USNI reports that the submarine operated in a disputed area of the South China Sea, close to small islands, reefs, and outcrops where the US Navy has challenged China’s claims.
The Navy says that submerged in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region, a nuclear-powered attack submarine from the United States struck an object, adding there were no life-threatening injuries.
A nuclear submarine of the U.S. Navy struck an object Thursday while submerged in international waters in the South China Sea. Officials told reporters no serious injuries resulted from the incident, and the submarine is currently operating normally. A brief statement from the USS Connecticut stated that it was not affected by a recent incident and that it was in a “safe and stable condition.” The report indicated that the Seawolf submarine’s nuclear propulsion plant was not affected by the incident.
An assessment of the extent of the damage to the remaining parts of the submarine is underway, the statement said, adding that an investigation is underway into the incident.
Two navy officials said it happened in the South China Sea while Connecticut was conducting routine operations. Still, they declined to disclose the location of the incident because they did not wish to discuss details that haven’t yet come to light.
The sub moved forward toward the port of Guam, according to officials. Because of operational security, they decided not to announce the incident before Thursday.
Fortunately, this is not the second submarine that the sub hit. However, officials have not yet identified a struck object. Officials speculated that it could have been a sunken ship, an open container, or other unmapped species.
It said that about nine other sailors received minor injuries such as cuts and bruises, in addition to the two moderately injured sailors. These sailors received medical treatment onboard the submarine.
The threat to Taiwan is rising as the US and China conduct dueling military drills.
The United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States signed an agreement enhancing security just weeks before Connecticut collided with a European jet. Additionally, a deal called AUKUS disintegrated relations between the two countries. Australian officials signed a contract to provide conventional submarines, but the deal fell through as the United States offered an alternative.
Australia’s shipbuilding hub under the threat of nuclear submarines
Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, called the deal “game-changing” for Australian security against China’s aggressive military operations in the Indo-Pacific, saying it will contribute to the region’s stability.