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The Kilos are of course the Russian diesel-electric submarine recently purchased by the Chinese Navy, one of which was delivered this week,

Here is information about the Kilo. Not very formidable when compared to modern nuclear powered boats the US, UK and Russia navy field, Kilos are yet deadly and vulnerable in their own specific way.

Recently, surfing the web, I came to find just how large the Chinese submarine force really is. I suspect that the sub force is not much of a threat, except when considering how the Chinese navy is organized.

The Chinese Navy appears to be primarily a coastal ( littoral ) navy, with the focus of its peacetime mission being guarding the coasts. A submarine, however, cannot be deployed except as an offensive weapon. A submarine is by definition an offensive weapon. China will have by the end of this decade 51 submarines, all of them except two diesel electric boats.

Aside from the fact it operates underwater, a submarine is supposed to be quiet. And electric boats are very, very quiet systems. Even the most outdated submarines are difficult to detect by the modern means of the US Navy.

How would the Kilo be used? At a strategic level, the mission solely defines deployment. That simply means that when a navy makes procurements for its force, those deliveries are for a specific mission. The Chinese know they cannot build a strong power-projecting blue water naval force anytime in the near future without the US countering in some sense, but they can deploy an obstruction to their closest military rival, the USA.

The Kilo fits handily into the mission that the PLAN only needs to slow down any naval intervention by the US Navy. The Kilos are a potent threat because aside from their torpedoes, they can also carry several anti-ship missile (SS-N-27 250 Kg warhead 300 km range ). A Chinese sub commander need only to hit a US carrier with one of these missiles to disable it long enough for the PLAN to complete it mission. Eight of these boats lined up east of Taiwan in a “battle line” 4,000 km (2400 miles ) wide which can surely create a conundrum for the US Navy.

In the coming weeks, I will be outlining a few scenarios where the Kilos can be used. I believe there are really four distinct missions where the PLAN can have any success. None of these mean, upon successful completion, total victory for any PLAN plan, but they can mean a means of preventing their foe from achieving their victory as well.


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