BEIJING, (BM) – The Chinese Navy received a strategic nuclear submarine, which was re-equipped with missiles reaching anywhere in the United States. The Chinese newspaper South China Morning Post writes about this, citing military sources.
According to military experts, we are talking about the submarine 094A “Jin”, which was shown on April 30 this year during the celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the PLA Navy (People’s Liberation Army of China).
In the world, Chinese submarines are considered not the best because of their noise, which allows them to be detected very quickly. But the modernization of the submarine solved the problem of noise, which was a real breakthrough, and made it possible to equip it with more powerful missiles.
“The 094A submarine has become a modernized version of the 094 type submarine. During the refitting, the Chinese solved one of the key problems related to noise. Beijing achieved this by improving the hydrokinetic and turbulent systems, which made it possible to install more powerful JL-3 missiles on it,” military analysts explained.
Before modernization, the submarine was equipped with weaker JL-2 missiles that could only hit the northeastern United States. But now that the JL-3 has been installed on the sub, they will cover the entire American continent. The JL-3 ballistic missile can deliver several warheads, including nuclear ones, at a distance of 10,000 km. At the same time, China emphasizes that the country does not intend to be the first to launch a nuclear strike. Still, such a modernization of the fleet will allow the government to retaliate against the enemy.
The media noted that the PLA Navy has six Project 094 submarines in various modifications. It is also planned to build two more missile submarines to replace the outdated 092 class ships completely.
China already has a bigger fleet than the US
Between 2015 and 2018, the tonnage of the naval component of the People’s Liberation Army [PLA] had increased by 350,000 tons.
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- China demonstrated strength by sending its latest aircraft carrier near Taiwan
As a result, China now has 333 ships, 37 more than its American counterpart. But this effort is not only quantitative; it is also qualitative, as evidenced by the ceremony organized at the Sanya naval base [Hainan province] on April 23 this year in the presence of President Xi Jinping.
The Chinese navy commissioned three new vessels, representing between them nearly 60,000 tons. At 35,000 to 40,000 tonnes, the largest in Type 075 amphibious assault ship [or helicopter carrier], dubbed “Hainan”
The Chinese nuclear deterrent
The PLA admitted to active service the Changzheng 18, its sixth nuclear missile sub [SSBN] type 094 [or Type 09-IV, Jin class]. Data concerning this vessel have not officially been published. It assumes that its displacement is 11,000 tons underwater [for a length of 135 m] and can carry up to 12 sea-ground-ballistic-strategic JL-2.
“The Changzheng 18 is probably an upgraded version of Type 09IV nuclear submarine. […] It gives China an even more credible nuclear deterrent,” commented Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, quoted by the daily Global Times.
“China’s naval strategy includes an increasingly visible military dimension, intended in particular to control the deep-sea crossing points essential for underwater navigation […] Gradually acquiring mastery of ‘sea power’ is essential to the exercise of power. China has understood this perfectly and is dedicated to it “, noted Thomas Gomart [IFRI], in his book L’Affolement du monde: 10 geopolitical issues”.
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