View Full Version : South China Sea Vessels Harassed U.S. Navy ship

03-09-2009, 01:12 PM
U.S. says Chinese vessels harassed Navy ship

"Sounds like Another USS Liberty (AGTR-5) in the making .The last one Seizure was

USS Pueblo (AGER-2) -- by North Korea, January 1968 ."

WASHINGTON (Reuters) Five Chinese ships including a Chinese naval vessel harassed a U.S. Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, at one point closing to within 25 feet of the ocean surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.

A Defense Department statement said the Chinese vessels "shadowed and aggressively maneuvered in dangerously close proximity" to the USS Impeccable, which was conducting routine operations in international waters 75 miles south of Hainan Island.

The Pentagon identified the Chinese vessels as a Navy intelligence ship, a bureau of maritime fisheries patrol vessel, a state oceanographic administration patrol vessel, and two small Chinese-flagged trawlers.

The Pentagon said the U.S. ship was operated by a civilian crew under contract with the Defense Department and accused the Chinese vessels of violating international law.

"We will be certainly letting the Chinese officials know of our displeasure with respect to this careless and reckless, unprofessional ... maneuver," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

Two Chinese vessels surrounded the Impeccable, while two closed to within 50 feet waving Chinese flags and telling the U.S. Navy ship to leave, the statement said.

The Navy ship responded by spraying one of the vessels with its fire hoses, but the Chinese ship closed further to within 25 feet and its crew members disrobed to their underwear, the Pentagon said.

It said the Impeccable informed the Chinese ships by radio that it was leaving the area and requested a safe path to navigate. But two of the Chinese vessels stopped directly in front of the U.S. ship and dropped pieces of wood in its path.

"The unprofessional maneuvers by Chinese vessels violated the requirement under international law to operate with due regard for the rights and safety of other lawful users of the ocean," Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Major Stewart Upton said in a statement.

"We expect Chinese ships to act responsibly and refrain from provocative activities that could lead to miscalculation or a collision at sea."

03-09-2009, 01:14 PM
T-AGOS 23 Impeccable Swath-L (Large) Ocean Surveillance Ship

T-AGOS tactical auxiliary general ocean surveillance (US DoD)

The mission of the T-AGOS 23 Class ships is to collect, process, and transmit acoustic data in support of the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) mission requirements. The ship will be operated by the Military Sealift Command (MSC) utilizing both civilian and naval personnel to carry out its mission. In short, this vessel is used by the military to track submarines, and is the quietest vessel the government operates, outside of submarines themselves. The unique hull form is one of the most impressive features of this massive 281-foot vessel.
Background: Oceanographic and hydrographic surveys, underwater surveillance, acoustic research and submarine support are just a few of the services these ships support. The ships are operated and maintained by civilian contractors. The Surveillance Towed Array Sensor is a linear array deployed on a tow cable. Information from the array is relayed via WSC-6 (SHF) SATCOM link to the shore. SURTASS patrols are 60 to 90 days in duration.
"This ship is built to track The New Chinese Nuclear SLBM Subs "
T-AGOS 23 Impeccable
Swath-L (Large) Ocean Surveillance Ship

Builder Tampa Shipyard/Halter Marine
Power Plant Diesel-electric; three diesel generators; 2 Westinghouse motors; 5,000 horsepower; twin screw shaft; 2 omni-thruster hydrojets; 1,800 horsepower
Length Overall Length: 281'6"
Waterline Length: 232 ft
Beam Extreme Beam: 96 ft
Waterline Beam: 96 ft
Draft Maximum Navigational Draft: 26 ft
Draft Limit: 26 ft
Displacement Light Displacement: 2809 tons
Full Displacement: 5380 tons
Dead Weight: 2571 tons
Speed 13 knots, 3 knots when towing
Crew 20 mariners, 5 technicians and up to 20 Navy personnel

Surveillance ships serve as a stable platform to gather underwater acoustical data. IMPECCABLE was specifically designed to deploy two underwater listening devices called surveillance towed-array sensor system (SURTASS) used to augment the Navy's antisubmarine warfare capability. The SURTASS mission is to gather ocean acoustical data and, through electronic equipment onboard, process and provide rapid transmission of antisubmarine warfare information via satellite to shore stations for evaluation and analysis.

The Small Waterplane Twin-Hull-Active (SWATH-A) T-AGOS is the third generation of T-AGOS. Originally designed as a multi-purpose hull configuration, only the SURTASS application has been implemented. This ship is 281 feet in length, has a beam of 95.9 feet, displaces 5,370 long tons, and is capable of sustaining speeds up to 12 knots.

Built on a small water plane area twin hull design for greater stability at slow speeds in high latitudes under adverse weather conditions, Impeccable class ships have a hull form based on that of Victorious. IMPECCABLE is larger and faster then her predecessors, VICTORIOUS Class ships. This vessel is a larger version of the SWATH-P (T-19 Class) ships with 47 extra feet in length and almost 2000 tons greater displacement. The ship is powered by a larger diesel electric propulsion system that generates 5000 shaft horsepower. The larger hull design provides the same stable, hospitable environment as the smaller SWATH-P platforms with the additional space, displacement and power needed to accommodate not only the passive acoustic system, but also Low Frequency Active sonar. The ship is crewed by approximately 20 civilian mariners, 10 technicians, and up to 20 Navy personnel. T-23's larger dimensions are necessary to provide accommodations for the 43 man crew, made up of a mix of military operators, MSC crewmen and O&M technicians.

The T-23 Class will be equipped with a vertical line active transmit array, a multi-frequency horizontal receiver array and a real-time processing and analysis suite to accomplish both the active and passive surveillance missions for which it was designed. In addition to primary acoustic mission equipment, T-23 is also outfitted with an extensive suite of navigation, communications, command and control and support equipment.

Acoustic systems include an active low frequency towed array, which has a series of modules each of which houses two high-powered active transducers. These can be used with either mono or bistatic receivers. Oceanographic and hydrographic surveys, underwater surveillance, acoustic research and submarine support are just a few of the services these ships support. The ships are operated and maintained by civilian contractors. The Surveillance Towed Array Sensor is a linear array deployed on a tow cable. Information from the array is relayed via WSC-6 (SHF) SATCOM link to the shore. These ships have the same WSC-6 communications, links and operating procedures as the Stalwart class. SURTASS patrols are 60 to 90 days in duration.

The Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System [SURTASS] Low Frequency Active (LFA) is the active adjunct to the towed array. LFA adds an active transmit array and handling system, power amplification and control systems, an active signal processing and display receive system, and an environmental analysis system to the SURTASS Upgrade. A prototype LFA system has been installed on a leased commercial vessel, Cory Chouest, and operated as an interim LFA asset pending delivery of T-AGOS-23 (SWATH-A), which will be equipped with LFA.

The fourteen ships support four Department of Defense programs: the Navy's Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) operations; Navy, Atlantic Fleet and U.S. Coast Guard counter drug initiatives; and the Air Force Electronic Systems Command's radar missile tracking system.


03-09-2009, 07:16 PM
you would think after the liberty incident we would have learned to keep a combatant in the vicinity of these sorts of unarmed ships...its not like 7th fleet doesn't have 50 some odd ships out there.