US, Japan to operate undersea system to monitor PLA subs

3:29:00 PM
BEIJING, -- To monitor the activities of Chinese submarines in the Western Pacific, the United States Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force have begun the joint operation of an undersea submarine detection system on the floor of the Pacific side of the Ryukyu islands, according to the Tokyo-based Kyodo News.

Known as the SOSUS, this latest model sound surveillance system is being deployed by the US and Japanese navies to detect submarines of the People's Liberation Army Navy traveling from the East China Sea to the Yellow Sea, an unnamed source from the JMSDF told Kyodo News. He said that this is the first time the US has established a listening system solely targeting China. Because the system is still top secret in the US-Japan security system, the JMSDF only revealed its details to key figures in the government.

With the assistance of the US, Japan had already set up an older version of the listening system along the seabed of the Tsugaru Strait in northeastern Japan and the Tsushima Strait in southwestern Japan, to detect the activities of Soviet submarines during the Cold War era. A spokesperson for the JMSDF refused to give any comment about the new system when asked about it at a press conference.

It is only known that the undersea submarine detection system will be operated by personnel from the US Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force at the former's White Beach base in Uruma, Okinawa prefecture. Both sides will fully share information collected through the system, according to the unnamed source.

U.S. researchers are developing a mobile submarine-surveillance network called Seaweb that uses drones including the Wave Glider, seen here.

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