Three Chinese Nuclear Missile Submarines Photographed in South China SeaPosted: May 28, 2014
For the Washington Free Beacon, Bill Gertz writes: China has deployed three nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines to a naval base in the South China Sea, according to a recent photo of the vessels that appeared on the Internet.
The submarines appear to be part of China’s plan to begin the first regular sea patrols of nuclear missile submarines.
“This will give China its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent, probably before the end of 2014.”
“China’s advance in submarine capabilities is significant,” Locklear said. “They possess a large and increasingly capable submarine force. China continues the production of ballistic missile submarines. … This will give China its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent, probably before the end of 2014.”
Disclosure of the strategic submarine deployment comes as China sharply increased tensions over the weekend after one of its naval vessels rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat in disputed waters claimed by both countries in the region.
Meanwhile, China on Tuesday called recent Japanese military aircraft incursions during joint Chinese-Russian war games in the East China Sea both dangerous and provocative, further escalating tensions between Beijing and Tokyo.
The photograph of the three missile submarines is the latest example of state-controlled media signaling new strategic nuclear capabilities by China.
The submarines, also called the Jin-class, are equipped with 12 multiple-warhead JL-2 submarine launched ballistic missiles that have a range of up to 4,900 miles.
Meanwhile, one of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarines based in Guam last week deployed for missions in the Asia Pacific and likely will conduct surveillance of China’s submarine forces in the region.
The submarine was monitoring a large Chinese-Russian joint naval exercise in the northern East China Sea that ended this week.
The Air Force also has begun long-range Global Hawk drone flights over Asia as part of a summer deployment of two of the unmanned surveillance aircraft to Japan.
On Tuesday, a Chinese general called the intrusion into military exercises by Japanese warplanes “dangerous” and “provocative.”
“Japan unilaterally stirred up the military jets’ encounter over the East China Sea,” Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, told Xinhua, referring to the Japanese jets’ confrontation by Chinese jets…. (read more)
- PLA ballistic missile submarines spotted off Hainan (wantchinatimes.com)
- Hainan, China’s new nuclear submarine base (wantchinatimes.com)
- Active stage of Russian-Chinese naval drill begins in East China Sea (en.itar-tass.com)
- Office of Naval Intelligence Concludes China Will Deploy Ballistic Missile Sub That Can Hit Hawaii This Year (matthewaid.com)