- The ‘Jin’ Type 094A sub has a large ‘hump’ concealing 12 ballistic missiles
- Missiles known as ‘big waves’ have a range of over 11,000km
New photos of China’s latest secret stealth submarine have emerged – and it is believed could soon carry missiles powerful enough to reach America.
The ‘Jin’ Type 094A has a large ‘hump’ concealing 12 submarine-launched ballistic missiles known as ‘big waves’, with a range of over 11,000km.
It is believed the secret sub has been given a major overhaul since it was last spotted.
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The Type 094A, China’s newest nuclear missile submarine, is currently based at Hainan Island, in the underground submarine base at Yulin. The new variant has a curved tower and front, making it more aerodynamic underwater.
According to Popular Science, the sub, seen in the image at Hainan Island, in the underground submarine base at Yulin, is a new version of China’s Type 084A sub, four of which have been seen before.
The new variant has a curved tower and front, making it more aerodynamic underwater.
The JL-2C missile, a longer ranged variants of China’s existing missiles, which boasts multiple nuclear warheads with global reach
According to PopSci, ‘The Type 094A’s conning tower has also removed its windows. Additionally, the Type 094A has a retractable towed array sonar (TAS) mounted on the top of its upper tailfin, which would make it easier for the craft to ‘listen’ for threats and avoid them.’
Crucially, it boasts a bigger missile payload bay, and is believed to carry new ‘big wave’ missiles.
A big hump: The old (bottom) and new (top) Type 094A (top). The newer version has a larger ‘hump’ to accommodate more missiles.
Officially known as the JL-2A, it has a 11,200-kilometer range.
This means it could reach almost the entire US from its home base.
Longer ranged versions, like the JL-2C variant, can carry multiple nuclear warheads with global reach.
According to a recent Congressional report, Chinese subs are already patrolling with nuclear-armed JL-2 missiles able to strike targets more than 4,500 nautical miles.
China’s submarine fleet
The Chinese are currently working on a new, modernized SSBN platform as well as a long-range missile, the JL-3, the commission claimed.
Earlier this year the Chinese navy released a rare photo of the Type 093B ‘Shang’ submarine, which can launch missiles vertically at ships and other targets overhead.
This model improves upon the capabilities of earlier nuclear attack submarines, and is expected to be quieter and faster.
According to the Popular Science blog Eastern Arsenal, this reveal marks an extremely rare event.
It’s thought that there were three Type 093B SSNs launched last year.
These were preceded by two Type 093 SSNs, which were launched 15 years ago.
Though they were intended to be stealthy, the Type 093s were equipped with noisy reactors and propulsion systems, the blog explains, and this was only worsened as they climbed to higher speeds.
China’s new nuclear attack submarine is among the military’s most secretive platforms – and the world has just been given its first glimpse. The Chinese navy has released a rare photo of the Type 093B ‘Shang’ submarine
THE TYPE 093
The Type 093B SSN is a nuclear attack submarine.
It’s expected to be quieter and faster than earlier models, and is equipped with a vertical launch system.
This makes for quicker launches, and larger size of the cells means it can support UACs or underwater robots.
In the new version, the submarine uses more advanced metallurgy and reactor resigns to reduce noise to an estimate stealthiness between the USN Los Angeles Flight I and Flight III SSNs.
Little is disclosed regarding the stealth and performance given the view of the photo, but the article points out numerous other ‘noticeable improvements.’
This includes a vertical launch system battery, which has been installed behind the conning tower.
A vertical system will make for faster launches, and the cells are larger and thus better suited for the launch of underwater robots or UAVS.
But, the submarine will still have cruise missiles, which are shot from a torpedo tube.
In the photo, sailors can be seen loading a missile canister into the tube.
Submarines can fire missile canisters from their torpedo tubes, which break open to launch the missile inside. In the photo, sailors can be seen loading a missile canister into the tube
Along with this, the 093B has a flared base, a feature that’s seen similarly in modern attack submarines.
This may contain sensors, the blog explains, and installation mounts on the sides of the hull indicate there will be side-mounted active sonar to look for warships and submarines.
Recent improvements in the underwater force show China is beginning to catch up to other powers at sea, including the US and Japan.
The country is already working on another nuclear attack submarine, the Type 095, which could launch before 2020.