JL-2 SLBM on Jin-Class SSBN Each Jin-class SSBN is expected to be armed with 12 JL-2 nuclear-armed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). DOD estimates that these missiles will enter service in 2009 or 2010,22 and that they will have a range of 7,200 kilometers (about 3,888 nautical miles).23 Such a
range could permit Jin-class SSBNs to attack.
• targets in Alaska (except the Alaskan panhandle) from protected bastions close to China;24
• targets in Hawaii (as well as targets in Alaska, except the Alaskan panhandle) from locations south of Japan;
• targets in the western half of the 48 contiguous states (as well as Hawaii and Alaska) from mid-ocean locations west of Hawaii; and
• targets in all 50 states from mid-ocean locations east of Hawaii.
China’s submarine modernization effort, which is producing a significantly more modern and capable submarine force, has attracted substantial attention and concern. The August 2009 ONI report states that “since the mid-1990s, the PRC has emphasized the submarine force as one of the primary thrusts of its military modernization effort.”
China by the end of 2006 completed taking delivery on eight Russian-made Kilo-class nonnuclear powered attack submarines (SSs) that are in addition to four Kilos that China purchased from Russia in the 1990s. China also has recently built or is building four other classes of submarines, including the following:
• a new nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) design called the Jin class or Type 094;
• a new nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN) design called the Shang class or Type 093;16
• a new SS design called the Yuan class or Type 041 (or Type 039A);17 and
• another (and also fairly new) SS design called the Song class or Type 039/039G.
Along with the Kilo-class boats, these four classes of indigenous submarines are regarded as much more modern and capable than China’s aging older-generation submarines.18 At least some of these new submarine designs are believed to have benefitted from Russian submarine technology and design know-how.
The August 2009 ONI report includes a graph that shows a new Type 095 SSN, along with the date 2015, which might be the year that ONI projects that this submarine will enter service. The graph shows that this submarine is projected be quieter than the Shang-class SSN, and also quieter than the Russian Victor III-class SSN, which entered service in the late 1970s, but not as quiet as the Russian Akula I-class SSN, which entered service in the late 1980s.
|I think PLA built this sub as a counter measure to American nuke-sub, but Japanese seems get a bit anxious about it. One Japanese media said Chinese has successfully tested a the JL-2 missile which has a range of 8000km to 12000km in March 2005.|
China’s submarines are armed with one or more of the following: ASCMs, wire-guided and wake-homing torpedoes, and mines. China’s eight recently delivered Kilos are reportedly armed with the highly capable SS-N-27 Sizzler ASCM. In addition to other weapons, Shang-class SSNs may carry LACMs. Although ASCMs are often highlighted as sources of concern, wake-homing torpedoes can also be very difficult for surface ships to counter.
Although China’s aging Ming-class (Type 035) submarines are based on old technology and are much less capable than China’s newer-design submarines, China may decide that these older boats have continued value as minelayers or as bait or decoy submarines that can be used to draw out enemy submarines (such as U.S. SSNs) that can then be attacked by more modern PLA Navy submarines.
Excluding the 12 Kilos purchased from Russia, the total number of domestically produced submarines placed into service between 1995 and 2007 is 26, or an average of 2.0 per year. This average rate of domestic production, if sustained indefinitely, would eventually result in a steadystate force of domestically produced submarines of 40 to 60 boats of all kinds, again assuming an average submarine life of 20 to 30 years.