Submarines: June 16, 2003

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China is believed to be putting its fifth "Song" (039) class sub into service some time this year. The first Song boat took seven years to build and get into service (1991-98). The second boat was laid down in 1995 and entered service in early 2001. The first boat mad numerous manufacturing and design problems and is believed to be largely inactive because of all its problems. These are diesel electric boats, built with assistance from Israel and Russia. The 1700 ton sub has a crew of 60 and can fire cruise missiles or torpedoes from its six torpedo tubes. Each of the five boats of this class has had substantial modifications as the Chinese are using the Song class to develop their submarine building capabilities. These government owned shipyards have long had problems with poor management, corruption and inadequate quality control.

 


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