USS Ohio docks in S. Korea to flex muscle to China?

2012-10-31 05:34:24 GMT2012-10-31 13:34:24(Beijing Time)  SINA English

By Yu Runze, Sina English

When Sino-Japanese relations is still strained amid the Diaoyu Islands dispute, the Ohio-class guided missile submarine USS Ohio, the lead boat of her class of nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarines, sneaked into Busan, port of South Korea.

The nuclear-powered missile submarine’s arrival in Far East obviously has something to do with the on-going Diaoyu Islands dispute, the voice of Russia commented.

The Ohio-class guided missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) arrived in Busan, S Korea, Oct. 24, for a visit as part of its deployment to the West Pacific, US navy website announced on October 25.

With a crew of approximately 160, Ohio will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

After Ohio docked in Busan, it shows the control cabin, the crew restroom as well as the weapon bay with the Mark 48 torpedo and the midget submarine on deck, which is a clear sign of showing off force.

Command Master Chief Paul J. Davenport also boasts of the capacity of Ohio and his crew.

"They have worked every day non-stop for two months to position our boat at the ready for any mission, anywhere, at any time,” he said.

The media coverage said that the submarine visit to the sensitive area means extraordinary, especially when China and Japan are at odds over the islands dispute.

The arrival of Ohio in South Korea implies that the most powerful underwater striking platform is in the waters near China, military experts said.

The 170-meter-long, 13-meter-wide submarine with a displacement of over 16,764 metric tons, could submerge to 240 meters under water. The 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles onboard could play an important role in wartime, as they could strike strategic targets, including nuclear and missile bases and facilities, air bases, command posts, and special warfare forces.

Earlier this month, a fast-attack nuclear-powered U.S. submarine arrived in Subic Bay for a routine port call on October 4.

Soon afterwards, the U.S. and Philippine officials confirmed that Subic Bay, once home to the 7th Fleet and the site of the United States' largest overseas naval base, is to host US personnel on a semi-permanent basis.

Military expert pointed out that US navy back to Subic Bay is mainly to deter China as the bay lies near the South China Sea.

Editor: Yu Runze
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