Three advanced nuclear-propelled submarines with the capabilities to fire vertically launched anti-ship missiles have been completed by Chinese shipbuilders.
Reuters reported that last week, satellite pictures broadcasted by China Central Television showed three submarines anchored at an unidentified port. The vessels are reported to be Type-093G submarines, an advanced version of Type-093, China’s second-generation nuclear-powered attack submarines. They were recently completed and being prepared to ship to the Navy of the People’s Liberation Army.
The Type-093G have improved speed and mobility, as well as reduced noise compared to the regular version. In addition, they are designed to fire the YJ-18, the vertically launched version of China’s YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missile.
The missile was reported to have the capacity to carry a 300-kilogram warhead to a range over 200 kilometers and can achieve maneuvers at speeds of up to Mach 3 moments before striking its target.
It is believed that PLA’s Navy has up to six Type-093 submarines in service along with three older Type-091 models with the new Type-095 in development. It was also reported that China has four Type-094 ballistic missile submarines, each carrying JL-1 or JL-2 nuclear missiles.
In February, U.S. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy stated China had surpassed the United States in the total number of submarines.
“They may not be the same quality, but their submarine forces are growing at a tremendous rate. They now have more diesel and nuclear attack submarines than we have,” the admiral told a House subcommittee.
“They are producing some fairly amazing submarines and they are actually deploying them,” he added.
The advancement in the Chinese naval development brought up in the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s annual report to Congress in December 2014. The Chinese-Russian military development cooperation and a joint deal to build new attack submarines were some of the issues addressed.
“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 commission said.
“The deal would improve the PLA Navy’s capabilities and assist China’s development of quiet submarines, thus complicating future US efforts to track and counter the PLA submarines,” it added.