HMS Queen Elizabeth tracker LIVE: Chinese nuclear submarines are following the pride of the British fleet.
As simmering tensions with Beijing threaten to burst, Chinese nuclear attack submarines have attempted to monitor the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Anti-submarine sonar operators aboard the frigates defending the Carrier Strike Group discovered underwater vessels from China. As the carrier group exited the South China Sea and entered the Pacific Ocean, specialists in the operations rooms of HMS Kent and HMS Richmond discovered two 7,000-tonne Shang class submarines armed with potentially lethal cruise missiles. Before being identified by sonar radar, the ship was shadowed for a short time.
Within hours of leaving the highly contentious area of water in Asia, operators aboard the frigates ‘pinged,’ claiming maritime routes that China has claimed as its own after building multiple artificial islands.
A third Shang class vessel is also thought to have been discovered by a Royal Navy Astute class submarine while it patrolled ahead of the task force using a “running silent” procedure, in which the crew makes no noise to allow operators to locate any sub-surface contact.
“China is rapidly expanding its submarine fleet, and we must not underestimate them,” a naval source said, “but they lack the combat experience that US and UK submarine squadrons gained during Cold War operations in the deep dark regions of the Atlantic.”
“Beijing is employing technology to find our bases, but they are also deploying submarines to underline their greater purpose to achieve superpower status and control trade and security in the Pacific, which is illegal under international law.”
China presently operates six modern Type 093 class second-generation submarines that can stay at sea for 80 days with a crew of 85 and are capable of delivering supersonic ship-killing missiles.
Beijing has outgunned the Royal Navy and the United States Navy with a total of 66 submarines as it seeks to stretch its military strength in areas where President Xi Jinping has stated that his country will dominate trade and reunify Taiwan with mainland China.
“China’s military will take all necessary measures to deal with any provocation decisively and effectively,” said Chinese defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian last week.
Last week, the Chinese state-run Global Times issued a strong warning to both Britain and China.
In a video dialogue, its editor-in-chief declared that its two competitors lack “strength.” Brinkwire Summary News