U.S. Confirms Sale to China of Top-Line Anti-Sub Torpedoes
The United States has sold four of its most current anti-submarine torpedoes to China and is discussing renovating Chinese ships to offset the growing Soviet submarine fleet, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
Pentagon spokesman Dan Howard confirmed a previously unpublicized arrangement that was revealed by former Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr. in his newly released “Command of the Seas.”
In the book, Lehman said the Navy agreed in 1985 to renovate ships of the Chinese navy to hunt the Soviets’ huge Pacific fleet.
The deal, he said, included U.S. assistance to refit Chinese destroyers and frigates with sophisticated U.S. submarine-hunting equipment and killer torpedoes.
Lehman, who was Navy secretary from 1981 to 1987, said the agreement was disguised as a simple arms sale at the time.
The Mark 46 anti-submarine torpedo, currently used by the U.S. Navy, can be launched from surface ships or aircraft.