Marine press clippings 8 Jan 2015
CHINA, Australia and possibly Thailand are planning to increase, replace or incorporate modern submarines to their fleets according to reports from Asia-Pacific countries. In the case of China they are expected to be nuclear-powered attack subs armed with ballistic missiles and should be operational by 2020.
According to a report from http://zeenews.india.com, Australia has welcomed a Japanese offer to jointly-build a fleet of new submarines, with a possible deal by the end of the year. Japan is proposing jointly building Australia`s new submarines, instead of exporting a new fleet, according to quotes in a Japanese daily, after concerns in Canberra over the effect on the domestic ship-building industry. Under the proposal, Japan`s Defense ministry is to cooperate with Australia in developing special steel and other materials for its new submarines, while Tokyo will be in charge of assembling them, the Mainichi Shimbun said.
The Australian side has taken “a positive stance” on the proposal, the daily said, adding that the two countries may strike a deal by the end of 2015. Australia needs to replace its fleet of diesel and electric-powered subs, which date from the 1990s, and Japan’s high-tech ship-building industry is thought to be well-placed to win the contract.
China on the other hand will invest heavily in fielding advanced nuclear-powered attack and ballistic missile submarines during the next six years. China’s military has at least three operational Type-094 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, with each being capable of carrying 12 JL-2 missiles that have a range of 8,000 kilometers, says an article published last week by the Russian Military Observer.
By 2020, the Chinese military is projected to field at least four Type-094s and two next-generation Type-096 submarines, carrying around 80 sea-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and 250 to 300 nuclear-armed missiles, the report stated.
China is also working to build more warship destroyers in 2015, the Want China Times reported, citing Fujian-based Quanzhou Evening News. A massive number of Type 052 destroyers, China will particularly build a Type 052C ship and seven more Type 052D ships. The Type 052C, a guided-missile destroyer, resembles the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
China launched on Dec 22 the Jinan, one of six Type 052C destroyers meant to accompany the Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier. Apart from the Type 052C, China also has five other Type 052D destroyers, according to the PLA Navy. Known as the “Chinese Aegis,” these destroyers are equipped with an “active electronically scanned array multi-function phased array radar system,” Want China Times said.
Finally Thailand may look to procure two or three submarines as part of an increased 2016 defense budget, finally giving the country a capability it has lacked for more than sixty years. Thailand’s Military backed Government may look to procure two or three submarines…, The Bangkok Post reported Friday.
According to a source from Thailand’s defense ministry, the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is expected to propose the procurement of two to three submarines in the 2016 budget, with the country’s Defense Minister Retired Gen Prawit Wongsuwon already backing the plan in principle pending cost considerations.
The navy has been considering submarines from various sources, but the South Korean Chang Bogo Class submarine is reportedly the least expensive at around 330 million dollars each. Thailand’s plan to acquire submarines is neither new nor surprising. Lacking a submarine capability since 1951, the country has tried since the 1990s to ink submarine deals with several countries, including most recently Germany and South Korea. Though they eventually did not materialize, many were expecting Thailand’s submarine quest to once again become a top priority once the ruling military junta seized power in a coup in May 2014. Source : Mercopress
Reprinted from issue 008 of DAILY COLLECTION OF MARITIME PRESS CLIPPINGS 2015 published by http://www.maasmondmaritime.com/ on 2015-01-08