Mine Warfare Has Come To The South China Sea

by admin on July 29, 2014

navy-recruitment-mine-small-78530Less than a month after I highlighted the real potential for mine warfare in the South China Sea (here), the Chinese Navy has, for the first time, publicly announced mine warfare drills in the South China Sea. From Xinhuanet:

The Chinese navy has conducted a mine clearance drill in formation in the South China Sea for the first time, according to a navy’s statement.

A maritime garrison command of the Nanhai Fleet on Monday successfully detonated a number of smart mines during the designated time period in a drill.

The garrison command approached the mines in varied formations corresponding to different sailing conditions and ocean currents. After hours of searching, the flotilla discovered a number of smart mines hundreds of meters away, and detonated them upon the commander’s order.

As China develops a westernized Navy, and bulks up their fleet of modern, high-end combatants, mine warfare will start looking more and more like a problem rather than….a largely Chinese-developed solution.

Mines are the weapons of last resort for hard-pressed, low-end navies. So, as China ratchets up the pressure in the South China Sea, it will be interesting to see if China starts expressing some real discomfort about the prospect of mine warfare in Asian waters.

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