Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Submarines Stalk; the Kitty Hawk Expected the Déjà vu

If you don't know your history, you won't realize how often it repeats. Repitition is due to unchanging human nature. - Juan Caruso D., aka Juan Caruso al Humacao

The Kitty Hawk story is almost over. If India does not purchase the noble aircraft carrier, she will be relaced by USS George Washington (CVN 73) before China's August 2008 Olympics, or will she?

If you knew your history, then you realized later events had to be expected Déjà vu for the USS Kitty Hawk support group.

March 19, 1996 - The New York Times - Off Taiwan, U.S. Sailors Are Unworried
American officials are wary of upsetting China in part because of an incident in October 1994, in which the Kitty Hawk carrier group detected a Chinese submarine and tracked it with another submarine and with sonar buoys dropped by a plane. The Americans regarded this cat-and-mouse game as a routine procedure, the kind they do all over the world.

In 1994, an S-3 anti-submarine aircraft from USS Kitty Hawk tracked a Chinese Han class submarine.

The American aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk and a Chinese nuclear submarine squared off in international waters off China's coast Oct. 27-29, 1994, the Los Angeles Times reported in December. According to the Times, shortly after the incident, which occurred in the Yellow Sea, China served notice through a U.S. military official in Beijing that the next time such a situation arises, China's orders will be to shoot to kill.

Although in the end no shots were fired, U.S. officials acknowledge the confrontation was serious. The Navy's carrier battle group in the region included not only the Kitty Hawk, but also three cruisers, one frigate, one submarine, two logistics ships and an estimated 10,000 American naval personnel.

The same newspaper that reported the March 1996 incident, also reported this late last month:
In late 2006, one of China’s new Song-class conventional submarines remained undetected as it shadowed the American aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, although the exact details of the encounter remain the subject of
continuing debate. It then surfaced well within torpedo range. [my emphasis]

The stalking Song was never expected, hmmm. Submarines are always silent and strange. The Lockheed S-3 Viking is a jet aircraft originally used by the United States Navy to identify, track, and potentially destroy submarines (even though foreign submarines are entirely unexpected by aircraft carriers, hmmm!). Here's an S-3 landing on a carrier YouTube:

returning to carrier



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