Chinese Submarine Closes In on British Aircraft Carrier

Chinese Submarine Closes In on British Aircraft Carrier

( – The United States military shot down a balloon belonging to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after days of it floating across the US. Various politicians and conservative news sources put pressure on President Joe Biden to actually do something to protect the sovereignty of the country. Trying to keep Beijing and the various branches of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in check requires surveillance in the air, on the high seas, and beneath the ocean surface on a regular basis by multiple countries. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently aired a documentary about an incident that took place involving the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy.

Freedom of Navigation

Every so often, the news will run a story about a United States Navy vessel operating near the Republic of China (ROC/Taiwan) or in other areas of the South China Sea to remind the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that there are rules that define what any nation may claim as its territory. The English did something similar when they sent the HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) Strike Group through the area in July/August 2021.

During that time, the British ships were shadowed by surface units of the Chinese PLA Navy, but then the frigates escorting the carrier, the HMS Richmond and HMS Kent, detected at least two Shang-class attack submarines following them underwater. The strike group immediately sprang into action and used the opportunity as an anti-submarine training exercise.

When searching for one of these hunters from beneath the waves, the defenders must determine the direction, distance, and depth using their sonar (Sound Navigation and Ranging). To assist with the detection and tracking, helicopters were launched and dropped a series of sonobuoys that send out sound waves that can bounce off of solid objects and send a “ping” back to the shipboard technicians.

When enough of these pings from the various locations get back to the ship’s computer, it can then pinpoint the submerged vessels with great accuracy. If this had been a time when hostilities had been declared, it would have allowed the Brits to use their arsenal of torpedoes and depth charges to attack and sink the submarines, but in this case, it just caused the Chinese commanders to wisely steer their boats away from the area in contention.

At the time, the CCP-controlled newspaper Global Times wrote an article that said their experts told them that the claims coming out of the United Kingdom about the interaction were simply “not credible.” They offered two theories on what they say is the truth behind the British claims.

First, they claimed the entire encounter was made up by the UK in an effort to show off to the world that they were joining America in challenging China’s sovereignty in the region. Alternatively, the Chinese said their submarines were in the area and had tracked the aircraft carrier and its escorts without being noticed. They then claimed they intentionally made their presence known, warning the British that they could have sunk their ships at any time had they chosen to do so.

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