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Chinese subs not technically advanced but good enough: Experts

A Chinese submarine. File photo

BEIJING (PTI): As Pakistan plans to buy eight submarines from China worth nearly US$ 5 billion, experts said the proposed deal showed that the Chinese submarines are "good enough" for developing countries as they are cheap even though not "technologically advanced".

Chinese submarines are well-suited for developing nations' navies, as they boast strong combat capabilities, proven technologies and competitive prices, they said.

"Our conventional submarines are not as technologically advanced as the best ones, but their capabilities are good enough for regional naval powers, and they all have a reasonable price," Cui Yiliang, editor-in-chief of Modern Ships magazine, told state-run China Daily.

"In the past, Chinese submarines have had some defects in design, materials and production techniques. However, we have begun to catch up," he said, urging Chinese shipbuilders to develop more cutting-edge technologies.

"Our submarines will become popular in the international market once Chinese engineers make more breakthroughs in key technologies such as air-independent propulsion system," he said.

Zhang Junshe, a researcher at the PLA's naval military studies research centre, said, "the advantages of the Chinese submarines are their reliable performance which have been tested and proved through long service with the PLA navy and their competitive price."

"Top equipment is good but I don't think a developing country's navy actually needs the best equipped and most expensive submarines. Ours are good enough," he said.

Pakistan plans to buy eight Chinese submarines which, the Daily said, could be the most valuable weapons export China has made.


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