T Nation

Chinese Sub Pops Up


Undetected Near U.S.S. Kitty Hawk During Exercise

An unexpected visit by a Chinese Submarine that went undetected in the middle of a Pacific Ocean Naval exercise and came extremely close to the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, has American military chiefs looking for answers.

The sub was apparently able to slip past at least a dozen U.S. warships, two U.S. submarines and a vast array of advanced technology, which failed to detect it.

When the Navy deploys a battle fleet on exercises, they take the security of the aircraft carriers very seriously. At least a dozen warships are used to provide a physical guard, and using advanced technology they are able to detect and deter any potential intruders.

By the time the Chinese sub surfaced, the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine sailed within viable range for launching torpedoes or missiles at the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, a 1,000ft. super carrier with 4,500 military personnel on-board.


That's what happens when your "advanced technology" is Made in China.


Actually that's what happens when a US President "Clinton" allows technology to be sold to China....by Israel....


Israel has been stealing our secrets for decades now. I guess thats what happens when you are raised to have loyalties to a foreign flag based on your religion.

(no, not all Jewish Americans, but enough to cost the nation its military and technological secrets)


Wasn't Kelsey Grammer in this movie?


Reminded me of that movie too haha. Pretty scary though.


Not really. First of all, It's a parlor trick and not even a very new or good one. Imagine I go to Quantico and hide in the closet of one of the urban training environments during a non-live-fire exercise. I pop out and scare the shit out of all the soldiers present. Scary? Only if there were a hundred of me and we were all armed. Battle groups are noisy and use active sonar and aerial patrols to detect submarines, during peacetime, on an exercise, these measures aren't usually taken. These techniques were developed against the Nazi's diesel-electric subs in WWII, their efficacy against them are proven.

Secondly, it happened off the coast of Japan, it's a greater threat to them than it is to us. It was a threat maybe to the single aircraft carrier or to potential land targets, but diesel-electric version of Pearl Harbor would be a strategically horrible way to start a war. Might as well send in several airborne divisions into a couple of cities as a declaration of war.

Third, The Washington Times ran this story almost a year ago. If nationalterroralert.com were really concerned, they wouldn't have waited a year after the Times to run the story.


I am highly skeptical of this article. Approaching a US flag vessel unannounced is nearly impossible since the USS Cole and if you are another armed vessel I believe that it could be considered an act of war. I may be mistaken of course but the article stated that the sub was a diesel electric, and I can tell you that even with todays tech they are very loud compared to Nuclear vessels, and the run time on the submerged electric motors are not that long before they must surface or get close enough to use the snorkel. Again I may be wrong, of course if that is true we need to step up fleet security!


Diesel electric subs are much quieter than nuclear. So it is not surprising one could get that close.

The biggest advancement in diesel electric subs in recent years has been the use of atomic batteries (like they use in sattelites) to significantly increase the amount of time they can stay submerged.


It only got that close because the Kittywawk did not have proper screening. It is not a real task force, more of a training ship at this point.

I think it was a big mistake for the Chinese to let on that their subs are that quiet. Now we will shadow them better so we are not surprised again.


Really? I was always told that the diesels were much louder. I know that while they run under the electric motor they are quiet but I was under the impression that they could not stay submerged that long due to air filtration issues. Of course I never was much of a sailor, LOL!


Agreed. My understanding is that the range was surprising as well. Pretty much guarantees that the Japanese won't suffer a Pearl Harbor at the hands of the Chinese in the near future.


The problem comes in when you compare a quiet diesel engine (turned off) to a quiet nuclear reactor.


did you read this part?

" When the Navy deploys a battle fleet on exercises, they take the security of the aircraft carriers very seriously. At least a dozen warships are used to provide a physical guard, and using advanced technology they are able to detect and deter any potential intruders. "

according to the article they were on a training exercise. meaning they were using advanced technology and a dozen other ships to protect the aircraft carrier.

so either the chinese got by. or
the military wasnt following regulations.(protection even on an exercise/real-life scenario/using the dozen other ships and technology)


I read that. I googled the incident and read quite a few pages. It seems the Kittyhawk isn't part of a battle fleet, it is more of a training ship. It was on its way to meet the submarine screening force when it happened.

Of course I don't know the truth of anything. Just passing along what I read.


This is extremely deceptive. First of all, the term "Battle Fleet" is obsolete by about five decades. Secondly, if you assume they mean Carrier Battle Group, which has been the term since WWII, they were and are routinely under a dozen ships and can voluntarily change in size and capability. The Stennis Battle Group that has been operating in the Gulf until this Aug. is only 8 ships at it's largest. Third, as I said in a previous post, the Navy isn't using all of it's technology all the time. Especially in peaceful waters on a training exercise, it's wasteful in terms of resources and detrimental in terms of exposure and intelligence.

Given the shitty reporting, we could suppose that the battle group was dozens of the best U.S. ships escorting the Kitty Hawk with the latest and greatest the US has to offer or we could suppose that they were a handful of derelicts as old and as "sub-prone" as the Kitty Hawk. Sorry, nearly as old the Kitty Hawk (It is the Navy's oldest non-ceremonial vessel).

To be fair I guess, technically, you guys are right. The technology is falling behind and needs to be replaced (I can only assume that's why the Bush is being launched in 2009). But you act like this sub nearly sank the best technology the U.S. has to offer, when in reality it didn't even fire a torpedo (and it would've taken several direct hits to sink the Kitty Hawk) at the second oldest vessel our Navy has.