US submarine arrives near Scarborough

One of the United States' newest submarines visits the Philippines as the Scarborough Shoal standoff entered its 5th week

USS NORTH CAROLINA. In this file photo, Sailors "man the ship" and officially bring the newest Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine USS North Carolina (SSN 777) to life during her commissioning ceremony, May 3, 2008, at Wilmington, North Carolina, United States. U.S. Navy file photo By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelvin Edwards.

MANILA, Philippines – One of the United States’ newest submarines has arrived in Subic Bay, Zambales, which is near the disputed Scarborough Shoal, the US Navy reported.

USS North Carolina, a Virginia-class fast-attack submarine, arrived at Subic Bay in Zambales last Sunday, May 13, the US Navy said.

The visit, which aims to showcase “the latest capabilities of the (US) submarine force,” comes as the Scarborough Shoal standoff between the Philippines and China entered its 5th week.

It is unclear if the visit is also connected to the standoff.

China has shown agitation over US involvement in the Scarborough Shoal dispute.

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The US Navy described North Carolina as the 4th submarine in the Virginia class, the Navy’s newest class of submarines, and the first ship designed for the post-Cold War environment.

It is over 350 long and weighs over 7,800 tons when submerged, added the US Navy, which described it as “one of the stealthiest, most technologically advanced submarines in the world.”

“It brings to the region the capability to conduct the full spectrum of potential submarine missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and mine warfare,” the Navy said.

Commissioned in 2008, North Carolina has a crew of 133 and is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. – Rappler.com

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