Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Malacca Strait

The choke point of South-East Asia will figure for a long time as a strategic battle ground.

The British abandoned Singapore in 1941, threatened by land attack by a horde of bicycle soldiers from an erstwhile ally. Surrender! Treachery as they had said it was impregnable. They relied upon artillery in the nascent age of aircraft. Useful to deny the passage of ships, but only as long as infantry did not land nearby.

Oceania will control the Strait by submarine power, but they would be foolish to neglect cheaper means of denial of the Strait. Why have a submarine boat, costing a billion or so, with many highly trained crew, when a few can control a hundred mines and torpedoes?

The Strait is not large, but it has two sides and can support undersea installations of launchers and sonar devices linked to the surface by optical cable. These require drilling or buried festooning along the coasts. Linked to transponders, they can offer remote direction of ship destroying weapons.