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Chinese Submarine Closes in on Aircraft Carrier, Gets a Reality Check When Sub Hunting Drill Begins

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Newly released footage reveals that the British Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier the HMS Queen Elizabeth tracked down a Chinese submarine while deployed in the South China Sea.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth was on a seven-month tour of Asian waters when the incident happened, according to the U.K. Sun.

It was revealed in the BBC documentary “The Warship: Tour of Duty,” released in January.



As the largest vessel in the Royal Navy, the Queen Elizabeth is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft.

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Footage of the incident showed how the carrier group worked to locate the submarine after it was detected underwater nearby.

In order to do so, the Royal Navy used sonobuoys to pin down its location.

The devices emit sound energy into the water and are able to map any solid object within range by using the return transmission.

The small buoys were deployed by helicopter.

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A crew member aboard the chopper said not long after dropping the sonobuoys: “We’ve identified one vessel down 20 nautical miles to the south of the force.”

Officers ultimately determined that it was a Chinese Kilo-class submarine that they had encountered, the Sun reported.

“So what we thought was a submarine, is now definitely a submarine. It’s not a whale,” one naval officer said, according to the U.K. Mirror.

They then tracked the submarine as it moved away from the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

“If this had been in a different scenario, a conflict situation, it would have proven that we’d have detected something, in ample time, protected the main body of the carrier,” the officer said afterward, according to the Sun.

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“Then you could have started a weapon chain against the submarine that was detected to neutralize the threat. So we beat them to the draw; 1-0 Queen Elizabeth.”

The carrier got into a similar encounter at around the same time in 2021 when Russian warplanes got dangerously close to the warship.

Multiple F-35 stealth jets were deployed in response and the Russian SU-24 attack planes quickly turned back, as reported by The Sun.

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