China Has Begun Listening For American Submarines

Undersea sensors could follow subs’ movements.

China has begin installing sensitive hydrophones on the floor of the China Seas in an effort to detect and track submarines belonging to the U.S. and its allies.

Sailors complete the 200th drydocking maneuver of a Trident submarine at the Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF) Delta Pier. The strategic missile submarine USS Michigan (SSBN 727) is one of the Trident submarines that IMF has performed maintenance and a substantial level of overhaul work for which they recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. U.S. Navy photo by Brian Nokell.

Lyle Goldstein and Shannon Knight, both highly-respected naval analysts, described the new listening system as “startling” in a recent article in Proceedings, a naval professional journal.

They claimed the “fixed ocean-floor acoustic array” is evidence that Beijing has begin to take seriously the incredible destructive power of enemy submarines—especially American ones.

China’s hydrophone system, which first appeared in 2012, apparently copies America’s own Sound Surveillance System, or SOSUS—an extensive network of hydrophones that helped the U.S. Navy track virtually all Soviet submarine movements starting in the mid-1950s.



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