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June 08, 2004

Type 039

The Type 039 "Song" class submarine is the latest addition to the navy of China. StrategyPage reports claims this new class is equipped with "Air Independent Propulsion".

On June 3rd, Wuhan Shipyard held a public celebration in honor of its 75th anniversary. At this ceremony, a PLAN (Chinese navy) Type 039 (code name Song) class submarine was displayed which, it is said, had Air Independent Propulsion (AIP). This came as a shock to American naval intelligence analysts, who, until this announcement, were saying that the Chinese had no AIP, and were not likely to have it for 5-10 years. This new Song class submarine variant is wider at the engine section, indicating installation of a new propulsion system. The Chinese say it is AIP, a technology that allows a submarine to stay underwater for weeks at a time, and is quieter than nuclear propulsion.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 8, 2004 08:38 AM

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