Diesel vs nuclear subs in the shallow South China Sea. James Holmes @NavalWarCollege, @GordonGChang

Nov 12, 2020, 03:27 AM
Image:   A starboard view of a Soviet Tango-class diesel attack submarine

James Holmes:  @NavalWarCollege, first holder of the Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the Naval War College and blogger at The Naval Diplomat (navaldiplomat.com); and Gordon Chang: @GordonGChang, Daily Beast, in re:  Biden's plans for the Navy.   Under Obama, “pivot to Asia.”  Now, probably not a radical change.  The US appropriates funds year by year, but shipbuilding needs a longer timeline. Submariners: diesel (which need to surface every so often) vs. nuclear (which more rarely do). Nuclear are very quiet, but diesel subs are now quieter than formerly and, in conjunction with the Quad in the Pacific, will be an advantage; but many admirals have closed their minds.   Adm Rickover still looms over this debate.  Can we resupply the First Island Chain? Adversary will strike at big, fixed bases, such as [some] in Japan.  We can resurrect some of the basic infrastructure. South China Sea is shallow; diesel is more suited than a Virginia-class sub.