Chinese Navy Submarines Are Protected By Underground Tunnels

Başlatan Karabasan, May 05, 2020, 08:41 ÖS

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Chinese Navy Submarines Are Protected By Underground Tunnels


China is a maritime nation with over 9,000 miles of coastline, dotted with ports. Compared to most other countries, it has a large number of naval bases. By dispersing its forces across many bases the Chinese Navy, formally known as the PLAN (People's Liberation Army Navy), is protecting them against surprise attack. But some of it bases go further, offering underground tunnels to protect key warships and submarines.

In the age of precision strike cruise missiles and bunker buster bombs, tunnels may seem an outdated idea. But they still provide cover against some air attack and, perhaps more importantly, prying eyes. And they can also protect against nuclear attack, provided it is not a direct hit.

China's tend to be built directly into rocky outcrops which may provide many feet of overhead protection. The entrance is usually facing inland (but with water access) so that it is harder to hit from offshore.

The best known of these tunnels are two which protect the strategic submarine force. One built at Jianggezhuang Naval Base (36° 6'20.76"N, 120°35'2.39"E) near Qingdao provides a hiding place for ballistic missile submarines based there. And more recently one has been built at Yulin (18°12'8.97"N, 109°41'39.34"E). This is where a new base for nuclear submarines was constructed around 12 years ago. Yulin allows Chinese submarines (and aircraft carriers) easy access to the South China Sea, an important operating area.

Some other PLAN bases also have tunnels which are less well known. The submarine base on Xiachuan Dao has a small tunnel just inside the harbor wall (21°35'45.08"N, 112°33'5.14"E). And a shipyard where large warships and submarines are repaired, near the submarine base at Xiangshan, also has a tunnel (29°31'41.09"N, 121°41'16.98"E).


There are other tunnels which are physically removed from any naval bases. These may provide more dispersed protection, although it is also possible that some are not Navy related. For example there is quite a large tunnel in a mountain on an island south of Shipuzhen (29°11'2.75"N, 121°56'35.68"E). There is a missile boat squadron nearby, but the tunnel appears separate from any PLAN naval base. Other less obvious tunnels include some near Daishan (30°15'40.61"N, 122°19'1.43"E), and along the coast from of Yalin (18°15'42.67"N, 109°43'41.13"E).

China's tunnels are an interesting difference from U.S. Navy doctrine. They may provide some degree of protection against an unexpected attack. And they likely increase the survival of PLAN submarines in longer wars.

The PLAN is not alone in valuing the defensive strength of rock. The Swedish Navy recently announced that it would reopen its Cold War super-base at Muskö outside Stockholm. That site can house several submarines or warships and has maintenance facilities. Other countries which appear to have submarine tunnels include Taiwan, North Korea and Iran.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutton/2020/05/05/chinese-navy-submarines-are-protected-by-underground-tunnels/#5ddc38af6312 Mesajı Paylaş
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