fredag 3. desember 2021

Chinese submarine's alleged surprise show highlights risk of the unexpected at sea

The unexpected appearance of an alleged Chinese submarine in the Taiwan Strait this week has highlighted the dangers posed by the frequent presence of military vessels in the narrow waterway, which analysts warn could ultimately spark an unintended conflict. Writing on the Covert Shores blog Monday, submarine expert H.I. Sutton identified the vessel as a Chinese Type-94 nuclear-powered ballistic missile sub in a photo from the open source European satellite imagery service, Sentinel-2.

The sub was spotted allegedly cruising above the surface of the waters separating Taiwan from mainland China, where many analysts say conflict is more likely to start from an accidental collision than a planned event -- and the more warships in a confined space, the more chances there are for accidents to happen.

The reason for its alleged presence in the strait is unknown, but Sutton said it was likely the Chinese sub -- also known as an SSBN or boomer -- was on a routine mission, possibly heading back to a People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy port on the Bohai Sea for repairs or maintenance. But other experts who viewed the satellite image said the alleged presence of a boomer on the surface was perplexing.