A rude shock to American military superiority

US was surprised and shocked to see a Chinese submarine apeeared suddenly from nowhere in the midst of US / Japan naval drill in the East China Sea. The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced When the U.S. Navy deploys a battle fleet on exercises, it takes the security of its aircraft carriers very seriously indeed.At least a dozen warships provide a physical guard while the technical wizardry of the world's only military superpower offers an invisible shield to detect and deter any intruders.That is the theory. Or, rather, was the theory. Uninvited guest: A Chinese Song Class submarine, like the one that sufaced by the U.S.S. Kitty HawkAmerican military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk - a 1,000ft supercarrier with 4,500 personnel on board.By the time it surfaced the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine is understood to have sailed within viable range for launching torpedoes or missiles at the carrier. According to senior Nato officials the incident caused consternation in the U.S. Navy.The Americans had no idea China's fast-growing submarine fleet had reached such a level of sophistication, or that it posed such a threat.One Nato figure said the effect was "as big a shock as the Russians launching Sputnik" - a reference to the Soviet Union's first orbiting satellite in 1957 which marked the start of the space age. The incident, which took place in the ocean between southern Japan and Taiwan, is a major embarrassment for the Pentagon. Battle stations: The Kitty Hawk carries 4,500 personnelThe lone Chinese vessel slipped past at least a dozen other American warships which were supposed to protect the carrier from hostile aircraft or submarines.And the rest of the costly defensive screen, which usually includes at least two U.S. submarines, was also apparently unable to detect it.According to the Nato source, the encounter has forced a serious re-think of American and Nato naval strategy as commanders reconsider the level of threat from potentially hostile Chinese submarines. It also led to tense diplomatic exchanges, with shaken American diplomats demanding to know why the submarine was "shadowing" the U.S. fleet while Beijing pleaded ignorance and dismissed the affair as coincidence. Analysts believe Beijing was sending a message to America and the West demonstrating its rapidly-growing military capability to threaten foreign powers which try to interfere in its backyard. The People's Liberation Army Navy's submarine fleet includes at least two nuclear-missile launching vessels. Its 13 Song Class submarines are extremely quiet and difficult to detect when running on electric motors. Commodore Stephen Saunders, editor of Jane's Fighting Ships, and a former Royal Navy anti-submarine specialist, said the U.S. had paid relatively little attention to this form of warfare since the end of the Cold War. He said: "It was certainly a wake-up call for the Americans. "It would tie in with what we see the Chinese trying to do, which appears to be to deter the Americans from interfering or operating in their backyard, particularly in relation to Taiwan." In January China carried a successful missile test, shooting down a satellite in orbit for the first time. The above was posted by Southglory in redbeanforum. What else does Admiral Michael Mullen wants to know from the Chinese? In this case, the Chinese is telling the American to buzz off or else...they have the capability to down the carrier if they wanted to. The Chinese could keep quiet about this technology and capability and let the Americans continue to have war games in their coastal waters or operate happily thinking that they can do it with impunity. This is a piece of friendly advice from the Chinese. Don't play in out backyard and think you can walk in and out anytime you like. The Chinese can close the door on the Americans.


Matilah_Singapura said...

The days of the aircraft carrier fleet are nearly over.

But rest assured, the Yanks are changing.

Again, writers forget "what lies beneath" -- MONEY.

America has 1 trillion defense budget. Plus it can/ will print money as needed ;-)

Follow the money. War is business. Even if the US loses a war, the business of war makes money.

In fact, a "loss" is an opportunity: time to re-design the military == business opportunity.

Wally Buffet said...

The Song class attack submarine is diesel powered with wake homing torpedoes and anti ship cruise missiles.

In its known original design and specification, it would not get by electronic surveillance equipment listening in to sonar radar. The submarine was eventually discovered by visual contact from a surveillance aircraft over the waters.

This capability to evade radar suggests that the Chinese submarines may have been equipped with sophisticated stealth technology unknown to the Americans.

You're right. Surfacing the sub in the middle of a major naval exercise and pretending to act stupid and claimed that the encouter was coincidental is the Chinese polite way of telling the bullies that anytime they want to, that supercarrier is just a piece of cake ready to be swallowed.


Matilah_Singapura said...

Aiyah, you don't know who is the "better actor" in this scenario.

The Chinese Song surfaces, all hands "pretend" to be blur like sotong. "So sorry. We come in peace".

By the same token the US Navy could have spotted them but kept quiet and let them go. How do you know the Song wasn't being tracked or shadowed?

Chinese Song surfaces. Chinese crew fain "surprise".

US crew can also fain "surprise" "Gee, how did that happen?"

Make media announcement: "WOW, we were caught off guard".

Back to military-industrial complex: apply to congress for "more funding" to beef up anti-sub warfare.

A good war strategy is not to look "too perfect" all the time.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Yep, Americans can feign blind and let the sub to come into their midst. I am not sure how much time it needs to open the torpedo hatch and how many seconds needed to fire a torpedo. Here it is 4000 men and a few hundred aircraft at risk.

If the sub is hostile, sinking an aircraft carrier today is 1000 times worst than Pearl Harbour.

Would the Americans dare to take such a risk and pretend they don't know?

Anonymous said...

When Pearl Harbour was attacked, the Americans were indeed fooled. I wouldn't say fooled, rather they let their guard down knowing that negotiations were still going on in Washington and war had not been declared yet.

The best strategy is getting in and striking when they least expected it.

Were the Chinese just testing new stealth technology, or the Americans just playing blur? Who knows?

Wally Buffet said...

Only when the Americans are in heaven before the Jade Emperor will we know who is bluffing whom.

If you network with Americans, you'll know that they are straight talking, no nonsense gung ho rednecks especially when it comes to warfare. They have neither the time nor the patience and most importantly the finesse or subtlety to feint ignorance or stupidity.

It's brute force all the way, mate!


Matilah_Singapura said...

The point is any body can be fooled. And groups of specialists and experts can be fooled too. The human brain is built for delusion :-)

All "fooling" comes with risk -- sometimes you have to risk "loss" to get your adversary to show themselves. No surprise there.

When there is money, power and geo-politics involved, sometimes ordinary people will never know the objective truth.

Pearl Harbour and 9/11 -- American forces fooled into thinking their "Security" was adequate. Any form of security can be exploited, and usually is.

To me surfacing in the middle of a battle group can also be a "bad move": you are "showing your hand". But that could be tactical too.

There no way of knowing for sure either way.

I posted a Spy Vs Spy video link before. Have a look and laugh.

Matilah_Singapura said...


> If you network with Americans, you'll know that they are straight talking, no nonsense gung ho rednecks especially when it comes to warfare.<

How do you know for certain that they are not "acting" so you believe what they want you to believe? ;-)

Wally Buffet said...


Only Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and my all time favourite, Robert De Niro can act.

The rest of the Americans, especially those stiff and staid generals and admirals (think Admiral Michael Mullen), they're as straight, honest and direct as a pastor presiding over a funeral.

Wait, there's one great actor by the name of George W junior. You might have heard about him.


Matilah_Singapura said...

I'm just finishing the last chapter of this book. If you don't read anything else in the next 6 months, put this one on your list. Also available as audiobook.

The Invisible Gorilla

On par with other perenial 'skeptic' classics Demon Haunted World, Flim Flam! and Why People Believe Weird Things.

The point I make:

Without randomised, blinded and controled testing using large data sets and many repeated tests, it is IMPOSSIBLE to verify whether a claim is true or false.

You can be "right" of course, but that is just a guess. Some call it "luck", some call it "intuition". Maybe. What it IS NOT, is science -- cold, impersonal, objective...science

Steve said...

This incident happened in 2006 and not the current USA/Japan navy exercises....

agongkia said...

Nothing to be surprise or shock.China also have.....oops ,top secret.
My grandfather told me that a kung fu expert should not reveal his kungfu unnecessary till the need to expose it and last resort.
When China expose its capability,I am a bit concern.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Er, agongkia,

By not showing any ability to strike back, it will embolden the adventurer to become more daring and the likelihood of having a war is much higher.

By showing that China can deliver a deadly blow, the adventurer will have to be more careful, and a conflict can be avoided.

China is trying to avoid a conflict with the US by opening one of its covered cards. It still has many that are not opened.

agongkia said...

By revealing that you got good Wing Chun,your opponent will think of a better boxing style to counter attack.
By not revealing,you can caught the opponent in surprise, and one Wing Chun blow can be fatal and stop all the nonsense.
But never mind ,besides Wing Chun still can shao Lin and other secret Qing kung,can fly and attack opponent without them knowing.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Steve, welcome to the blog.

The Chinese are working very hard to neutralise the carrier group an have achieved some successes. The carrier group is no longer able to cruise as they like when hostility breaks out. It will be the first to he hit and sunk.

Don't think they will dare to be within 100 miles from the Chinese coast. It is a high value sitting duck target from the sea and air. The sub just proved that it can deal it a deadly blow. And as you said, that was in 2006.