According to US Navy sources, a US nuclear-powered attack submarine impacted an unknown object in the South China Sea. What hit the submarine was not known, but the impact did not cause any significant damage to the hull.
This revelation comes as the South China Sea becomes a hub of activity with major powers moving assets to get the best advantage.
Identified is the submarine USS Connecticut, which is the Seawolf-class that can dive up to 2000-feet underwater. Another mystery is how serious the collision was and where exactly, but the Navy gave no details.
USS Connecticut collides with unknown underwater object
The Seawolf was transiting the South China Sea to the naval base in Guam when the unknown collision occurred, reported the Sun UK.
For the moment, the accident comes in the heels of the spiraling peace in the Taiwan Strait, after the PLAAF sent 129 jets flying into the air defense identification zone (ADIZ). For three days, the airspace over the island was buzzed, fostering fears of an invasion.
Covert operations were in progress as US troops were on the island, with the Republic of China (ROC) forces to help mount a defense if the communists were to attack and invade.
Reports from Navy sources verified that crew members were injured but no fatalities as well. Also, the submarine's nuclear systems were intact, with no leaks or hull damage, cited Live Mint.
The Navy says the USS Connecticut "struck an object" while submerged. https://t.co/wHmJyZbrKy— ABC News (@ABC) October 8, 2021
Is it one of China's unmanned submerged vehicles?
Carriers from the US fleet, USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Carl Vinson, with Royal Navy's HMS Queen Elizabeth and Japanese Navy light carrier for helicopters, were in the South China Sea on the way to do drills elsewhere.
It is no secret that Beijing has underwater drones for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Recently, one of these drones was fished out by an Indonesian fishmonger last year.
The USS Connecticut or its crew and the Navy brass have not revealed what bumped in the deep-diving Sea wolf. Whether the submarine hit a submerged landmass that was in its path has not been revealed cited the Naval Times.
Much of the South China Sea is claimed by Beijing in the name of UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), which classified the Paracel's and Spratly chains as theirs. Those areas hold rich oil and mineral deposits underneath.
These islands were built on the reefs and made into faux islands to station its forces. The UNCLOS says any land in the sea has a 12-mile no pass zone used by Beijing for their claim. Other nations do FONOPS as a response.
USS Connecticut remains operational with no damage from the collision
It could sail on without any evacuation needed for the crew, no leaks or cracks were seen yet, but the US Pacific Fleet and the Naval Safety Center will look into it.
Furthermore, the submarine can go its missions and stay operational, USS Connecticut's nuclear reactor is still safe. However, the Navy will do checks to avoid problems.
The US nuclear-powered attack submarine that impacted an unknown object at a depth remains still operational. No statement from the US Navy has been issued yet other than the submarine and crew are okay.