China has mastered air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology, which allows its non-nuclear submarines to reach the advanced level of similar systems in other parts of the world.
The Type 039-B submarine serving the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s East Sea Fleet has been equipped with the effective AIP system and noise reduction capabilities, allowing it to have increased propulsion performance and underwater endurance. This type of diesel-electric sub is a powerful weapon in the Chinese Navy.
Captain He Xiaojian told CGTN, “To win battles, we keep a close eye on our rivals, and focus on future combat waters. We have conducted training at offshore deep sea to test our overall capabilities to launch attacks, defend and take cover.” As routine practice, they have also carried out live-fire drills to improve our anti-submarine and anti-ship abilities.
Technician Zhou Xiaohui is responsible for safely navigating the sub. He has been working on the job for 20 years. He said the submarine forms a pillar part of the naval force. Zhou told CGTN, “Given the conditions inside the submarine, it’s a huge challenge to us both physically and mentally.”
Space inside the submarine is limited, but its designers have worked out solutions to make full use of every space. Advanced technology along with high efficiency has improved the sub’s combat capacity to help defend China’s blue water.