Mysterious Chinese diesel-electric sailless type sub has appeared

WASHINGTON — Several profiles on social networks paid attention to photos and videos of a new Chinese submarine, which is supposed to be a diesel-electric sailless type. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that this is not the first time the world has talked about the sailless type or conventional subclass of submarines developed in China, after more and more satellite images have been revealed in recent years, proving that China invests significant funds in this type of military development.

Mysterious Chinese diesel-electric sailless type sub has appeared
Photo credit: Twitter

The photos and video of the diesel-electric sailless type sub appeared yesterday, January 8, and are supposed to have been taken during tests. The daydream is small in size. Experts estimate it is about 160 feet long or just over 48 meters. By comparison, the Chinese Type 039A submarine is 250 feet or 76 meters long.

A similar submarine was photographed in 2018, but there is no way to know if we are talking about the same sea vessel. H.I. Sutton, author, analyst, and specialist in submarines believes that this submarine has a single hull, which is proof that this submarine is not related to Type 039A. Sutton also notes that this diesel-electric sailless type sub has the dive planes mounted on the forward casing.

“The design appears related to the sailless submarine. Except for the course that it has a sail. The sail is highly blended at the base and has an unusual profile, but is not unlike some seen on models at Chinese defense shows in the past. example the CSIC MS200 design. Note that the two white stripes along the sail are very likely to just be paint trim ahead of commissioning. This is commonly seen on new Chinese submarines,” Sutton said.

In general, very little is known about the new Chinese submarine, but this reinforces the fact that Beijing is investing heavily in smaller conventional submarines, as well as in larger nuclear-powered projects.

The latest development follows last year’s appearance of a new version of the Yuan class, known in the West, so far unofficially, as the Type 039C. The key feature of this design is the revised sail design compared to other 039 type boats, perhaps chosen to enhance its stealth characteristics or to contain a sonar or communication system, or a combination thereof.

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