China’s PLA Navy sends new surveillance planes on submarine hunt

The military deploys advanced Gaoxin aircraft to its North Sea Fleet to flex its maritime surveillance muscle in disputed waters

The navy has deployed several new advanced surveillance aircraft to its North Sea Fleet to hunt down submarines in the East and South China seas.

The new “Gaoxin-6” maritime anti-submarine warfare planes are modified versions of the Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation’s Y-8 and Y-9 medium transport aircraft and were added to the People’s Liberation Army’s North Sea Fleet late last year, Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said yesterday.

The North Sea Fleet is responsible for operations in the Yellow Sea, the Sea of Japan and parts of the East China Sea, as well as the Bohai Sea near Beijing. Its aviation division, dubbed the “Sea Falcons”, is so far the navy’s only multi-tasking force capable of air, sea and space missions, according to the latest edition of Oriental Outlook, a weekly magazine affiliated with state-run Xinhua.

In addition to these missions, the Sea Falcons have started patrols over the South China Sea.

“The Gaoxin-6 specialises in reconnaissance and searching for submarines,” Li said.

“Both Japan and South Korea have the world’s most advanced submarines in the waters of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. That’s why the navy decided to deploy Gaoxin aircraft to the North Sea Fleet first.”

“The PLA Navy wants to show its muscle to the US and Japanese navies, which have tried to intervene in China’s territorial disputes with other Asian countries,” Leung said.

Full article: China’s PLA Navy sends new surveillance planes on submarine hunt (South China Morning Post)

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