WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- China is sending its attack submarines on far more patrols than ever before, declassified U.S. military documents reveal.
The Federation of American Scientists says it obtained U.S. naval intelligence documents that were declassified after the Washington nonprofit group filed a Freedom of Information Act request. The documents show that China's fleet of more than 50 attack submarines conducted 12 patrols in 2008, twice the number of patrols conducted in 2007, FAS said.
The 12 submarine patrols conducted are the highest patrol rate seen for the Chinese submarine fleet, following seven patrols conducted in 2007, two in 2006 and none in 2005, the FAS said.
The group said China has refrained from conducting submarine patrols four times since 1981 and the previous peaks were six patrols conducted in 2000 and 2007.