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The Navy Might Finally Get the Cash to Fix One Its Greatest Flaws

Here Is China's Master Plan to Destroy America, Japan and Taiwan in Battle

In 2013, A U.S. Nuclear Attack Submarine Might Have 'Sunk' a British Aircraft Carrier

The Buzz

“Our stealth was high,” Borodulkin said. To prove his claims, the navigator gave Briggs the above blurry photo of a flattop, snapped through the Soviet sub’s periscope.

That wasn’t the only NATO carrier the Soviets tailed. In 1984 a Victor-class Soviet submarine played cat and mouse with the flattop USS Kitty Hawk off the Korean Peninsula. The Americans lost track of the Victor and, in the dead of night, the 80,000-ton carrier actually collided with the 5,000-ton sub.

“I felt the ship shudder violently and, going to the starboard side, I could see two periscopes and the upper part of a submarine moving away,” Kitty Hawk Capt. Dave Rogers told The Sydney Morning Herald. A Japanese patrol plane later spotted the apparently damaged Victor limping away at three knots.

In November the same year Illustrious, then a young vessel, passed within 500 yards of a Soviet Tango-class submarine during a Royal Navy exercise off the Scottish coast, according to The Robesonian newspaper.

When the Soviets introduced their own small aircraft carriers in the mid-1970s, British and American subs no doubt watched them as closely as Soviet undersea boats followed NATO flattops. But there were no public accounts of Western subs getting caught doing so until 2007, when a Russian newspaper reported that warships escorting the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov in the Atlantic pursued an unspecified submarine for half an hour.

The snooping sub reportedly got away by deploying self-propelled decoys.

After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, the Russian submarine force shrank considerably and, for a few years at least, was much less aggressive. The Russian carrier fleet declined to a single vessel, the Admiral Kuznetsov.

American attention gradually shifted east to the Pacific, where in the early 2000s China had launched a massive naval rearmament program that included refurbishing a former Soviet carrier, a sister ship of the Admiral Kuznetsov that was renamed Liaoning in Chinese service.

In addition to their new flattop, the Chinese built several new submarines per year on average, soon boasting a fleet of some 60 undersea boats—about as numerous as American subs.

Not nearly as large, advanced or active as U.S. subs, the Chinese boats were at a huge disadvantage. Beijing’s subs struggled to gather intelligence and develop wartime tactics. They enjoyed at least one dramatic success in October 2006, when a Chinese Song-class diesel-electric attack submarine quietly surfaced within nine miles of Kitty Hawk in the waters between Japan and Taiwan.

The Song-class vessel, displacing 2,200 tons, was close enough to hit the Kitty Hawk with a torpedo. None of the carrier’s roughly dozen escorting warships detected the Song until it breached the surface. American officers were flabbergasted.

“This could well have escalated into something that was very unforeseen,” said Adm. Bill Fallon, then commander of U.S. Pacific forces.

But it’s apparent that China is more scared of American submarines than the Americans are scared of Chinese boats. In 2012 Liaoning was finally ready to set sail from the Dalian shipyard. As Beijing’s only carrier facing a fleet of 10 American flattops, Liaoning was widely expected to stage from China’s most modern naval base on Hainan Island in the south, near Taiwan and Vietnam.

Instead Beijing announced the 70,000-ton carrier would be heading north to Qingdao. The apparent reason was that the area around Qingdao was already home to a squadron of Song-class submarines plus Type 091 nuclear subs. Those vessels are the best defense China possesses against the American and Japanese subs that will undoubtedly hound Liaoning every time she leaves port, practicing to sink the carrier in the event of war.

Doing, in other words, what submarines do best.

This first appeared in WarIsBoring here

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Revealed: How the Air Force Almost Brought Back the P-51 Mustang

The Buzz

“Our stealth was high,” Borodulkin said. To prove his claims, the navigator gave Briggs the above blurry photo of a flattop, snapped through the Soviet sub’s periscope.

That wasn’t the only NATO carrier the Soviets tailed. In 1984 a Victor-class Soviet submarine played cat and mouse with the flattop USS Kitty Hawk off the Korean Peninsula. The Americans lost track of the Victor and, in the dead of night, the 80,000-ton carrier actually collided with the 5,000-ton sub.

“I felt the ship shudder violently and, going to the starboard side, I could see two periscopes and the upper part of a submarine moving away,” Kitty Hawk Capt. Dave Rogers told The Sydney Morning Herald. A Japanese patrol plane later spotted the apparently damaged Victor limping away at three knots.

In November the same year Illustrious, then a young vessel, passed within 500 yards of a Soviet Tango-class submarine during a Royal Navy exercise off the Scottish coast, according to The Robesonian newspaper.

When the Soviets introduced their own small aircraft carriers in the mid-1970s, British and American subs no doubt watched them as closely as Soviet undersea boats followed NATO flattops. But there were no public accounts of Western subs getting caught doing so until 2007, when a Russian newspaper reported that warships escorting the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov in the Atlantic pursued an unspecified submarine for half an hour.

The snooping sub reportedly got away by deploying self-propelled decoys.

After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, the Russian submarine force shrank considerably and, for a few years at least, was much less aggressive. The Russian carrier fleet declined to a single vessel, the Admiral Kuznetsov.

American attention gradually shifted east to the Pacific, where in the early 2000s China had launched a massive naval rearmament program that included refurbishing a former Soviet carrier, a sister ship of the Admiral Kuznetsov that was renamed Liaoning in Chinese service.

In addition to their new flattop, the Chinese built several new submarines per year on average, soon boasting a fleet of some 60 undersea boats—about as numerous as American subs.

Not nearly as large, advanced or active as U.S. subs, the Chinese boats were at a huge disadvantage. Beijing’s subs struggled to gather intelligence and develop wartime tactics. They enjoyed at least one dramatic success in October 2006, when a Chinese Song-class diesel-electric attack submarine quietly surfaced within nine miles of Kitty Hawk in the waters between Japan and Taiwan.

The Song-class vessel, displacing 2,200 tons, was close enough to hit the Kitty Hawk with a torpedo. None of the carrier’s roughly dozen escorting warships detected the Song until it breached the surface. American officers were flabbergasted.

“This could well have escalated into something that was very unforeseen,” said Adm. Bill Fallon, then commander of U.S. Pacific forces.

But it’s apparent that China is more scared of American submarines than the Americans are scared of Chinese boats. In 2012 Liaoning was finally ready to set sail from the Dalian shipyard. As Beijing’s only carrier facing a fleet of 10 American flattops, Liaoning was widely expected to stage from China’s most modern naval base on Hainan Island in the south, near Taiwan and Vietnam.

Instead Beijing announced the 70,000-ton carrier would be heading north to Qingdao. The apparent reason was that the area around Qingdao was already home to a squadron of Song-class submarines plus Type 091 nuclear subs. Those vessels are the best defense China possesses against the American and Japanese subs that will undoubtedly hound Liaoning every time she leaves port, practicing to sink the carrier in the event of war.

Doing, in other words, what submarines do best.

This first appeared in WarIsBoring here

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Is This North Korea's Fatal Missile Flaw?

The Buzz

“Our stealth was high,” Borodulkin said. To prove his claims, the navigator gave Briggs the above blurry photo of a flattop, snapped through the Soviet sub’s periscope.

That wasn’t the only NATO carrier the Soviets tailed. In 1984 a Victor-class Soviet submarine played cat and mouse with the flattop USS Kitty Hawk off the Korean Peninsula. The Americans lost track of the Victor and, in the dead of night, the 80,000-ton carrier actually collided with the 5,000-ton sub.

“I felt the ship shudder violently and, going to the starboard side, I could see two periscopes and the upper part of a submarine moving away,” Kitty Hawk Capt. Dave Rogers told The Sydney Morning Herald. A Japanese patrol plane later spotted the apparently damaged Victor limping away at three knots.

In November the same year Illustrious, then a young vessel, passed within 500 yards of a Soviet Tango-class submarine during a Royal Navy exercise off the Scottish coast, according to The Robesonian newspaper.

When the Soviets introduced their own small aircraft carriers in the mid-1970s, British and American subs no doubt watched them as closely as Soviet undersea boats followed NATO flattops. But there were no public accounts of Western subs getting caught doing so until 2007, when a Russian newspaper reported that warships escorting the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov in the Atlantic pursued an unspecified submarine for half an hour.

The snooping sub reportedly got away by deploying self-propelled decoys.

After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, the Russian submarine force shrank considerably and, for a few years at least, was much less aggressive. The Russian carrier fleet declined to a single vessel, the Admiral Kuznetsov.

American attention gradually shifted east to the Pacific, where in the early 2000s China had launched a massive naval rearmament program that included refurbishing a former Soviet carrier, a sister ship of the Admiral Kuznetsov that was renamed Liaoning in Chinese service.

In addition to their new flattop, the Chinese built several new submarines per year on average, soon boasting a fleet of some 60 undersea boats—about as numerous as American subs.

Not nearly as large, advanced or active as U.S. subs, the Chinese boats were at a huge disadvantage. Beijing’s subs struggled to gather intelligence and develop wartime tactics. They enjoyed at least one dramatic success in October 2006, when a Chinese Song-class diesel-electric attack submarine quietly surfaced within nine miles of Kitty Hawk in the waters between Japan and Taiwan.

The Song-class vessel, displacing 2,200 tons, was close enough to hit the Kitty Hawk with a torpedo. None of the carrier’s roughly dozen escorting warships detected the Song until it breached the surface. American officers were flabbergasted.

“This could well have escalated into something that was very unforeseen,” said Adm. Bill Fallon, then commander of U.S. Pacific forces.

But it’s apparent that China is more scared of American submarines than the Americans are scared of Chinese boats. In 2012 Liaoning was finally ready to set sail from the Dalian shipyard. As Beijing’s only carrier facing a fleet of 10 American flattops, Liaoning was widely expected to stage from China’s most modern naval base on Hainan Island in the south, near Taiwan and Vietnam.

Instead Beijing announced the 70,000-ton carrier would be heading north to Qingdao. The apparent reason was that the area around Qingdao was already home to a squadron of Song-class submarines plus Type 091 nuclear subs. Those vessels are the best defense China possesses against the American and Japanese subs that will undoubtedly hound Liaoning every time she leaves port, practicing to sink the carrier in the event of war.

Doing, in other words, what submarines do best.

This first appeared in WarIsBoring here

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