Submarine Matters provides an expanding database on submarines worldwide. Australia should contract in 2016 to only buy a batch of 6 Shortfins - then, in the 2030s, decide whether to buy: 6 more Shortfins or 6 Barracuda SSNs or 4 Virginia SSNs. With increasing numbers of Chinese, Russian and Indian SSNs in Australia's region Australia's Shortfins cannot attain any 2016 Defence White Paper goal of being "regionally superior". Australia would need to buy SSNs to be "superior".
February 2, 2017
Duterte invites China to patrol southern Philippine seas shared with Malaysia & Indonesia
Over the last 24 hours Philippine President Duterte has exceeded even Trump's best brainstorms by inviting Chinese ships to patrol the Philippines southern shared seas against pirate, Islamist and separatist activities. Major problems with Duterte's invitation include:
- Chinese patrols would also be close to, or in, Malaysian
and Indonesian claimed waters in the still
- Undersea oil exists nearby, especially in the Malaysia
versus Indonesia disputedAmbalat parcel.
- Duterte's invitation to China may therefore increase
regional (territorial and oil claim) tensions
between the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia and
- any Chinese ships patrolling would act as a potential
trade and strategic connections with southeast and northeast Asia (including US and Japanese bases).
- even though only Chinese Coast Guard vessels might do
the patrolling. The long range "Coast
Guard" ships are armed and weigh up to 12,000
tons like destroyer-cruisers (see photo below).
- Where the Chinese Coast Guard goes the Chinese Navy
(PLAN) may back it up and follow it.
- Chinese Coast Guard patrol aircraft and helicopters, may be next. They would need bases in the
- Duterte's invitation comes at a bad time of rapidly
decreasing US international and Asia-Pacific
regional popularity, triggered by Trump's statements and notorious Tweets.
Dutertes February 2017 suggestion basically invites China to patrol seas in the still unnegotiated "Tri-border area". This includes seas the Philippines shares with Malaysia (Sulu Sea) and with Indonesia (Celebes Sea) (Map above courtesy Stratfor).
“China ‘likely to
agree to Duterte’s request for anti-piracy patrols”
...China is likely to agree to Philippines President
Rodrigo Duterte’s request to sending sea patrols to help stop growing crime by
Islamist militants along the southern coast of the Philippines.
Duterte said earlier in a speech to newly promoted
Filipino generals that he had asked China to “patrol the international waters
without necessarily intruding into the territorial waters of countries” in the
southern waters of the island country in response to abducting sailors and
attacking vessels in waters off the southern Philippines.
...Zhu Xin, associate professor at Beijing’s University
of International Relations, believed China would again make a supportive
gesture by agreeing to Duterte’s request.
“It is obvious that China feels positive about Duterte,”
Zhu said. “Furthermore, China would probably consider the terrorist problem a
regional one rather than only considering its relations with the Philippines.”
...Xu Liping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of
Social Sciences, shared the view that it was “highly possible” that China would
respond positively to the deal as it had already cooperated with other Asian
countries like Malaysia to fight terrorism.
China is building and converting very large "coast guard" ships that are more tools of long range regional power projection. Participating in patrolling southern Philippine water soon may be Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) ship 2901. This is one of China's largest coast guard ship class, along with sister ship 3901, displacing 10,000-12,000 tons. Built in a Shanghai Jiangan Shipyard by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC). For photo and comments see China Defense Blogmore details in Popular Mechanics.
China is also modifying modifies 2,000 ton Type 053 frigates into coast guard ships, including CCG 1002 and 1003. Globasecurity lists several classes of CCG ships of different tonnages - all carrying the "Hai Jing" prefix which could be translated as "Chinese ship" .