USS Connecticut strikes underwater object in South China Sea • The Register

A US nuclear submarine “hit an object” while submerged in the South China Sea – and the US Navy insists it was not a Chinese submarine.

Nearly a dozen sailors were injured in the underwater collision, according to the information branch of the US Naval Institute. The submarine was operating in the South China Sea, but was in international waters at the time of the incident, the U.S. Navy said.

The nuclear-powered attack boat is reportedly returning to the port of Guam, while a USN statement said none of the injuries were life threatening. The submarine’s nuclear propulsion plant is said to be in good condition.

U.S. naval sources have told various news outlets that the submarine may have collided with a wreck or shipping container lost on the seabed.

With the precise location of the incident unknown, it is difficult to say if it is similar to the time when the British submarine HMS Clever ran aground in 2010 after her crew failed to spot the Isle of Skye at night. However, this appears similar to the May 1981 collision between the nuclear-powered HMS Scepter and the Soviet submarine K-211.

Naval historian Iain Ballantyne recounted in his book Hunter killers that the sonar operators of the Soviet submarine told their captain that everything was clear behind them: “Twenty-one minutes later, in 1951, the Soviet SSBN shook as it suffered three brief impacts back and forth. down, each lasting only a few seconds ”.

Scepter was quietly following the Soviet ship and was taken by surprise when it slowed down, resulting in much of the Scepterthe outer shell of the s being “torn off” by the Soviet propeller – the cause of three jerky hits as the British ship bounced off the stern of its Russian opponent. Later press articles published after ScepterReturning home said the damaged British boat struck an iceberg.

With a British carrier strike task force in the South China Sea, as well as two US task forces and their submarines, the incident is a reminder that what goes out of sight is not always so. Large amounts of global trade pass through the South China Sea and any conflict or blockage of the area would have similar effects on the tech industry as the Ever Given incident, when a container ship got stuck in the canal. of Suez for a week. ®

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