Video Above : If China Invades Taiwan, how Does U.S. React?
A Chinese-government-backed newspaper is saying the People’s Liberation Army is “encircling” Taiwan with warships, bombers, helicopters, fighter aircraft and Y-8 anti-submarine war aircraft.
Citing a series of ongoing “war drill,” the Global Times identified a China Central Television video showing the PLA Navy’s “Changchun” destroyer launching Ka-28 vessel-based anti-submarine helicopters.
Submarine hunting appeared to be a major emphasis of the exercises, the Chinese paper reports, as the Y-8 is reported to have dropped sonobuoys for “wide-range” detection of submarines. However, it is not clear how precise or effective these sonobuoys are and they may or may not have the reach necessary to actually find submarines.
The Chinese paper said the sub-hunting exercise was successful.
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“The Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft dropped sonobuoys for wide-range detection, the Ka-28 helicopter assisted in precision locating, and the destroyer conducted thorough search. After locating the target, the destroyer conducted a simulated attack and immediately released countermeasures for defense,” the Global Times reports.
It would make sense if China were focusing on submarine hunting in waters near or around Taiwan, Japan and the South China Sea, given that US Virginia-class attack submarines likely provide a substantial US undersea advantage. While much is not known about the location, mission objectives or technological capacity of Virginia-class submarines for understandable security reasons, the Tomahawk-armed undersea platforms now leverage several key innovative technologies intended to improve “quieting” and minimize detection.
This is quite significant as US attack submarines, in terms of undersea surveillance, an ability to launch undersea drones and capacity release massive amounts of torpedo and cruise missile firepower, would likely prove rather decisive in any kind of a confrontation with the Chinese Navy.
It could even be argued that US Navy attack submarines could be a main reason why a Chinese amphibious assault on Taiwan could be destroyed. Should they remain undetected or out of range, Virginia-class submarines could launch armed mini-drones to find Chinese ships, launch next-generation, precision-guided torpedoes and even deploy small teams of highly lethal Special Operations forces for targeted attack or scout missions.
Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest and President of Warrior Maven -the Center for Military Modernization. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.