The covert underwater forces in China are testing the Pentagon

HONG KONG: Recent Visitors To The Bay Around A Submarine Base On The South Coast Of China ' S Hainan Island Describe A Strange Nightly Phenomenon. Powerful Spotlights Are Sometimes Trained Directly At Night On The Ocean Front Of Neighboring Hotels, Making Visibility To The Sea Virtually Impossible. Some Lights Are Mounted On Land And Others On Navy Flying Boats.

The Effect Is Incredible, A Recent Visitor Said. The Brilliance Is So Great That You Can Hardly Resist It On The Balcony. Go Inside And Close The Curtains. "

The Blinding Lights May Be Something Of Intense Interest In The World ' S Do Not Hide Military Intelligence Services: Proof That China Has Made A Breakthrough In Striving To Compete America And Russia As A Nuclear Weapon Force.

Satellite Images Demonstrate The Regular Presence Of Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines On A Strategic Basis Near The Resort Sanya. Specialized Surface Warships And Aircraft Designed To Protect The Subs Are Stalking Major Waterways Off The Coast. Base Facilities Appear To Have Been Built To Store And Load Ballistic Missiles. Antenna Series That Support The Hunt For Foreign Submarines Are Published On Chinese Islands In The South China Sea. And A Veteran Submarine Is Appointed To Command Chinese Troops In The South Of The Country.

Taken Together, This Means That China Has An Army Of Rocket Submarines That Can Launch Nuclear Attacks From Under The Waves And Now Look Like Patrols, According To Duty And Retired Naval Officers, Diplomats And Security Analysts. That Gives Beijing Something It Was Missing Until Recently: A More Reliable Second Battle Power When The Nuclear Weapon Arsenal Is Attacked On The Land.

After Six Decades Of Fighting To Combat Complex And Challenging Underwater Military Technologies, China Has Joined The United States, Russia, The United Kingdom And France In The Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine Club. In His Most Explicit Appraisal So Far Of This Chinese Power, Said It In His Last Annual Report On China ' S Military, Published In August, That Beijing Now Has" Credible" ; And Viable Sea Based Nuclear Deterrent.

An Effective Fleet Of Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines, Known As SSBNs, Marks A Dramatic Boost For The Nuclear Capacities Of China 's. Each Of The Four Jin-class Submarines In China Is Armed With Up To Twelve Ballistic Missiles That, According To The Pentagon, Can Transport A Warhead With An Estimated Distance Of 7,200 Kilometers (about 4,500 Miles). That Would Put The United States At A Very Short Distance From The Western Pacific. Analysts At The Washington Center For Strategic And International Studies Estimate That These Rockets Could Fly At Least 8,000 Kilometers. According To The US, China Has Up To 100 Nuclear Rockets Based On Land.

The Improved Nuclear Power Of Beijing Is One Of The Characteristics Of The Chinese Leader Xi Jinping ' S Ambitious Renewal Of The People ' S Liberation Army (PLA), The Largest Fighting World In The World. China ' S Nuclear Submarine Fleet, Saying Western Strategists, Has Added To The Challenge That The Ever More Powerful Chinese Army Forms US Domination In Asia.

The Opposite Side Can Never Be Exactly Certain That It Knows Where All Submarines Are, Said Peter Horobin, A Retired Australian Submarine Commander And Veteran Of The Cold War Battles To Detect And Monitor Soviet Submarines.

China ' S Department Of National Defense, The US Indo-Pacific Command, And The Pentagon Have Not Responded To Questions From Reuters.

It Is Still Unclear Whether The Chinese Deploy Fully Armed Submarines To Keep It Off For 24 Hours A Day, As Do The Other Submarine Forces Of Ballistic Missiles. Some Analysts Doubt That China Has Gone So Far.

But The United States And Their Allies Behave As If China Did. Western Military Officials Privately Say That America And Its Allies, Including Japan, Australia And The United Kingdom, Are Already Trying In Operational Terms To Follow The Movements Of The Rocket Submarines Of China As If They Were Fully Armed And On Deterrence Patrols.

When Asked About Their Role In Following Chinese Subs, Japan And The UK Said They Would Not Comment On Operational Details.

China ' S Military Modernization Is Consistent With Rapid Economic Growth, The Australian Ministry Of Defense Said. As With All Countries, We Encourage China To Be Transparent About Its Military Capabilities And Strategic Intentions To Offer Its Neighbors More Security.

Increase Inventory

An Armed Jin-class SSBN Gives China An Important Strategic Ability To Be Countered, Admiral Harry Harris, When Head Of The US Pacific Command, Told A Congressional Committee Last Year.

That Answer Seems To Be Happening. The United States And Their Allies Expand Their Anti-Submarine Navy Deployment In East Asia. This Includes Reinforced Patrols From The Advanced P-8 Poseidon Planes From America And Japan From Singapore And Japan.

With Its Relatively Small Nuclear Missiles, Beijing Has Always Been Concerned That It Is Vulnerable To A Debilitating First Attack. These Fears Were Magnified When Chinese Military Planners Looked At How Washington Used Precision Guns In Conflicts Such As The Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, Syria And The Balkans.

While It Strengthens And Enhances Its Nuclear Arsenal, Beijing Is The Only Large Nuclear Force That Adds Nuclear Warheads To Its Supplies. China Is Developing An Air-ventilated Ballistic Missile And Plans To Build A Long-range Stealth Bomber Capable Of Carrying Nuclear Weapons. With The Sea-based Deterrent Of The Second Attack, Those Programs Suggest That Beijing Eventually Plans To Exploit Three Air, Sea And Land-based Nuclear Weapons Such As The United States And Russia.

Over The Past Two Decades, The PLA Rocket Force, The Service That Controls China's Nuclear And Conventional Rockets, Has Invested Heavily In Expanding Its Supply Of Warheads And The Range And Accuracy Of The Rockets That Deliver Them. It Has Also Hardened The Protection Of Its Silo-based Nuclear Weapons, According To Reports In State Media Of China ' S. The Pentagon And Official Chinese Military Publications Have Reported That China Has Also Deployed Modern, Road-Mobile Rockets That Are More Difficult For An Opponent To Find And Attack.

Yet China Lags Far Behind The United States And Russia In The Overall Nuclear Firepower. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Estimates That China Has A Total Of 280 Nuclear Warheads. China Does Not Know How Many Of Its Warheads Are Used And Are Ready For Conflicts. The United States Has Deployed 1,750 Nuclear Warheads And 1,600 Russia, According To The Report From The Institute ' S 2018. The United States And Russia Have Each Held Thousands Of Warheads In Stock, According To The Report.

Hans Kristensen, Director Of The Nuclear Information Project Of The Washington-based Federation Of American Scientists, Said He Still Had No Hard Intelligence To See That Suggested China Placed Fully Armed Ballistic Missiles On His Submarines At Sea Despite Intense Activity . Only Because The Submarines Exist, He Said," That Doesn't Mean They Have The Weapons Aboard The Ships."

Although The Pentagon Recognizes That China Has Significantly Improved Its Nuclear Deterrence, It Is Not Convinced That Chinese Subtitles Perform Patrols 24 Hours A Day. In A January Report, The Defense Intelligence Agency Of The Pentagon ' That The Chinese Navy Need A Minimum Of Five Jin-class Submarines To Maintain Continuous Nuclear Deterrence At Sea. China Now Has Four.

Submarine Duels

A Fleet Of Nuclear Rocket Submarines Hidden In The Vast Ocean Could Help Reduce Beijing Nuclear Deficiencies, Chinese And Western Strategists Say.

Chinese Navy Designers And Nuclear Technicians Have Been Working On Building A Nuclear Submarine With A Nuclear Missile Since The Late 1950s. A Single Ship Was Launched In The 1980s, But It Was Never Fully Operational. This Submarine Served As A Testbed Because Chinese Technicians And Designers Struggled To Overcome Nuclear Propulsion Technology, Rocket, And Excessive Noise Issues, Making It Easier To Detect And Target Ships By An Opponent

To Maximize Its Second Force, The Rockets Of China ' Shortcut Be Enough To Stay Unnoticed While Sailing To Their Patrol Areas In The Open Ocean. US And Other Foreign Marine Analysts Say The Jin-class Submarines Are A Sharp Improvement Over China ' S Previous Efforts, But They Remain Less Covert Than Their American, Russian, French, And British Counterparts.

The 11,000-tonne Jin-class Submarines Are Stationed On The South Coast Of China ' S Hainan Island, Close To Deep Water Channels That Go To And From The South China Sea. The Geography Of China's Coastal Waters Has Forced Beijing To Base Its Rocket Submarines In This Area, On One Of The World's Most Important Shipping Lanes ' S.

In The North The Yellow Sea Is Too Shallow To Hide Large Submarines With Ballistic Missiles. The East China Sea Is Deeper But Limited By The Korean Peninsula, Japan ' S Islands And Taiwan.

And Japanese And American Forces Can Deploy Advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare Ships And Aircrafts In Japan To Keep These Waters And The Channels That Wipe Out In The Western Pacific, Where Submarines Eventually Go Into The Holes. The Chinese Must Reach These Waters To Be Able To Fire At The United States.

The South China Sea, On The Other Hand, Is Much Larger And In Parts Deeper, Making It More Suitable For Hidden Submarine Operations, According To Western Submariners With Extensive Experience Of Patrolling In This Area.

China Should Get Its Submarines From Hainan, Beyond Surveillance, And In Seas To The East Of The Philippines, Because Their Rockets Are In A Stark Range Of The United States. This Is An Important Reason Why China Has Made Such An Effort To Increase, Increase And Strengthen Control Of Beijing Over This Area By Islands And Reefs In The South China Sea, According To Western Submariners And Military Attachés.

The Vulnerability Of The Sub-Fleet ' For Detection, China's Most Extreme Sensitivity To The Surveillance Operations Of The United States And Their Allies In These Waters. A Chinese Destroyer Sailed Within 45 Meters Of The US Destroyer USS Decatur At The End Of September, While The American Warship Patrolled In The Spratlys, A Highly Controversial Island Chain Where China Has Fell The Last Years It Was The Last In A Series Of Encounters In The Past Decade.

China Now Looks To Be Their Hat For Foreign Subs Trying To Detect And Shadow Their Ballistic Missile Fleet. Such As China ' S Jin-class Ships Set At Sea, They Appear To Be Flanked By Protective Screens Of Surface Ships And Aircrafts At The Station To Track Foreign Submarines, According To Military Officers And Analysts Familiar With Allied Surveillance Of The Chinese Coast

Serving And Former Senior Naval Officers Also Point Out The Extensive, Frequent Deployment Of The Newest Type 056A Corvettes Of The Chinese Navy In The Main Waters South Of Japan And East Of The Philippines. Type 056A Is China's Most Advanced Submarine Hunter. It Can Drag Sonar Series And Other Listening Equipment Deep Under The Surface To Detect Enemy Submarines - Advanced Technology That China Had Not Had Just Five Years Ago.

China Also Has A Series Of Sensors, Antennas And Satellite Communications Systems Installed On Islands In The Spratlys, According To The International Institute For Strategic Studies. The PLA Also Follows The Foreign Submarine Hunters From The Air. It Has Shaped A Squadron Y-8GX6 Aircraft On Hainan With The Ability To Comb Large Parts Of The Sea Surface For Magnetic Anomalies. The Turboprop Aircraft Are Already Seen Landing On Woody Island, China ' S Main Offshore Company In The South China Sea. These Patrols Are Not The Rare Exercises From The Past, But Now Near-constant Implementations, Which Also Overshadow Foreign Warships.

We ' Re Looking At Them Looking At Us, Said A Western Military Attaché.

Ruling Force

The Submarine Base Near Sanya Is Now Under Direct Control Of The Central Military Commission, The Top Military Decision-making Body, Chaired By Xi Jinping Himself. The New Communications Installations In The South China Sea Have Helped Knit Together The New Command Structure, Allowing Tighter Control From Beijing, Right Down To Individual Vessels.

In 2017, Beijing Appointed A Veteran Submariner, Vice Admiral Yuan Yubai, To Head The Southern Theater Command, Which Is Responsible For The South China Sea. His Promotion Was A Clear Indication Of The Importance Of China Supporting Nuclear Sub-operations, According To Chinese Naval Experts. Yuan Is The First Naval Officer To Head A Command Of This Type, A Promotion That & A Part Of A Sweeping Overhaul Of The Military Structure By Xi Jinping.

Commercial Satellite Images Of The Submarine Base Provide Insight Into The Covert Force Stationed There. They Seem To Show Rocket Submarines Tied Regularly Along Long Piers In The Harbor. Satellite Images From Google Earth In June Last Year Show What Three Rocket Submarines Of The Jin Class Look Like At The Base.

The Ships Have A Distinctive Shape, With A Concise Structure That Houses The Rocket Tubes Behind The Sail, The Vertical Structure That Rises From The Hull Of A Submarine. Clearly Visible In The Images: A Partially Submerged Entrance To What Looks Like Underground Submarine Lofts, Under A Hill Next To The Harbor.

The Base Building At Sanya Also Indicates The Ability Of The PLA To Arm Its Submarine Rockets With Nuclear Heads With Nuclear Warheads.

Western Intelligence Analysts Known With Satellite Images Of The Area Saying A Completed Railroad Is Coming Up Against A Bunker On A Hill - The Probable Warhead. The Railway Line Is Connected At Its Turn Through Tunnels With The Pins Built For The Submarines. This Means, They Say, That The Rockets Can Be Armed And Loaded On The Submarines - Without Detection.