China Unveils Three New Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarines

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The Chinese Navy is preparing to commission three new, nuclear-powered attack submarines with a vertical launching system able to fire supersonic anti-ship missiles, a report from China Daily said.

The China Central Television showed satellite pictures earlier this week of the three submarines anchored at an unidentified port claiming that the new submarines are China’s most advanced Type-093G attack submarines.

“The Type-093G is reported to be an upgraded version of Type-093, China’s second-generation nuclear-powered attack submarine, which entered active service several years ago. With a teardrop hull, the submarine is longer than its predecessor and has a vertical launching system,” according to the China Daily report.

The Chinese navy’s website said the new variant is engineered to reduce noise, improve speed and mobility and fire China’s latest YJ-18 supersonic anti-ship missile, according to the report.

These recent developments involving Chinese submarine acquisition is not likely to surprise U.S. observers who have repeatedly been vocal about the pace of China’s naval and overall military modernization.

In fact, Navy leaders told lawmakers in February that the Chinese navy now operates a greater number of attack submarines than the U.S. military and is rapidly expanding the scope of their undersea missions and patrols.

Mulloy cited Chinese production and testing of submarine launched weapons and said that one SSBN – or ballistic missile submarine capable of launching nuclear weapons – went on a very long 95-day at sea patrol.

This development inspired many news reports and public commentary about the prospect that nuclear-armed Chinese ballistic missile submarines would have the ability to potentially strike parts of Alaska and Hawaii from various undersea locations in the Pacific Ocean.

The commission said Chinese modernization plans call for a sharp increase in attack submarines and nuclear-armed submarines or SSBNs. Chinese SSBNs are now able to patrol with nuclear-armed JL-2 missiles able to strike targets more than 4,500 nautical miles.

In addition, the Chinese are currently working on a new, modernized SSBN platform as well as a long-range missile, the JL-3, the commission said.

The commission also specifically addressed areas of Chinese-Russian military developmental cooperation, saying the two countries are working on a joint deal to build new attack submarines.

“China is pursuing joint-design and production of four to six Russian advanced diesel-electric attack submarines containing Russia’s latest submarine sonar, propulsion, and quieting technology. The deal would improve the PLA Navy’s capabilities and assist China’s development of quiet submarines, thus complicating future U.S. efforts to track and counter PLA submarines,” the commission writes.

“What they are doing with patrols is just the tip of the iceberg. It is not just the number of the ships, but within five to eight years they will have about 82 submarines in the Asia Pacific area and we will have about 32 to 34,” he told Military​.com last summer.

Full article: China Unveils Three New Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarines (DefenseTech)

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