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China’s stealth submarine sparks Taiwan invasion fears as Xi Jinping ‘bolder’
November 29, 2023
China may have developed a submarine with stealth technology able to give the country an edge should it attempt to invade Taiwan.
The distinctive shape of the sides of the sail on the latest Type 039C Yuan-class non-nuclear submarines appears to have been built for stealth defence.
The angled sides of this Chinese submarine would reduce its “signal strength” from active sonar, according to Naval News.
The belief China’s submarine may evade sonars has been reinforced by a recent study focused on the impact of the designs on sonar stealth published by the country’s academics in the Polish-based Archives of Acoustics journal.
This research, Naval News said, used designs very similar to the one spotted on the submarine.
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While this technology doesn’t turn the submarine completely invisible to radars, it is believed to be effective against medium-frequency sonars in masking the true nature of the vessel.
The Type 039C submarine, built in Wuhan and fitted out in Shanghai, marks an evolution in conventional submarine technology, as it is believed to be using 60 percent newly-researched and improved equipment and features significant system reconfiguration.
China possesses a fleet of both nuclear-powered and conventional submarines.
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News about the Type 039C, of which little is known, comes as concerns about China making a move on Taiwan continue to mount.
Tensions between Taiwan and China have been high throughout the year. In August, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence warned of a possible “sharp increase” in frictions after claiming Chinese fighter jets crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
The median line has served for years as an unofficial barrier between Taiwan, which China claims as its own, and Beijing.
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But Xi Jinping’s China has grown increasingly bolder over the past months and began to regularly cross it in 2022.
China holds regular military drills – often in response to those staged by Taiwan alongside the US.
Beijing’s likely goal is not only to raise the military pressure on Taiwan but also to test its own capabilities such as force co-ordination and surveillance.