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Scriptable
06-12-2009, 10:23 PM
Sub collides with sonar array towed by U.S. Navy ship



http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/06/12/china.submarine/index.html

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In what a U.S. military official calls an "inadvertent encounter," a Chinese submarine hit an underwater sonar array being towed by the destroyer USS John McCain on Thursday.


The array was damaged, but the sub and the ship did not collide, the official said. A sonar array is a radar towed behind a ship that listens and locates underwater sounds.

The incident occurred near Subic Bay off the coast of the Philippines.

The official, who declined to be named because the incident had not been made public, would not say whether the U.S. ship knew the submarine was that close to it.

However, the Navy does not believe this was a deliberate incident of Chinese harassment, as it would have been extremely dangerous had the array gotten caught in the submarine's propellers.

The Navy has complained in the past that Chinese vessels, including fishing boats, have deliberately tried to disrupt U.S. naval activities in international waters near China. In one widely publicized incident in March, five Chinese vessels maneuvered close enough to the USNS Impeccable to warrant the use of a fire hose by the unarmed American vessel to avoid a collision. The Navy later released video of that incident.

Blue_0
06-12-2009, 10:30 PM
So, did the destroyer drag the line over the sub, or did the sub get tangled up trying to get close to the destroyer? ... we probably will never know.

-- Bluelight

Universals
06-12-2009, 10:32 PM
John Mccain must be Mad Now!:)

muttbutt
06-12-2009, 10:43 PM
So would it be a good chance that because the Mccain had it's TSA out and there just happened to be a PLAN sub about to batter into it, that maybe they were both tracking each other?

also is it unusual for PLAN subs to be near the Phillipines?

Scriptable
06-12-2009, 10:50 PM
also is it unusual for PLAN subs to be near the Phillipines?
and is it usual for PLAN subs to be near US destroyers?

ZeroZen
06-12-2009, 11:05 PM
Playing the cat and mouse game. PLAN is practicing tracking US vessels, this could be the sub's captain trying to get so close. but they didn't know that the DD has a towed array. That is my plausible senario.
Its not unusual for PLAN to be near or inside the Philippine territory. The Philippine Navy has no capability of tracking or defending its terrritorial waters. With the exception of the Malacca or Tsugaru Strait, Japan which PLAN usually pass freely.

Universals
06-12-2009, 11:07 PM
and is it usual for PLAN subs to be near US destroyers?

here is the queston you didnt ask:
is it unusual for US Destroyers to be near Chinese Subs??
Don't be parochial, there is always two sides or more to every story.

Holmes85
06-12-2009, 11:14 PM
Until we have more information available or have information released detailing the extent of damage suffered by the submarine, we can't really jump to any conclusions yet to what exactly happened.

Scriptable
06-12-2009, 11:35 PM
here is the queston you didnt ask:
is it unusual for US Destroyers to be near Chinese Subs??
Don't be parochial, there is always two sides or more to every story.
The location -- near Subic Bay of the Philippine coast:

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/7959/subicbay1tdotjpg

Jiggy
06-12-2009, 11:45 PM
i get the feeling these "inadvertent encounters" are gonna happen more often in the near future.

2495
06-12-2009, 11:48 PM
A 1700 meter long cable and a 240 meter long sonar array. So this sub was within a max 2 kilometers distance. Ouch.

That it hit the passive array though suggests it had no knowlege of the capabilty or specifications of said unit or that it was deployed - a good sign :)

Edited to avoid confusion.

TORA
06-12-2009, 11:55 PM
i get the feeling these "inadvertent encounters" are gonna happen more often in the near future.


Who said that ... ? We know how to play

Alpheus
06-13-2009, 12:01 AM
That it hit the passive array though suggests it had no knowlege of the capabilty or specifications of said unit or that it was deployed

Care to explain how you reached that conclusion?

LineDoggie
06-13-2009, 12:07 AM
I would think the PLAN sub couldnt hear the TSA . Towed units are Passive, not active IIRC.

2495
06-13-2009, 12:26 AM
Care to explain how you reached that conclusion?

Yeah sure.

The sonar array is passive - reeled out on a 1700 meter line, and then just sinks to a depth desired by the destroyer or vessel that carries it (this way avoids differential thermal layers in the water) and listens.

hence, for a submarine to hit it, it would have to had no knowlege of it being in the water in the first place. Risking a prop tangle is some thing no submarine Captain in any navy would ever do.

Alpheus
06-13-2009, 12:27 AM
I would think the PLAN sub couldnt hear the TSA . Towed units are Passive, not active IIRC.

That's why I'm thinking the PLAN captain was trying to be too cute. And I don't believe the McCain didn't know the sub was there, passive arrays are bloody sensitive and no sub is going to get that close undetected.

Alpheus
06-13-2009, 12:29 AM
Yeah sure.

The sonar array is passive - reeled out on a 1700 meter line, and then just sinks to a depth desired by the destroyer or vessel that carries it (this way avoids differential thermal layers in the water) and listens.

hence, for a submarine to hit it, it would have to had no knowlege of it being in the water in the first place. Risking a prop tangle is some thing no submarine Captain in any navy would ever do.

Misunderstanding, I thought you meant McCain didn't know about the sub, not the sub not seeing the array.

2495
06-13-2009, 12:33 AM
nah, the mccain would of been tracking it and getting some mighty fine prop and cavitation readings from its passive suit.

The Chinese ****ed up royally here because now the US Navy have an ultra accurate sonar signature for future use. Bet that went straight into the software update the very next day.

MedVader
06-13-2009, 12:42 AM
The location -- near Subic Bay of the Philippine coast:

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/7959/subicbay1tdotjpg


Exactly, I believe the US is about 4000 miles to the east.

OTOH I can see the Chinese coastline clear as day on that map

NUCKINFUTS
06-13-2009, 12:53 AM
They wouldn't have the balls to do that 20 years ago. Some respect we still have after all we've sacrificed for the world.

muttbutt
06-13-2009, 12:59 AM
They wouldn't have the balls to do that 20 years ago. Some respect we still have after all we've sacrificed for the world.
"We've sacrificed"......"we've". your 18 what the **** have you sacrificed?:roll:

Scriptable
06-13-2009, 12:59 AM
nah, the mccain would of been tracking it and getting some mighty fine prop and cavitation readings from its passive suit.

The Chinese ****ed up royally here because now the US Navy have an ultra accurate sonar signature for future use. Bet that went straight into the software update the very next day.
hahaha, China just got pwnd!

2495
06-13-2009, 01:10 AM
They wouldn't have the balls to do that 20 years ago. Some respect we still have after all we've sacrificed for the world.


20 years ago, the Chinese blue water navy was a shadow of what it is today. Give it ten years it is going to be a formidable force to be reckoned with. Even now, its the most powerful in the region bar the US fleet.

muttbutt
06-13-2009, 01:13 AM
20 years ago, the Chinese blue water navy was a shadow of what it is today. Give it ten years it is going to be a formidable force to be reckoned with. Even now, its the most powerful in the region bar the US fleet.
I'm pretty sure the Japanese probably still edge the PLAN out in capability, excpt for SLBM's?

Scriptable
06-13-2009, 01:15 AM
20 years ago, the Chinese blue water navy was a shadow of what it is today. Give it ten years it is going to be a formidable force to be reckoned with. Even now, its the most powerful in the region bar the US fleet.
I think a distinction needs to be made between technological and numerical supremacy when it comes to naval power in the region.

Winger
06-13-2009, 01:34 AM
Yeah sure.

The sonar array is passive - reeled out on a 1700 meter line, and then just sinks to a depth desired by the destroyer or vessel that carries it (this way avoids differential thermal layers in the water) and listens.

hence, for a submarine to hit it, it would have to had no knowlege of it being in the water in the first place. Risking a prop tangle is some thing no submarine Captain in any navy would ever do.

Well, this isn't the first time. A Soviet Victor class sub got its prop caught up on on an array in the 80's.


October 31, 1983 west of Bermuda The USS McCLOY is towing a sonar array when suddenly the cable goes slack. The next day a Soviet Victor III - class nuclear-powered attack submarine is sighted motionless on the surface 282 miles west of Bermuda and 470 miles east of Charleston, SC, by a US P-3 Orion patrol aircraft. US Navy officials believe that while the submarine was following the McCLOY, the sonar array caught in the submarine's propeller. There is no indication of leaking radiation, according to a Navy spokesman. On November 5, the submarine is taken under tow by a Soviet salvage ship in the direction of the Cuban port of Cienfuegos. Further observations while the submarine is under tow leads the Navy to believe the damage is relatively minor and relates to the submarine's propeller.

Winger
06-13-2009, 01:37 AM
I think a distinction needs to be made between technological and numerical supremacy when it comes to naval power in the region.

They're behind in both at the moment. p-)

TORA
06-13-2009, 01:37 AM
Even now, its the most powerful in the region bar the US fleet.

Japan's naval force and it's air support fleet any idea? No way - not even on the long term considering the future defense white papers prospectives of changes

Universals
06-13-2009, 01:38 AM
20 years ago, the Chinese blue water navy was a shadow of what it is today. Give it ten years it is going to be a formidable force to be reckoned with. Even now, its the most powerful in the region bar the US fleet.

China didn't have a blue water navy (by any standard) 20 yrs ago. They barely have one today. 10 years from now they will have a much improved Navy but still be several dacades removed from US Navy in terms of size and suphistication.

2495
06-13-2009, 02:11 AM
Then there is going to be alot of very suprised, shocked and disbelief struck people when the PRC rolls its blue water navy out in the next ten years.

US Submarine tech, US nuclear missile tech, British milling and other metal fabrication and maufacturing technology, Russian aircraft technology with Israeli avionics and systems, coupled with a determination to hold sway in their own back yard?

You think China spends hundreds of millions a year to send its brightest people to the worlds top engineering and technology faculties to learn nothing? think they do all those defence related studies for show?

No, they are on the cusp of slabbing together a navy unseen since the United States Navies heyday in the late eighties early nineties.

TORA
06-13-2009, 02:25 AM
Then there is going to be alot of very suprised, shocked and disbelief struck people when the PRC rolls its blue water navy out in the next ten years.

US Submarine tech, US nuclear missile tech, British milling and other metal fabrication and maufacturing technology, Russian aircraft technology with Israeli avionics and systems, coupled with a determination to hold sway in their own back yard?


Too much overstimation, 10 years is not possible, they will need decades for build up a decent blue water navy able to catch up with Japan and U.S. forces, even so obviously Tokyo will not stay with the hands in hand, solely speaking for the next decade 4 helicopter carriers, 4 DDs, 5 latest diesel Soryu Class sub has been ordered, with 2 of such vessels ( 1 DDH and 1 SS) commissioned in the Spring 2009, a new maritime patrol/anti submarine warfare aircraft, the Kawasaki P-1 will be mass produced from 2010 for substiute the huge, aging P-3s fleet, a new class of ASW helos has been ordered for replace the CH-53s, new torpedoes such the GRX-5 and anti ship ramjet powered missiles are under development.

Then there's logistic, experience, maintainance and it's costs, catch up with Japan and United States in naval warfare, no way

CamoDeafie
06-13-2009, 02:35 AM
Exactly, I believe the US is about 4000 miles to the east.

OTOH I can see the Chinese coastline clear as day on that map
Subic Bay happens to be a place for one of the US Navy's BASES.....and IIRC, any military BASE anywhere, if it has an US Embassy, is considered US sovereign territory; I'm pretty sure the Chinese's PLAN have bases in the region as well, but then again, what do i know. I remember Cuba being a client of the Soviet Union, and still friendly with other communists, and I'm pretty sure several of the South American nations have groups affiliated with the old Chinese Communist Party or the Maoist organizations of "friends"...or was that just politi-speak? I recall vividly that several nations south of Mexico are equipped mainly with European stuff as well as some US equipment of own manufactre?

irreverently, the fact is, we have a presence over in the SE asia waters, as well as the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean, north Atlantic, South Pacific....and dont we have sovereign territory in the name of Guam, and some islands over there?

Kilgor
06-13-2009, 03:01 AM
Exactly, I believe the US is about 4000 miles to the east.

OTOH I can see the Chinese coastline clear as day on that map

If the Chinese subs keep sticking their noses into the Philippine coastline, the US Navy will be welcome there for decades to come.

103
06-13-2009, 03:02 AM
Russian point of view is there was not observations only, but also some attempts by the US ships to cut the hanging cable from the stern of the sub by passing too close.
http://submarine.id.ru/sub.php?671rtmk


Well, this isn't the first time. A Soviet Victor class sub got its prop caught up on on an array in the 80's.

October 31, 1983 west of Bermuda The USS McCLOY is towing a sonar array when suddenly the cable goes slack. The next day a Soviet Victor III - class nuclear-powered attack submarine is sighted motionless on the surface 282 miles west of Bermuda and 470 miles east of Charleston, SC, by a US P-3 Orion patrol aircraft....

dbamil
06-13-2009, 03:28 AM
nah, the mccain would of been tracking it and getting some mighty fine prop and cavitation readings from its passive suit.

The Chinese ****ed up royally here because now the US Navy have an ultra accurate sonar signature for future use. Bet that went straight into the software update the very next day.


Is this incident good or bad for the crew/captain? Equipment was damaged but they gained valuable intelligence. This wouldn't be like grounding the ship I believe?

Smucked
06-13-2009, 03:37 AM
Nah I don't think that the McCain will get in trouble unless they drug the thing across the sub on purpose, but I doubt we will hear about that if its the case. And that intel is suuuuper valuable, having a clear as day sonar image of a chinese sub is..... good to say the least.

CanadianStormtrooper
06-13-2009, 04:03 AM
absolutely fascinating story here..

Chinese... back the f**k off

shady bastards

CanadianStormtrooper
06-13-2009, 04:04 AM
hehe who knows what was going on...

dbamil
06-13-2009, 04:27 AM
I wonder why McCain deployed towed sonar? Exercise or they heard the China sub coming from far away and decided to deploy it to get better hearing?

It'd suck if any of the crew on McCain got into trouble, especially for the captain. He's been at the post barely 2 - 3 months I think...

dbamil
06-13-2009, 04:33 AM
I would think the PLAN sub couldnt hear the TSA . Towed units are Passive, not active IIRC.

newbie question. Can a sub hear a DD deploying TSA? Looks like both sides learned something. US gained better data on the chinese sub while the Chinese learning to stay away from US DD...

eskachig
06-13-2009, 04:40 AM
absolutely fascinating story here..

Chinese... back the f**k off

shady bastardsLike US subs don't play cat and mouse games with potential adversaries. It's all just part of the game.

goat89
06-13-2009, 04:47 AM
Like US subs don't play cat and mouse games with potential adversaries. It's all just part of the game.
^X2, but I want see if they are interested in snooping around SEA/Straits of Malacca. Now, thats gonna be a real cause of concern for Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia.
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=158875

nrdi551
06-13-2009, 05:57 AM
the philippine government kicked out the americans (and their bases) in the early 90's. informally however, the americans have never left the philippines. we've always had american servicemen of one type or another in our country ALL the time.

as for the chinese subs, aren't subs free to straddle the coasts of whichever country they want provided they don't get caught?

the chinese navy views the south china sea as it's backyard and as it gets more powerful, encounters such as this will only increase. i just hope these accidents don't become fatal for any of the personnel involved. a sunk sub or destroyer is much much worse than a downed fighter.

Scriptable
06-13-2009, 06:49 AM
Some info on the towed array from fas.org (http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/weaps/an-sqr-19.htm):

The AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array SONAR (TACTAS) provides very long-range passive detection of enemy submarines. TACTAS is a long cable full of microphones that is towed about a mile behind the ship. It is towed so far behind the ship so as to not let noise radiating from the shipitself interfere with the noise picked up from targets. Using that noise can determine exactly what ship or submarine is being tracked. The AN/SQR-19B Tactical Array SONAR (TACTAS) is a passive towed array system which provides the ability to detect, classify, and track a large number of submarine contacts at increased ranges. TACTAS is a component sensor of the AN/SQQ-89(V)6 ASW Combat System, and provides significant improvements in passive detection and localization, searching throughout 360 degrees at tactical ship speeds. Processing of complex TACTAS data is performed by the largest computer program assembly ever developed for surface ship anti-submarine warfare.

Meteorology and Oceanography Center Detachment TACTAS support products describe oceanographic and acoustic conditions (using range dependent models) in the prosecution area for towed array ships tasked by CTF-69 for ASW operations. This message is provided when own ship Sonar In-situ Mode Assessment System (SIMAS) or the Mobile Environmental Team’s Mobile Oceanographic Support System MOSS) are not available. It is tailored to the specific towed array carried onboard. The message is transmitted prior to the start of a prosecution and daily thereafter or as requested.
http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/3875/towedarraydotgif

Scriptable
06-13-2009, 06:52 AM
Recent pic...


http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/8130/610xlrtdotjpg

The U.S. Navy's destroyers, Lt. Cmdr. Choi Hee-dong, chief of the USS Chafee (DDG-90), left, shakes hands with chief of the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56), Cmdr. Jeffrey J. Kim, right, in front of the USS John S. McCain Aegis destroyer during a Change of Command ceremony in Busan at a naval port in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, March 28, 2009. Two U.S. Aegis-equipped ships docked in South Korea _ USS John S. McCain and USS Chafee _ will set sail on Monday, according to the U.S. military in South Korea.

Soldat_Américain
06-13-2009, 07:38 AM
just for fun...why didn't the McCain deploy her birds and sink that *****

Scriptable
06-13-2009, 08:11 AM
just for fun...why didn't the McCain deploy her birds and sink that *****
Because its BLOCK III Palin class missiles are currently inbound on David Letterman.

Ghostwolf
06-13-2009, 09:07 AM
Was the towed array activated (turned on) when the incident happened? Was the USS McCain not aware of the presence of the Chinese sub?

Winger
06-13-2009, 11:24 AM
Recent pic...

lol. I find it ironic that the Captain of the McCain is of Chinese heritage. Rock on!

Jiggy
06-13-2009, 11:28 AM
lol. I find it ironic that the Captain of the McCain is of Chinese heritage. Rock on!

Korean American.

MedVader
06-13-2009, 11:41 AM
Subic Bay happens to be a place for one of the US Navy's BASES.....and IIRC, any military BASE anywhere, if it has an US Embassy, is considered US sovereign territory; I'm pretty sure the Chinese's PLAN have bases in the region as well, but then again, what do i know. I remember Cuba being a client of the Soviet Union, and still friendly with other communists, and I'm pretty sure several of the South American nations have groups affiliated with the old Chinese Communist Party or the Maoist organizations of "friends"...or was that just politi-speak? I recall vividly that several nations south of Mexico are equipped mainly with European stuff as well as some US equipment of own manufactre?

irreverently, the fact is, we have a presence over in the SE asia waters, as well as the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean, north Atlantic, South Pacific....and dont we have sovereign territory in the name of Guam, and some islands over there?


Welp, whatever "rules" have been established by the victors in WW2 are shortly going to be thrown out the window.

The Soviets had the capability to project power to the US coastline. And as such they could tolerate the same behavior from the US. In retrospect, it was the foolish notion that they could or should compete with the US in global projection power that led them to military excesses that accelerated their downfall.

China has no pretences of trying to match the US military, at least not yet. They want what they believe to be justly theirs. Taiwan and defacto rule over the littoral waters off their coast. And they are perfectly capable and willing to simpy shove the US out of that area.

Roaming East
06-13-2009, 12:19 PM
Because its BLOCK III Palin class missiles are currently inbound on David Letterman.

I hear those BLOCK III's have excellent E/O targeting capabilities of Russian topography

Winger
06-13-2009, 01:34 PM
Korean American.

My bad, should of remembered Kim is also a Korean name.

Nizark
06-13-2009, 01:40 PM
Ok so I seriously doubt the chinese just 'didn't know the destroyer's capabilities' unless this chinese capt went off the reservation. Hell, you can find out a ton of capabilities by being on this site or globalsecurity.org, so it wasn't just an 'oops.'

As for the intel on the plant and screw noises on the chinese sub, i'll bet that it's an older sub that we already have recordings of, so nothing incredible has been captured.

Chinese prob did it intentionally to get the USN's attention about who else is near by.

Alpheus
06-13-2009, 02:07 PM
Was the towed array activated (turned on) when the incident happened? Was the USS McCain not aware of the presence of the Chinese sub?

Of course they were. You're not going to go through the hassle of deploying the array and not use it.

2Sheds_Jackson
06-13-2009, 02:28 PM
Well gosh darn it you train like you fight. And judging by the Chinese habit of crashing into our stuff (EP-3, the Impeccable, now this) - in the event of war they intend simply ram us into submission.

3rdMillhouse
06-13-2009, 11:51 PM
You can tell a guy is badass when he's got a destroyer name after him. Though I somehow can't imagine a USS Barack Hussein Obama carrying a fleet of F35.

adroth
06-14-2009, 12:43 AM
Subic Bay happens to be a place for one of the US Navy's BASES.

Not anymore. The Philippines ended the lease in 1991.

CamoDeafie
06-14-2009, 02:40 AM
i learn something new each time. do we have any bases left in the region outside the phillipines?

BlackFlag
06-14-2009, 02:56 AM
You can tell a guy is badass when he's got a destroyer name after him. Though I somehow can't imagine a USS Barack Hussein Obama carrying a fleet of F35.

It wasn't named after him. It was named after his father and grand father: both admirals.