What did the U.S. nuclear submarine hit in the South China Sea?

   Recently, after the USS Seawolf class nuclear submarine “Connecticut” broke out in the South China Sea collision incident, many people speculated about what happened?
   The US military stated that the “Connecticut” was definitely not another submarine. It could be a sunken ship, or a sunken container or other unmarked object. 11 people were injured in the US nuclear submarine collision, and 2 people were still moderately injured, indicating that the collision was serious and ordinary unknown objects would not cause such serious consequences. The possibility of a US military nuclear submarine hitting the bottom of the sea is relatively high, such as seamounts, sea hills or bumps on the bottom of the sea. After all, a US military nuclear submarine has hit a seamount once in Guam. The submarine topography is complex and may change, and the noisy water noise of the South China Sea may also have an impact. In fact, it’s easy to find out what happened in the end as long as you go to the location of the impact.
   This nuclear submarine collision originally occurred on October 2, but the US Pacific Fleet publicly stated the matter on October 7. What happened in these 5 days? US officials said that the incident occurred while the submarine was performing routine operations. The Navy did not disclose this information before October 7 in order to maintain operational safety. But operational safety may not be the only concern of the US military. Zhang Yuan, an international affairs expert at Wuhan University, explained to reporters: “The US military’s nuclear submarines must be performing surveillance and reconnaissance missions in the South China Sea. This sea area is not absolutely safe for the US military. Therefore, they need a few days to sail to reach a safe area, and they also need to ensure that there are Other ships replace it to perform tasks, at least not allowing opponents to use the “window period.” In addition, from the perspective of public relations, the US military needs some time to evaluate the damage and impact of nuclear submarines.
   Military expert Li Jie analyzed that under normal circumstances, American “Seawolf-class” nuclear submarines such as the “Connecticut” would use passive sonar for underwater target recognition and direction finding and positioning during navigation. Passive sonar has the advantages of high concealment and long detection range. It is the preferred underwater detection method for submarines in non-wartime conditions or in daily navigation. Once in wartime or in a complex seabed terrain environment, the submarine will switch the detection method to active sonar. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) also recently analyzed that to hide whereabouts, submarines usually use the passive mode of sonar. At the same time, the South China Sea is also “notoriously noisy”, which is not conducive to sonar detection.
   Li Jie believes that in this incident, it cannot be ruled out that due to negligence or arrogance, the US military failed to “switch” the detection mode in a timely manner in a complex terrain environment and cause catastrophe. Because in retrospect, there are many cases of submarine collision accidents caused by the US military’s own mistakes. According to previous public reports, in February 2001, the US “Los Angeles”-class nuclear submarine “Greenville” sank the Japanese fishing boat “Ehime” in Hawaiian waters, killing 9 people on board. In November 2002, the US “Los Angeles” class nuclear submarine “Oklahoma City” collided with a merchant ship in the western Mediterranean waters, causing damage to the periscope and lifting gear of the nuclear submarine. In 2005, there was a major accident in which the US “Los Angeles” class nuclear submarine “San Francisco” collided with an underwater mountain near Guam while sailing at full speed, causing the death of a sailor.

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