S. Korean CG Boat Rammed and Sunk by Chinese F/V

skoreanrhibs

This photo released by South Korean Defense Ministry on June 10, 2016 shows South Korean patrol boats forcing Chinese fishing boats from disputed waters.(Photo by AFP)

This is one of several reports I have seen. A 4.5 ton South Korean “speed boat” (probably around 30 foot or 8 to 10 meter) has been rammed and sunk by a Chinese fishing vessel believed to have been over 100 tons. There were no casualties.

Reports are somewhat confusing, but, the way I interpret the reports, there was a large fleet of Chinese vessels fishing illegally in South Korean waters. A boarding party of eight had boarded one of the fishing vessels leaving one man still in the boat. A second Chinese fishing vessel rammed the boat as it lay alongside the fishing vessel probably crushing it. The one man aboard was recovered safely.

It is not clear to me how the boarding party got off the first fishing vessel or why the vessel was not detained.

A diplomatic protest has been filed with the Chinese.

Thanks to Luke for bringing this to my attention.

China Attempts to Punish Singapore

thaicanal

Well, I already have four posts with many comments tracking China as they attempt to bully the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Now it seems it is time for one to track China’s attempts to Bully Singapore.

This post from the Independent, is about a proposed canal across the isthmus of Thailand, but if you read down to the second half of the post, you’ll see it is really about Chinese displeasure because Prime Minister Lee of Singapore has been standing up for a rules based international order rather than one based on force.

Explosive Expansion of China Coast Guard

Informationdissemination has a post on China’s shipbuilding program for cutters for their recently consolidated Coast Guard. The build rate is amazing.

…36 cutters of 1500 ton, 1000 ton and 600 ton class were built for various provincial flotilla of CMS. Much of the building and launching activities happened in 2013 and 2014.

…2 12,000 ton cutters…, 4 5000 ton cutters…, 4 4000 ton cutters…and 10 more 3000 ton cutters…

…all the newer large cutters for various arms of the consolidated Coast Guard are installed with naval gun.

Of the 2 smaller agencies that consolidated, HaiGuan (Chinese customs) had an order for 3 1500-ton class cutter with electric propulsion and 9 600 ton class cutters.

The new consolidated Coast guard agency have since started new programs. A year ago, they started projects for Type 818 patrol vessels (3000 ton class) and Type 718 cutters (2000 ton class), HP shipyard signed for 4 of the Type 818 and 5 of Type 718.

Reportedly the China Coast Guard already has 80 cutters of 1000 tons or more, twice the number in the USCG and it looks like it is still growing. Two of them will be the largest Offshore Patrol Vessels in the world.

The decision to arm all their larger cutter with Naval guns means they will have many more ships capable of performing Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS). It also means the kind of shoving matches we have seen between China’s ships and those of other nations are potentially more dangerous.

“China’s Second Navy” (the China CG)–USNI

The April, 2015 issue of US Naval Institute Proceedings has published an article which can be read on line, examining the Chinese Coast Guard and how it is using its blue water fleet, the largest fleet of cutters in the World (80 ships of over 1,000 tons and still growing).

It is worth a read. The author tracks the changing tactics employed by Chinese Law Enforcement vessels, and he sees a progression of increasingly aggressive actions.

Coast Guard Personnel as Ship Riders in the South China Sea?

Informationdissemination.net has a surprising proposal for dealing with the Chinese non-military aggressiveness in the South China Sea. He proposes putting US personnel (he specifically mentions US Coast Guard personnel among other possibilities) on the vessels of friendly nations, specifically mentioning the Philippines, but this might be extended to other nations facing similar attempted intimidation.

The intended effect of emplacing U.S. personnel aboard allied vessels ideally should be twofold. First, help our allies by lowering their risk of operations (such as resupplying isolated garrisons) and assuring them that the U.S. is a stalwart friend. Second, negate Chinese escalation dominance by forcing them to confront Americans in order to achieve their ends. This would force them into a choice between moving to higher level rungs on the escalation ladder and therefore incurring a greater risk of conflict with the U.S., or backing off. Whatever course they chose, their incremental approach would be dealt a setback.

The comments also note that having a US rep on board would also insure that incidents are accurately reported keeping allies as well as the Chinese honest and lending the reports greater credibility.

China Builds Cutter X for Nigeria

NavyRecognition Photo, Model of P18N OPV on the CSOC stand during AAD 2014
Photo credit: NavyRecognition, Model of the P18N OPV on the CSOC stand during AAD 2014. Click to enlarge.

NavyRecognition reports delivery of another cutter similar in concept to Cutter X. This time it is first of two being built in China for Nigeria.

P18N Offshore Patrol Vessels have a displacement of 1,700 tons, a length of 95 m, width of 12.2 m and beam of 3.5 m. It is powered by two MTU 20V 4000M diesel engines (I believe this is essentially the same engine as in the Webber class WPCs–Chuck). The maximum speed is 21 knots. The endurance of the vessel is 20 days at sea (range 3000 nautical miles at 14 knots) for a crew of 70 sailors.

The range and speed are certainly adequate for their purposes, but “nothing to write home about,” and the hangar is only suitable for UAVs, but it is actually better equipped in some ways than the proposed Cutter X with a 76mm gun and two 30mm. This probably contributes to the size of its 70 member crew.

Nigeria is modernizing their forces. The Nigerian Navy took over the former USCGC Chase in 2011, and they expect to get the Gallatin in 2015. Nigeria is the source of much of our imported oil, and they have an ongoing insurgency and a serious piracy problem.

If the helicopter on the model pictured above looks familiar, it is a Z-9, a Chinese license built version of the French helicopter that was the basis for the H-65. Chinese variants include both ASW and attack helicopter versions.

A Feast of Cabbage and Salami: Part I – The Vocabulary of Asian Maritime Disputes–CIMSEC

CIMSEC has posted an interesting article, “A Feast of Cabbage and Salami: Part I – The Vocabulary of Asian Maritime Disputes” for anyone interested in the current maritime disputes in East Asia, and, in fact, for anyone interested in international maritime law. It is apparently the first of a series and includes a wealth of links for further study.