US expert issues warning over new missile submarines

Discussion in 'China' started by Ash, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. Ash

    Ash Regular Member

    May 5, 2011
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    South Africa
    Taiwan should be “very concerned” by reports that China’s navy will soon begin the first sea patrols of a new class of strategic missile submarines, a US military expert said on Tuesday.

    “While these missiles may not be aimed at Taiwan per se, they are aimed at America’s capacity to resist Chinese aggression against Taiwan,” International Assessment and Strategy Center senior fellow Richard Fisher said.

    He was responding to questions from the Taipei Times following publication by the Washington Times this week of a report that US defense officials believe Beijing will begin the first sea patrols of three new Type 094 missile submarines next year.

    The subs will carry the new JL-2 ballistic missile, which is thought to be equipped with multiple warheads capable of hitting the US.

    Pentagon sources say the JL-2 poses a “potential first strike” nuclear missile threat to the US.

    “Even with their initial deployment of three nuclear missile submarines, if patrols can be maintained off the eastern coast of North Korea, then China would have the option of launching a first strike that could reach America’s main nuclear missile submarine base at Kitsap Naval Base near Seattle,” Fisher said.

    He added the emergence of China’s nuclear missile submarine fleet would make the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) far more desirous of conquering Taiwan.

    According to Fisher, Taiwan’s eastern coast has immediate access to some of the deepest waters of the Pacific and would present the most ideal patrol areas for China to defend its submarines, compared with bases in the South China Sea.

    “Should it ever fall to Chinese control, I would expect that Taiwan would become a major PLA nuclear forces base — for nuclear missile submarines, bombers and for land-based missiles,” said Fisher, an expert on Chinese military affairs.

    He said this would be done not just to take advantage of Taiwan’s key geostrategic position in Asia, but also to ensure that the “problem” of Taiwan’s politically “unreliable” population becomes “solved” by potential nuclear retaliation against PLA nuclear forces in Taiwan.

    The Washington Times quoted a US defense official familiar with recent intelligence assessments as saying that the US was anticipating combat patrols of Chinese submarines carrying the new JL-2 missile to begin next year.

    The patrols will be the first time China conducts submarine operations involving nuclear-tipped missiles far from its shores, despite having had a small missile submarine force since the late 1980s, the Washington Times said.

    Fisher said that all of this points to the necessity for Taiwan to build a “far more robust” capability to independently deter Chinese attack.

    “It will also require that Taiwan have far better defense relationships with its neighbors Japan and the Philippines, in order to develop the means for overlapping and redundant early warning and surveillance,” Fisher said.

    “This alone has tremendous potential to increase deterrence in the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

    Fisher said that if the PLA knows that it will have to attack Japan and the Philippines in order to deny Taiwan the information it needs to defend itself, then China “is much less likely to attack Taiwan in the first place.”

    Taipei times
    W.G.Ewald likes this.
  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Sep 28, 2011
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    North Carolina, USA
    Maybe our Chinese members can comment on the economic impacts on the two countries (OK, China says it's one country) of PRC military seizure of Taiwan. Perhaps a subject for a separate thread.
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    What China’s Nuclear Missile Subs Mean for the U.S.
    China is on track to field nuclear weapons on submarines in two years, according to U.S. government reports. But don’t start restocking the fallout shelters just yet.

    The U.S. government is reporting that China, after decades of trying, is on the verge of fielding a true underwater leg of its nuclear deterrent, with new long-range missiles tipped with nuclear weapons on board its fleet of new long-range submarines. And that could transform the Pacific into a tense militarized zone reminiscent of the Atlantic during the Cold War.

    On November 14 the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will release its annual report to Congress, and that report will contain some sobering language about new Julang-2 missiles China plans to field in two years. (Drafts of the report, created by a Congressional mandate, have already been leaked.)

    According to the report, JIN-class submarines, two of which have already been put to sea, would carry nuclear tipped missiles. Naval intelligence documents estimate five such submarines will be ready for service. The submarines and the JL-2 missile combination will give Chinese forces "a near-continuous at-sea strategic deterrent," according to the report, and Beijing is "on the cusp of attaining a credible nuclear triad of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and air-dropped nuclear bombs."

    The Pentagon has watched warily as China has ramped up its submarine fleet, which helps the nation secure its economically vital sea lanes and protect its coastlines from incursion. China has quiet, diesel–electric submarines to lay mines and shoot missiles during combat close to their shores. But the larger, nuclear-powered subs are a newer acquisition, and arming them with nukes poses a different kind of threat to the United States and global powers such as Russia and India.

    Sub-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) are hard to spot until they shoot, making them the ideal second-strike weapon in a nuclear exchange. The Pentagon knows where all of China’s ICBM silos are and could wipe them out in a preemptive nuke strike if the nations came to blows. But subs need to be identified, tracked, and sunk. So, having submarines with nukes in their firing tubes makes China a more credible nuclear threat. That threat backs up every diplomatic, geopolitical, and military action of the government—a government whose goals are often at odds with those of the U.S. government.

    What will the U.S. do about this new threat?

    There will be some underwater cat-and-mouse games played in the Pacific. U.S. submarines will likely be waiting when American satellites spot a Chinese sub leaving the port. (Those subs will be visible in the shallows between Yulin Naval Base and deep water.) "Some U.S. attack submarines probably will follow the Chinese submarines if and when they deploy," says Hans Kristensen, an analyst with the Federation of American Scientists. "Part of those operations will be to learn more about noise level and operational patterns."

    The range of the JL-2 is about 4500 miles. That means the sub’s missiles can’t target the continental United States from the Chinese coast. They could hit Los Angeles from a position 1000 miles west of Hawaii, while Washington, D.C., would be in range only if the submarine could sneak its way to a position about 1500 miles from the West Coast.

    That’s the trick for these subs: surviving outside Chinese waters. Japan and America have assets in the Pacific that could detect submarines; a Chinese skipper would have to hide from them to get close enough to take a shot at the continental United States. And Christensen cites Office of Naval Intelligence reports that say the JIN submarines are less stealthy than Russian submarines built two decades ago. "They are too noisy to slip through U.S. antisubmarine networks," he says. "The U.S. submarine community trained for more than 60 years to track nuclear-powered ballistic submarines . . . Given that record, I’d be surprise if China’s would live for long in a war. To me, they would be sitting ducks."

    However, American antisubmarine capabilities have waned since the Cold War. The United States will be decreasing its number of attack submarines, but those that remain will be operating in the Pacific—the Pentagon has already deployed more attack subs to Guam and Hawaii. The Littoral Combat Ship, a troubled Navy program, is expected to have antisubmarine capabilities, but those ships (as the name implies) are made to dominate shallow water.

    Furthermore, last week news leaked that the Navy plans to cut nearly one-quarter of its highly specialized multi-intelligence aircraft in the next few years, including the P3C Orion sub-hunting airplane. It does have sub-tracking replacements coming online, such as the P-8A Poseidon, a converted 747 that can drop sonobuoys to detect subs, and torpedoes to sink them. But coverage may be thin. The Navy will have only about 50 P-8As to do the job formerly done by 200 P-3Cs.

    During the Cold War, the Navy tracked Soviet subs using a network of underwater microphones called the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS). This is still functioning, albeit with fewer sensors, in the Pacific. The Pentagon is working on next-generation tracking technology that could help mitigate the China sub threat. The Distributed Agile Submarine Hunting program, run by DARPA, is creating a maritime version of a satellite. These robotic listening posts could operate in shallow or deep water, and possibly follow enemy subs once they’d been detected.

    The last-ditch defense against these missile threats are ground-based interceptors in Alaska, built to thwart an ICBM launch from North Korea. They could target the warheads fired from a submarine, Kristensen says, if the warheads were launched from far enough away.

    What China’s Nuclear Missile Subs Mean for the U.S. - Popular Mechanics
  5. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

    Aug 10, 2009
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    we should make the acquisition and then manufacture of these types of subs and ballistic missiles our top priority , rather than Ac's
  6. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

    Jul 9, 2009
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    i don't see a war between china/taiwan anytime soon. their relationship become so warm now. in fact china evacuate many taiwness during libya war. business between both side is huge
  7. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

    Dec 17, 2009
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    There never was anything wrong with the Type 94, except being too noisy. It is the JL-2 that has never worked right.

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