(-strategic) significance of deep sea ports

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by viceroy, Sep 2, 2010.

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  1. could some of you seafarer folks shed some light what the fuss is all about with regard to deep sea ports? How are they of strategic importance other then them being potentially used by large size navy vessels?

    There is all this talk about the ports being built by China ('string of pearls') in Bangladsh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, essentially encircling India.

    BBC News - Is Chittagong one of China's 'string of pearls'?

    Any thoughts?
  2. Guns

    Guns LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. The Royal Navy

    Deep water ports are needed for the larger vessels (oil tankers, gas tankers and big cargo vessels. These things are feckin huge and need well over 20m of deep water to get around. Deep water ports make money, large amounts of it. You can take the big vessels alongside, unload and either shift over land or break down to smaller vessels to get to other ports.

    Also big grey sleek messengers of death, like submarines, amphibious shipping, support shipping and aircraft carriers need deep water ports. Especially submarines as more of them is below rather than above the water.

    Can't imagine why the Chinese need so many deep water ports ????????
  3. They've done exactly what the Royal Navy did for about 100 years around the whole world. Create a chain of Deep water ports that RN ships and, if required Merchant navy ships, can resuply and refuel. That's why places like Malta, the Falklands and Hong Kong were so important. In China's case it's a simple link to a a valuable resource location.
  4. What other reason do you need?

    If a vessel with a large draught is to be able to gain access to or egress from a port regardless of the state of the tide, that port needs to have an entrance which is deep enough to be navigable at all times - a deep-water port. Without this ability, there are several restrictions placed upon the fleet.
  5. Indeed - until Portsmouth Harbour is dredged the entrance is not deep enough to take the new carriers except at high tides. I'm told the harbour itself is deep enough to take even the larger US CVNs, but the USN understandably doesn't like the idea of its CVNs being trapped in harbour and only able to leave at high tides which is why they anchor off Stokes Bay in the Solent. However, this makes reprovisioning, shifting of PMC, gash and waste disposal, repairs etc a royal pain in the arse and therefore everyones preference is for a true deep sea port and be able to come alongside.
  6. Dredging brings about other, sometimes unforeseen, consequences. One major effect is to increase the tidal range, so that at the lowest low tide, your harbour will no longer be as deep.
  7. Plus the USN doesn't like its sailor boys to get mobbed on runs ashore in Pompey.
    The sti rate rocketed when the Eisenhower did a port visit a few years ago.
  8. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    If you are wondering about the 'other' reason why ChiCom wants a chain of deep water ports, its so it can take over the world with its military might when the time is right. China likes to play the long game.

    Or maybe the cost of that threat will bankrupt America's countering of it as per Regan vs USSR in the 80's.. but in reverse.

    Has anyone seen my foil hat?
  9. We are building a deepwater port as well. Look up London Gateway which will eventually rival Felixtowe, although I doubt that there is any immediate plan for the RN to use it except in an emergency.
  10. Trade, plain and simple. The infrastructure requirements are massive and hard to defend so there's little return unless you use them to promote trade first and foremost. The vast majority of trade goods still go by sea.

    It's hard to imagine Hong Kong or Singapore ever amounting to much if their sole purpose had been as military refuelling stations.
  11. China is becoming a Maritime Power, so just as UK built up its world wide chain of 'Secure Harbours' from Gib-Malta to Singers-Honkers and of course the Falklands the Chinese now need their modern deep water harbours.
    The West is in decline and the East is expanding.
    The US squandered massive quantities of Black Gold now the East China and India want the worlds reserves for their massive populations.
    I understand both nations claim a middle class (car owners) larger then the Population of USA and probably Europe as well.
    The West chose to move it's manufacturing industry east and is paying for the expansion of the Orient.