China’s submarine fleet is catching up to that of the United States, causing concern among allies.


China’s submarine fleet is catching up to that of the United States, causing concern among allies.

China’s ambition for massive military modernization includes the addition of new, more advanced submarines to the world’s largest navy, prompting regional allies to scurry to obtain new capabilities of their own.

The P-8 Poseidon, a passenger plane-sized submarine killer, is their response to the rising underwater menace, and orders are coming in from countries like Australia and India. Both are participants of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which includes the United States and Japan as part of a loose alliance aimed at ensuring a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom are among the countries that have purchased the plane.

It’s no coincidence, according to a senior Pentagon intelligence official, that countries are buying up the anti-submarine warfare platform.

“China is developing its undersea warfare capacity outside the South China Sea, posing a strategic threat not just to countries with territorial disputes, but to the whole Pacific region,” the official told The Washington Newsday. “The ability to detect and track Chinese submarines is critical for partner countries’ national security. The P-8 Poseidon is the most capable aircraft for the job.” “The P-8 is the best answer to combating Chinese submarines,” the official stated, citing the P-8’s advanced anti-submarine warfare suite. The P-8 and its submarine-fighting counterpart, the P-8A, are “deployed around the world, with more than 135 aircraft in service and over 400,000 aggregate mishap-free flight hours,” according to a Boeing representative. However, even with these new capabilities, China’s prowess continues to grow, making it a formidable opponent as tensions simmer across Asia’s oceans.

China possessed 50 diesel-powered attack submarines, six nuclear-powered attack submarines, and four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, according to the US military’s current assessment of Chinese military capabilities, published in September 2020. The United States is thought to have 68 nuclear-powered submarines, while China’s fleet is fast growing.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s submarine development is a “top priority,” according to the report, and the force “will likely sustain between 65 and 70 submarines into the 2020s, replacing aging units with more capable units on a near one-to-one basis.”

China has decided to modernize. This is a condensed version of the information.


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