Recently, a maritime protection and rescue flotilla of the North China Sea Fleet under the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted a submarine rescue and lifesaving drill in the waters of the Yellow Sea. The success of this drill marks that the flotilla has the ability to conduct deep sea rescue for all types of submarines of the PLA Navy.
Source – China.org
Washington D.C., Dec. 20 (CNA) The head of an American think tank suggested Thursday that Taiwan should purchase submarines to strengthen its naval deployment amid the growing military imbalance between Taiwan and China
Taiwan can put pressure on the Chinese armed forces with a stronger naval defense that includes submarines, argued Scott Bates, president of the Washington-based Center for National Policy (CNP), at a panel discussion in which he and two other U.S. scholars shared their observations from a trip to Taiwan in early December.
“It seems this (submarine) is a perfect naval asset for the defense of Taiwan in the protection of freedom and navigation in the Straits, in the South China and in the East China seas. And the current array of submarine forces that Taiwan has is not up to achieving those missions,” Bates said.
Although Taiwan’s policies do not include attacking Chinese civilians, its Air Force and Navy are not currently strong enough to deter China’s People’s Liberation Army, Bates said.
Taiwan’s people may currently be unwilling to spend too much on national defense, which can cost a lot, but Taiwan still has to recognize the military imbalance across the Taiwan Strait, Bates warned.
One of the ways the country’s military wants to address the imbalance is by buying advanced F-16 C/D fighter jets from the United States to bolster its arsenal, but Washington has yet to agree to the sale.
Bates suggested, however, that Taiwan consider other air assets than the more expensive F-16 C/D aircraft.
“I would suggest the Taiwanese consider the development of drone assets as well for the air. I think there are a lot of air assets that they can think about that are not as expensive and so that each year you’re not set up for the idea that if you get this one magic system all will be well,” Bates said.
“I think that other options need to be developed. (That) doesn’t mean you give up on getting those other assets but you look at some new ones as well.”
Taiwan’s Air Force can hardly be compared with that of China, Bates said, but it could put pressure on the Chinese armed forces with a stronger naval defense.
Bates also suggested that the U.S. government provide military training and defensive arms to Taiwan.
Source – Focus Taiwan
State arms exporter Rosoboronexport has signed a framework agreement with China on the joint development and construction of four non-nuclear Amur-1650 conventional submarines for the Chinese Navy, a news report said Thursday.
The final contract is tentatively worth $2 billion and is expected to be signed by the parties no earlier than 2015, Kommersant reported.
The agreement stipulates for two of the submarines to be built in Russia and two in China, with special provisions in place in the contract to ensure that no intellectual property is copied from the Russian side, a source close to Rosoboronexport told the business daily.
An additional agreement for the first stage of work could be signed by the end of the year, he said, adding that a Russian contractor had not yet been selected for construction of the submarines.
China may become the first buyer of the Amur-1650 submarines, beating out India and Venezuela, both of which previously expressed interest, Kommersant said.
Another source close to the arms exporter said the submarine contract “is very important for Russia and tops the presidential list of projects with China.”
Source – The Moscow Times
When commentating as a guest on People’s Daily Online, naval expert Li Jie said that submarines independently designed by China are close to those of the United States, Russia, Germany and Japan in performance indicators, despite slight gaps from developed countries in terms of power plant and noise.
Li Jie explained that China’s process of designing and building submarines has been actually getting mature and increasingly improved. By virtue of the intelligence and wisdom of Chinese people, China has made significant achievements in submarine design. The submarines independently designed by China have no big problems but some slight gaps in noise, material application and power supply.
Li Jie added China’s submarines are very close to nuclear submarines developed by the U.S. and Russia as well as conventional submarines developed of Japan and Germany in performance indicators, with narrowing gaps with them. Specifically, China has made improvements in mute effect, invisibility, material application, underwater hitting power, while we are also developing long-range, short-range, anti-ship and ballistic missiles. Additionally, we are also making effort to improve AIP submarines, and have made a great progress.
Source – Peoples Daily online
India expanding submarine force to meet China threat
The government of India has approved $10 billion in funding to vastly expand and improve the Indian Navy’s undersea warfare capabilities. Shipbuilders in France, Germany, Russia and Spain are this week lining up bids on the new Indian Navy project which comes less than a year after $18 billion was funded to equip the Indian Air Force with new Rafale fighter aircraft.
The new project includes next generation diesel-electric attack submarines to augment the current fleet which consists of 10 Kilo Class of Russian design; four modified German Type 209 Class and two nuclear powered Akula Class attack submarines leased from Russia. An additional six Scorpene Class diesel-electric submarines of French & Spanish joint design are being built at India’s Mazagon Dock Ltd. shipyards.
Though the total number of new submarines has not been decided, the newer subs will be larger than the six Scorpenes currently building and would include both land attack missile capability and air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems; developed by Swedish naval engineers allowing a diesel-electric submarine to run their ‘air breathing’ engines at low power in conjunction with batteries while submerged for three or more weeks almost as stealthily as a nuclear submarine.
Defense analyst and international security experts alike often ponder confusedly as to why India feels the need for a powerful ‘blue water’ navy in a region with no serious naval power present aside from the United States with whom India has had more or less friendly relations since the end of British rule in 1947; the answer of course being China.
India and China have had tensions off and on since Communist China’s victory over the Nationalist Chinese in 1949. The two nations finally came to blows in a brief border war in 1962. China is a long time supporter of India’s arch nemesis Pakistan. Until recently however, there was no serious naval threat posed to India by China’s minor coastal naval force; separated by the whole of Southeast Asia from the Indian Ocean.
However in tandem with Chinese naval expansion was an expansion of inroads in the Indian Ocean region with purchases of local sea port facilities and airports or investment in joint ventures to expand such facilities or build new ones in partnerships with Burma, Thailand, Seychelles and Pakistan. Projects particularly troublesome to India since all Chinese companies are owned in some fashion by the Chinese government despite the widely held belief in Chinese ‘privatization’.
The sea ports and air ports would provide China bases from which to operate naval aircraft and vessels against Indian seaborne commerce and naval forces on a much shorter logistical leash than if they tethered to bases in China. Of particular concern is China’s fleet of 50 diesel electric submarines which could easily operate out of friendly ports in the Indian Ocean.
India clearly recognizing the problem is now embarking on the best solution $10 Billion can buy. India is also expanding its surface battle fleet with purchases of the former Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov (renamed Vikramaditya) and the Russian designed Talwar Class stealth frigates for air defense and anti-submarine warfare. India has also begun domestic construction of two 65,000 ton aircraft carriers. There have however been delays and disputes with the Russians over quality and workmanship on the frigates and the rebuilt Gorshkov.
Source – Examiner