Pages

Jumat, 08 Oktober 2021

Here's what we can gather about the US nuclear attack submarine collision in the South China Sea - ABC News

A nuclear-powered submarine colliding with an unknown "object" under one of the world's busiest shipping lanes is rarely good news – but is the incident cause for concern?

Submarine incidents are usually shrouded in secrecy, given how critical these sophisticated (and expensive) pieces of equipment are in military operations.

We've talked to defence and security experts to help clarify what we know, what we don't know and what we may never know.

What could the unknown object possibly be?

Vipin Narang, a professor of nuclear security and political science at MIT, says we shouldn't hold our breath when it comes to the USS Connecticut.

"It's totally unclear what hit it," he said.

When asked about the possibility of it hitting an enemy submarine, he said he doubts we will ever know.

"Not sure why we heard about this one — sometimes the damage is extensive enough that it's hard to hide," Dr Narang said.

But what have submarines collided with in the past, and can that give us any clues?

Submarine with Unites States flag is semi submerged in water
The submarine collided with an unknown "object" in the South China Sea.(

US Indo-Pacific Command

)

Peter Dean, Director of the University of Western Australia's Defence and Security Institute, told the ABC there were a few possibilities.

Euan Graham, a senior fellow for Asia-Pacific Security with the International Institute of Security Studies, largely agrees.

"They usually have good topographic knowledge of the areas they are patrolling, but there is always a risk of hitting a loose shipping container or other submerged object," he said.

The South China Sea, with its busy shipping lanes and fishing areas, is particularly risky for this, he added, especially when operating at shallow depth.

The number of shipping containers that fall off ships and sink to the bottom is astonishing, Professor Dean said.

How rare are underwater submarine collisions?

The experts say such incidents are unusual but not unheard of.

There have been a number of such collisions in recent years, says Professor Dean.

In 2009, British submarine HMS Vanguard collided with French submarine Le Triomphant in the Atlantic Ocean while carrying nuclear missiles, in what the New York Times described as a "freak accident".

In 2005, BBC reported an American sailor died after his nuclear submarine – the USS San Francisco – ran aground near Guam.

Dr Graham said the fact that the USS Connecticut went to Guam suggests it suffered damage.

The US has said the submarine's nuclear propulsion system was unaffected by the collision and was fully operational.

How does monitoring equipment miss objects large enough to cause damage?

Submarines use sonar rather than radar to detect objects around them when underwater. 

But they don't use it constantly.

Some of the 220 Chinese vessels are seen moored at a distance at Whitsun Reef, South China Sea.
Experts say the South China Sea is noisy, so acoustic detection is challenging.(

AP: Philippine Coast Guard/National Task Force-West Philippine Sea

)

"They use sonar in passive mode or listening mode, they have sensors all around the sub, and an acoustic tail with sensors all over it. They do have active sonar that send out pings, which gives away your position, so they tend not to use that. Sometimes even with the best equipment, it's very hard to hear things," Professor Dean said.

Dr Graham said the South China Sea in particular was not conducive to listening.

What is the worst-case scenario?

The USS Connecticut is a nuclear-powered submarine with a nuclear reactor on board and the risk of explosion is "a worry", said Professor Dean.

"We saw the Indonesian submarine that sank not long ago, we don't know the cause of that because no-one survived. In the 2000s, the Russians lost a nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea which triggered an explosion," he said.

Any significance of this incident occurring in the South China Sea?

A fighter jet against a blue sky.
China has stepped up incursions into Taiwan's air defence identification zone.(

AP: Taiwan Ministry of Defence

)

The submarine collision has come at a time of heightened tensions in the Asia Pacific, with China and US relations worsening, and tensions between China and Taiwan heating up.

China has significantly increased the number of warplanes it sends into Taiwan's Air Defence Identification Zone, in moves considered provocative by both Taiwan and the US. 

But the South China Sea, as mentioned earlier, is home to one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, and is also now a geopolitical hotspot as China and the US vie for primacy.

Professor Dean said it was "very, very unsurprising" for this incident to occur in that region.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 37 seconds
A look inside Australia's nuclear submarine deal

Adblock test (Why?)


https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiZGh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvbmV3cy8yMDIxLTEwLTA5L3VzLW51Y2xlYXItYXR0YWNrLXN1Ym1hcmluZS1zb3V0aC1jaGluYS1zZWEtZXhwZXJ0cy8xMDA1MjYxMDjSAShodHRwczovL2FtcC5hYmMubmV0LmF1L2FydGljbGUvMTAwNTI2MTA4?oc=5

2021-10-08 22:59:56Z
52781923001617

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar