The Chinese military tested the first underwater port attack using explosives as informed by the state media, arguing that could be used against the U.S. military.
A wharf at an unidentified port in an unknown location was successfully destroyed with underwater charges, Business Insider reported from local news agencies.
In order to collect data from the test, sensors installed on the wharf were used.
It is unknown when the simulated attack was carried out. The extent of damages caused to the wharf was not revealed either.
Chinese propaganda outlet Global Times said data from the test will be evaluated for building tactics in dealing with enemies in “a real war.”
Calling out the U.S., an unnamed military expert believed the underwater strategy could impair its logistics support, communications, and command when large vessels are under attack.
With ports destroyed, enemy logistical assistance will fail, as will a scattered battle force that relies heavily on logistics support, the expert explained.
Nonetheless, Chinese media provided no details of how the explosives could be planted in an adversary’s port while being in an actual conflict. Potentially, they may use manned invasion, autonomous systems, submarines, mines, or some unknown method, Business Insider noted.
Former U.S. Navy officer and defense expert at the Hudson Institute, Bryan Clark, said the strategy may indeed be a threat to civilian ports which have few defense facilities.
But if they want to target military ports, the plan could be challenged by a series of security blockages including nets that hinder submersibles, acoustic sensors to detect divers, patrols, and others.
Other tests and developments
This is just the latests in a series of various military tests.
Washington meanwhile is paying attention to recent reports of unconfirmed hypersonic weapons tests conducted by Beijing recently, according to the Financial Times.
Moreover, a new satellite called Shijian 21 was launched. Its technology is apparently aimed at cleaning space debris, though Washington warns it could be used to grapple and disable other satellites.
While China insisted that they only tested technology to clear space debris, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, believed it was similar to a “Sputnik moment.”
Sputnik was the groundbreaking 1957 satellite that handed the Soviet Union an early lead in the space race and startled the United States.
“What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system,” Milley said, according to Bloomberg. “And it is very concerning.”
According to the outlet, if the technology is perfected, it might be used to launch nuclear warheads over the South Pole and through American anti-missile defenses in the northern hemisphere.
Defense Department spokesman John Kirby rejected the technology could be anything new to the U.S., which is also seeking to advance in that area.
“Our own pursuit of hypersonic capabilities is real, it’s tangible and we are absolutely working towards being able to develop that capability,” Kirby said.