Chinese buzz HSF-like navy ship

SUBHEAD: It looks a lot like the Superferry and is out there sniffing the Chinese.
SOURCE: heads-up on story from Fabio Marshall U.S. Pentagon statement on 9 March 2009 as reported on$1275867.htm
Image above: USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS 23) at sea. From The United States is to lodge an official complaint with the Chinese authorities after one of its navy vessels was intimidated by boats in the South China Sea. The Pentagon has released details of the latest in a line of "increasingly aggressive" acts by Chinese ships. According to the department of defence the USNS Impeccable - an ocean surveillance ship - was forced to spray crewmen with water from fire hoses when five Chinese boats came within 50ft on Saturday, 75 miles south of Hainan.
Navy states USNS Impeccable is one of the five Ocean Surveillance Ships that are part of the 25 ships in Military Sealift Command's Special Mission Ships Program. "On March 8th 2009, five Chinese vessels shadowed and aggressively manoeuvred in dangerously close proximity to USNS Impeccable, in an apparent coordinated effort to harass the US ocean surveillance ship while it was conducting routine operations in international waters," the Pentagon said. "The Chinese vessels surrounded USNS Impeccable, two of them closing to within 50ft, waving Chinese flags and telling Impeccable to leave the area. "Because the vessels' intentions were not known, Impeccable sprayed its fire hoses at one of the vessels in order to protect itself. The Chinese crew members disrobed to their underwear and continued closing to within 25ft." A spokesman added that two Chinese ships then proceeded to overtake the Impeccable and drop wood in front of its path, forcing the vessel into an emergency stop. Beijing repeatedly clashes with other navies in the South China Sea, which it considers exclusively its territorial waters.
Image above: Impeccable built in 2001 at Halter Marine Shipyard in Mississippi provided with both active and passive sonar capabilities.From
[Editor's Note: Remember the Hawaii Superferry was built with a $140 million loan from the U.S. Maritime Administration that requires it fulfill duty as part of U.S. military sea lift operations (in time of emergency). Will the upgrade to the second ferry and the retro-fit to the first ferry include whale-killing active and passive sonar capability?]
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