China expands sub fleet

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From The Washington Times:

China's military is engaged in a major buildup of submarines that includes five new strategic nuclear-missile boats and several advanced nuclear-powered attack submarines, according to the Office of Naval Intelligence.
The new nuclear-powered missile submarines (SSBNs), identified as Type 094s, will be outfitted with new 5,000-mile range JL-2 missiles that "will provide China with a modern and robust sea-based nuclear deterrent force," the ONI stated in report made up of written answers to questions on the Chinese submarine buildup.
The ONI report was first disclosed to Sea Power magazine, and a copy was obtained by The Washington Times. It was the first time the Pentagon has identified the number of new Chinese strategic submarines under construction.
The five new missile submarines will "provide more redundancy and capacity for a near-continuous at-sea SSBN presence," the ONI said, which noted that sea trials for some of the submarines are under way and the first deployments could begin as early as next year.
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Comment: Note that this is a two page story. This "threat" may be more smoke and mirrors then reality. The Chinese nuclear submarine program has been anything but trouble free, but by the same token, I think that selling them short would be a serious mistake. Underestimating a potential adversary is always a recipe for disaster. Especially one that has nukes and an expressed willingness to use them.

They've been getting better and they have some very sharp operators in their fleet. The Chinese sub driver that surprised the Kitty Hawk battle group did it with a diesel powered boat and they had no idea he was even there until he surfaced within five miles of the formation. They were sending a message with that stunt and it would be foolish to ignore it.
The Chinese aren't the only ones playing the submarine game. From The Standard:

New arms race under the waves

A dramatic increase in the number of submarines being built in Southeast Asia has sparked claims that a new arms race is under way beneath the waves in the Western Pacific.
Dozens of hunter-killers, armed with missiles and intelligence-gathering equipment, are being built, fanning fears of potential conflict in a volatile corner of the world and threatening to alter the global balance of military power.

The Indonesian government has announced that it wants to build 12 submarines by 2024 to patrol the strategically vital waters around its 17,000 islands. Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Bangladesh and Pakistan are all buying submarines "off the shelf."

China and India - the two emergent superpowers of the Asia-Pacific region - are now planning a new generation of nuclear-powered boats that, in China's case, could fire nuclear missiles capable of hitting the US mainland.
For the rest of this somewhat lengthy story, go to

China’s New Missile Submarine Seen By Satellite

China’s newest ballistic missile submarine, the Jin-class vessel, has been spotted for the first time by a commercial satellite, a nuclear expert at the Federation of American Scientists said July 5.
The submarine was photographed in late 2006 south of the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian, said Hans Kristensen, director of the FAS’s Nuclear Information Project.
Story at
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