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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Did China Just Build a New Midget Submarine?

Midget submarine at China’s Wuchang shipyardThe space snapshots captured the vessel berthed at the shipyard’s fitting out pier. According to imagery measurements, the vessel has a load waterline length of approximately 35 meters and a beam of approximately 3.5 meters.

Although Jane’s Underwater Warfare Systems reports China fielding midget submarines, I have been unable to locate open source reporting suggesting China is currently building such a vessel. Alternatively, the boat could be for a foreign customer. Few additional details beyond those acquired via imagery are available at this time.

Midget, mini, or sometimes coastal submarines typically weigh below 150 tons and are operated by small teams varying in size. Because of their size they are limited in their endurance, which often means they are operated along side a mother ship.

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