09 July 2016
As the world focuses on the war of words between China and the US over the militarisation of the disputed South China Sea, a silent, underwater fight for supremacy between the two countries is heating up.
US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said in a speech in New York in April that the US would spend more than US$8 billion next year to ensure it had “the most lethal and most advanced undersea and anti-submarine force in the world”. That budget – a roughly 14 per cent increase – will include spending on the development of undersea drones. PLAN subs can operate more regularly with the facilities in the South China Sea, such as Fiery Cross, and they will be in a better position to monitor US naval movements Collin Koh Swee Lean, Nanyang Technological University
… Collin Koh Swee Lean, a submarine expert at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, said a newly built deep-water port at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratlys, more than 1,000km from Sanya, could extend the PLA Navy’s reach.
“We can see the PLAN subs having ‘longer legs’ in operating for more sustained periods in the South China Sea without the need to frequently return to their home bases in Hainan or the mainland coast,” Koh said. “PLAN subs can operate more regularly with the facilities in the South China Sea, such as Fiery Cross, and they will be in a better position to monitor US naval movements. Such ‘cat-and-mouse’ tracking and counter-tracking operations could be reminiscent of what happened between American and Soviet naval forces.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 11/07/2016