China’s submarine fleet made its first known trip into the Indian Ocean, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
A Chinese attack submarine passed through the Straits of Malacca between Malaysia and Indonesia with sightings near Sri Lanka and the Persian Gulf.It’s the latest report of the significant steps forward the Chinese navy has taken in advancing its submarine fleet.
Earlier this year, a U.S. Navy report estimated that the Chinese navy has nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines able to launch strikes against the United States from the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The Chinese navy has ambitious plans over the next 15 years to rapidly advance its fleet of surface ships and submarines as well as maritime weapons and sensors, according to a report by the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Earlier this year, ONI issued an assessment on the Chinese navy as part of testimony to the U.S.
China Economic and Security Review. ONI leaders found that China’s navy has evolved from a littoral force to one that is capable of meeting a wide range of missions to include being “increasingly capable of striking targets hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland.”
The Chinese navy has 77 surface combatants, more than 60 submarines, 55 amphibious ships and about 85 missile-equipped small ships, according to the report first published by the U.S. Naval Institute.