like they’ve been “successfully” practicing for years, and then BANG! they find themselves treading water a thousand feet down.
Overly optimistic? Maybe. Maybe even “probably”.
(Incidentally, if the Seawolf was in position but didn’t pick this thing up, we are in serious trouble.)