China is developing a warship of naval theorists' dreams
An arsenal ship that can be submerged in water.
With distinctive twin conning towers, this arsenal ship can hide under the waves or move on the surface at higher speeds.
The Chinese navy is taking arsenal ships in a new direction—as giant submersibles. Post-Cold War naval theorists have long dreamed of recreating the old battleships' power through massive "arsenal ships," or warships carrying hundreds of guided missiles that could fire at land and sea targets. Now it looks like China wants to make that dream a reality.
Click through images of China's military might:
Professor Dong Wen Cai, the late Chinese hydrodynamics expert, shows a sketch of a submersible major combatant, with a flat hull and mid-hull steering fins.
Stories circulating on Chinese websites—including the Wuhan city government site—mention that Chinese institutions are conducting studies on gigantic submersible arsenal ships.
What's the big deal about an underwater arsenal vessel? Well submerging all or even most of a large warship would reduce its radar and visual signature, as well as protect it against most missile threats.