Last update 25 nov 2009
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People's Republic of China rescue systems

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INTRODUCTION

No details have been received from the People's Liberation Army (Navy) (PLA(N)).  However, the PLA(N) is believed to have built all escape and rescue facilities to the specifications of the Russian Federation.  Therefore it can be inferred that PLA(N) submarines with a docking seat can receive a Submarine Rescue Vehicle (SRV) fitted with a NATO STANAG rescue skirt.   However, a PLA(N) SRV may be unable to accommodate the dimensions of a non-Russian Federation styled hatch and seat.

ESCAPE SYSTEMS

PLA(N) submarines can conduct escape through the torpedo tubes as demonstrated by successful escapes from sunken submarines in 1959 and 1987 (dates to be confirmed).  In both cases it is believed that the accidental sinking was caused by collision in shallow water and that the majority of survivors of the initial incident escaped successfully.

Details of the limits of such escape methods are unknown.

RESCUE VESSELS

Each Fleet of the PLA(N) has a DAJAING Class Submarine Rescue Ship (ASR) with a submarine rescue chamber (SRC).   It is unlikely that these systems will be compatible with a NATO rescue seat.  Each vessel has a large crane on the forward deck for launch and recovery of a SRV.  Despite their size, it is likely that these vessels will be severely weather limited for SRV operations, (as a matter of conjecture it is considered that it would prove dangerous to attempt an SRV  launch above SS 3).   

SALVAGE VESSELS

The PLA(N) operates a large number of salvage ships of various sizes and classes.  It is likely that salvage of a sunken submarine could be accomplished. 

RESCUE VEHICLES

Jane's Fighting Ships lists two "DSRV" in the PLA(N) Orbat.  First tested in 1986 operating from DAJIANG Class ASR.

Vehicle Dimensions:

Length: 14.9m

Width: 2.6m

Height (with mating skirt): UNKNOWN

Height (without skirt):2.6m

Weight 35 tonnes

Maximum operating depth: 600m (2000ft)  Max Rescue Depth 200m (660ft).

Air Transport Unknown.  The vehicle is small enough to be taken by a large transport aircraft.  However, support requirements at the DISSUB scene are uncertain.
Construction: Unknown
Batteries:

Ag/Zn battery quoted endurance 20 hrs at 2 kts

Life Support: Endurance 62 man days CO2 absorption material and Oxygen
Payload:

Unknown

Speed: Maximum speed is 4 knots
Through water communications:

Underwater telephone.

Radio Equipment:

Unknown

Tools available:

Manipulator fitted of unknown capability.

Operating crew:

Unknown number of personnel in support

Two pilots and one Diver Lock Out Chamber operator when submerged

Weather/Sea conditions:

See remarks above.

Mating Angle:

Unknown

Rescuee Capability:

The quoted number of six rescuees seems small for an SRV of this size and of the stated life support endurance.

Auxiliary Equipment:

Unknown.  Assumed to be contained in ASR

 

The PLA(N) is planning to acquire a new SRV.