A Chinese Song Class diesel-electric submarine was in Colombo during President Xi Jinping’s visit last week making it the first foreign port of call made by a Chinese submarine as well as the first confirmed appearance of a Chinese sub in the Indian Ocean.
It was part of a task force which consisted of a large submarine support ship named Chongxing Island which came to the Colombo Port South Terminal built with Chinese funds during Xi’s visit.
This move could be the first step made by China to project its power in the Indian Ocean.
It is also reported that the Type-039 conventional submarine (NATO codenamed Song) is a second-generation conventional submarines designed and built by China.
It is the first Chinese submarine Class to be fitted with an integrated electronic support measures/radio direction finder/ radar warning receiver system.
It is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.
According to the Chinese media PLA Naval fleets would visit Colombo in October and November this year as well. (Supun Dias)