The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced

Song Class submarineDaily Mail – by Matthew Hickley Originally Published November 10, 2007

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 Hawk

American 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.

Kitty Hawk Battle stations: The Kitty Hawk carries 4,500 personnel

The 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.

Thanks to uninformedLuddite

21 thoughts on “The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced

  1. Incidentally this happened at around the same time that the mystery missile was seen off of California’s coastline.

    1. USS Kitty Hawk is the same carrier that rammed a Soviet Victor II class sub in WestPac 83-84. Killed 2 Soviet sailors. Sh!tty Kitty was experimenting with A/C power cycle rates that confused/masked her EM signature. Sub lost contact, went to surface & popped up in front of carrier. Carrier rammed sub (night-time). Left a piece of screw in hull of the Kitty Hawk.

      That missile shoot you refer to, was rumored in the ranks as Chinese Sub.

      1. Hi Bentspear,
        Were you aboard the shitty kitty (and the nickname has its reasons), during this incident? Just curious. I’ve not followed news of these things that closely.

        1. Yep….”W” Div….2 tours, 4 & 3 yrs. Did a NWAI on her in the 90’s & the CHT lines were still busting.

      2. And lets not forget the possable periscope EMP weapon used on the cruise ship the next day after the SLICBM…had engineroom/elec. fire and had to be towed to port…Im in LA and saw missile…

  2. This incident happened several years ago, and the Kitty Hawk has been retired for a couple years. Check out the dates (not mentioned in article), if you’re interested. I served on Kitty Hawk in ’67-8, and take some interest in Forestall class carriers. What is the agenda in bringing up this story now? Seems to me its propaganda with a purpose; fearmongering?, soliciting support for darpa and the military/industrial juggernaut? I don’t know, but it seems fishy, with the us/jap exercise going on. Just an opinion; Be well all, Rob

    1. No. It came from a comment on a different post. Sometimes we bring things like this over here just to share with one another, and of course everybody else is welcome. You may not believe it, but sometimes we will even bring up something written a couple of hundred years ago. The past can be important to deciphering the future.
      We put the original published date on the article. I have to believe you enjoyed putting forth your comment and straightening us out. LOL

      1. Henry,
        I understand. Just seemed a bit strange, but I see now the original date. Have to adjust my tinfoil hat.
        Thanks for what you provide, to keep us somewhat aware of what is going on. Be well, Rob

    2. Indeed. Why post this 2007 story as if it’s today’s headline? I’ll bet that the incident was “allowed” to happen even back then. Wasn’t it Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese military strategist who wrote: “When weak, feign strength. When strong, feign weakness.”? The Chinese are being set up for World War III, just wait and see.

      1. Well, ya know John. I used to work as a cook at a small town restaurant. The vets – young and old, disabled and retired – would come in and if they were to read/see this article they would sit a a table playin their cards and talking about something like this from opening till close bringing back some forgotten memories both good and bad. I know, I have seen it happen many times. And that is another reason a article like this is good sometimes John.

    3. It may be old stuff, but there is a lot of people who have lost fear of reprisal & are starting to come forward to tell verifiable truth. With Truth, Faith & Guts, we can & will root out the criminals that have led this Nation into ruination and rebuild without making the same old mistakes. We cannot rebuild with lies & deceit, for it won’t stand. We are living the example NOW.

  3. See now, this is what happens when they forget to invite the Canadians or if we decline to go.
    There are usually three reasons the Americans want us along.
    They know we have full bars on our ships, with Canadian beer,
    they know we can detect subs better than anyone, but can not do anything about it when we find one,
    also we can tell them where the country is they are supposed to attack, oops, i mean save.

    (old joke from the 80’s while serving in the Canadian Navy. I always wondered why the command staff spent so much time on a dinky little destroyer escort, when US aircraft carriers were in the group, and huge destroyers, etc. were right there. When i asked why there were so many big wigs onboard, i was told it was because we had booze and all the other countries had dry ships with no booze allowed. there was even a cartoon going around, showing the Canadians as the guy who brings the beer for the US military, with a ship shaped like a big keg. )

  4. This is, was, and will continue to be nothing new.
    Not just the Chinese, but Ruskies, even the cartels will pop up in our exercises. People get relieved, lookouts get put on report, trouble calls logged for sonar and CIC… blah-blah-blah.
    Problem is that our fleet is just space tape and international haze grey. We have awesome new toys, on one ship at a time. We have amazing technology, which was developed in the 1970s, and oriented towards the 1950’s. Our fleet is old, very old, in terms of this world. All of our upgrades are innovative, there is no more invention.
    The best analogy would be that we are the old men in the pub, we can hold our own, we can down-right kick some tail. But we know we are old, and we will brag about glory days until we die.

  5. Oct 2010 Chinese Jen class sub fires missile 200 miles off cali coast. local news chopper videos missile trail. media say it’s a commercial jet trail.
    google wayne madsen chinese sub

  6. Russian Sub Skirts Coast
    By: From the Trenches


    A Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine cruised within 200 miles of the East Coast recently in the latest sign Russia is continuing to flex its naval and aerial power against the United States, defense officials said.

    The submarine was identified by its NATO designation as a Russian Seirra-2 class submarine believed to be based with Russia’s Northern Fleet. It was the first time that class of Russian submarine had been detected near a U.S. coast, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of anti-submarine warfare efforts.

  7. Do you think the Chinese might get just a little pissed off when we steal all their money? OOPS there goes wall street!

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