The Type 096, China’s third-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, has given the PLA Navy the means to strike the continental United States from the Chinese coast for the first time, according to the Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao.
China is estimated to have four Type 094 Jin-class second-generation ballistic missile submarines. Together, those four submarines can carry 48 JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and 200 nuclear warheads, which is 35% of China’s nuclear arsenal. With an attack range of 6,000 kilometers, the JL-2 missile’s threat to American forces is confined to the Western Pacific.
The new ballistic missile designed for the Type 096 submarine is estimated to have a range of 11,000 kilometers. This would make the submarine capable of launching a direct nuclear attack against the continental US.
The new submarine reportedly even has the capability of firing its missiles through layers of ice, said an US expert. Under the escort of the Chinese surface combat fleet, it would be able to begin its attack from Hawaiian waters.
Full article: Type 096 submarine can attack US homeland from China’s coast (Want China Times)