Archive for the ‘submarine’ Category

Rising navy, assertiveness behind US-China flap

March 11, 2009

China’s weekend scrap with a U.S. Navy surveillance ship is drawing attention to a new submarine base that Beijing is using to strengthen its presence on the strategically vital South China Sea, which it claims as a whole.


For the second day running, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing fired back Wednesday at U.S. complaints over what the Pentagon called harassment of the U.S. Navy mapping ship by Chinese boats in international waters about 75 miles (120 kilometers) off its southern island province of Hainan.

U.S. claims that the USNS Impeccable was operating legally within China‘s exclusive economic zone when it was harassed by Chinese boats are “gravely in contravention of the facts and unacceptable to China,” spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement posted on the ministry’s Web site.

Ma’s comments, a virtual repeat of those made at a news conference Tuesday, showed neither side was prepared to back down, even as they prepare for a much-anticipated first meeting between Hu and President Barack Obama at next month’s G20 summit in London.

The issue also could come up Wednesday in Washington, where Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Defense Department officials say the Impeccable was on a mission to seek out threats such as submarines and was towing a sonar apparatus that scans and listens for subs, mines and torpedoes. With its numerous Chinese military installations, Hainan offers rich hunting for such surveillance.

Of particular interest is the new submarine base near the resort city of Sanya that is home to the Chinese navy’s most sophisticated craft.

Photographs of the base taken last year and posted on the Internet by the Federation of American Scientists show a submarine cave entrance and a pier, with a Chinese nuclear-powered Jin class sub docked there.

While little else is known, its location on the South China Sea offers the People’s Liberation Army Navy access to crucial waterways through which much of the shipping bound for Japan and Northeast Asia must travel.

Read the rest:

Kilo submaine is a Russian design.  China, Iran and India also have these very quiet subs.

Russia’s new sea-based ballistic missile fails

December 23, 2008

Russia’s new sea-based ballistic missile has failed in a test launch for the fifth time, signaling serious trouble with the highly advertised key future component of the nation’s nuclear forces.

The Bulava “self-destructed and exploded in the air” after a launch from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine beneath surface of the White Sea, said Navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo.

Russia has been making an aggressive effort in recent years to upgrade its missile forces after years of post-Soviet underfunding and a lack of testing.

The Kremlin has hailed the missile as capable of penetrating any prospective missile defenses.

By MANSUR MIROVALEV, Associated Press Writer

Washington’s plan to deploy a ballistic missile defense system in Eastern Europe has sparked increasingly belligerent comments from the Kremlin and the Russian military, who say it will undermine the nation’s security.

The Bulava is reportedly designed to have a maximum range of about 6,200 miles (10,000 kilometers) and carry six individually targeted nuclear warheads. It is expected to equip three new Borei-class nuclear submarines that are under construction.

“This is a serious blow to Russia’s military plans to deploy the Borei submarines,” said independent military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer. “The failure delays (Bulava’s) production and deployment indefinitely.”

Russian news agencies said that Tuesday’s test was the fifth failure out of 10 launches since 2004. During the last successful test in late November it hit test targets on the Kamchatka Peninsula, some 4,000 miles (5,500 kilometers) to the east of the launch site in less than 15 minutes after the launch.

Windfall oil revenues in recent years have allowed the Kremlin to buy weapons and fund the development of new missiles. But a plunge in oil prices coupled with the ongoing financial crisis cast doubt over the future of the troubled weapon.

The navy said several more launches of the Bulava are planned for next year.