China Builds Top Secret Midget Submarine

Satellite imagery from October 2014 shows what appears to be a new midget submarine at China’s Wuchang shipyard. The space snapshots captured by DigitalGlobe show the vessel berthed at the shipyard pier used for fitting out submarines. The midget submarine had left the pontoon by late November and by mid-January 2015, another submarine, probably a Type 041 Yuan-class boat, occupied the pier.

Midget submarines – sometimes called mini or coastal subs – typically weigh below 150 tons and are operated by small teams. Their small size limits their endurance, often forcing them to operate alongside a mother ship.

As Chris Biggers points out at open-source intelligence website Bellingcat, media outlets have reported on China fielding midget submarines, but no reports exist suggesting China is currently building such a vessel. The boat could be for a foreign customer, Biggers notes.

Full article: China Builds Top Secret Midget Submarine (Spacewar)

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