New satellite images of a secret underground submarine base built by the Chinese and capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines further stresses the need for the United States to get serious about China’s modernizing naval capabilities.
Since the end of the Cold War China has built or acquired 30 submarines, consisting of up to five various classes. DoD estimates that by 2010 the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) will already have acquired five of the sophisticated, indigenously-built, Jin-class (Type-094) SSBNs.
But several recent events indicate that the
Additionally, the U.S. Navy moved a stepped closer to modernizing its anti-submarine capabilities with the news of a successful test of the MK54 “Fish Hawk” torpedo. Unlike conventional torpedoes, the Fish Hawk is being designed as a high-altitude deployable weapon that can be dropped from submarine-hunting aircraft at 15,000 feet and glided to a small target area further out to sea. While the Fish Hawk will work with the aging P-3 Orion, the Navy has envisioned it as part of the upcoming P-8 Poseidon fleet, the next-generation of long-range anti-submarine aircraft. The 108 P-8s scheduled to be built will be a much needed upgrade to the P-3, which Adm. Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, calls “tired iron.”