China's fifth Type 094 SSBN nears completion


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Sep 25, 2009
Is This China's 5th Type 094 SSBN Under Construction? | Open Source IMINT

Though it is not yet official, China's fifth Type 094 Jin-class SSBN appears near completion.

1. The fifth Type 094 SSBN has to undergo sea trials.
2. The fifth Type 094 has to be equipped with a regular crew and an official welcoming ceremony.
3. The Pentagon will eventually officially confirm the existence of the fifth Chinese Type 094 SSBN.
4. Alternatively, China could unofficially confirm the fifth Type 094 SSBN by taking a picture of all five Type 094 SSBNs together.

The strategic implication is another increase in China's submarine-based thermonuclear warheads.

5 Type 094 SSBNs x 12 JL-2 SLBMs per SSBN x 8 MIRVs per JL-2 SLBM = 480 Chinese thermonuclear warheads on submarines

It becomes an over-riding imperative for the United States to find the Chinese Red Octobers. Are the Chinese Type 094 SSBNs hiding under the polar ice cap? Are they in the Western Pacific? Or are they in the waters north of Chile? With five Chinese Type 094 SSBNs, they could be in all three geographic regions. Also, the Type 094 SSBNs could be protected by Chinese Type 093G nuclear attack submarines.

According to the Pentagon 2015 Report on Chinese Military Power (see reference below), the fifth Type 094 SSBN is the last one of its class. China is about to transition to the Type 096 Tang SSBN. It is currently unknown whether the Tang SSBN will have a "hump" or not.

China's next-generation Type 096 Tang SSBN could still have the "hump" seen on the Type 094 Jin-class SSBN. It is currently unknown whether the Tang SSBN will carry 12, 18, or 24 SLBMs. It is also unknown whether the Tang SSBN will carry the regular JL-2 SLBM (navalized DF-31 ICBM) or the longer-range JL-2A SLBM (which is a navalized DF-31A ICBM and capable of striking the entire continental United States from China's coast).

The uppermost picture is a conceptual illustration of the hydrodynamic third-generation Type 095 nuclear attack submarine. The bottom two pictures depict the next-generation Type 096 ballistic missile submarine (e.g. the successor to the Type 094 Jin-class SSBN). In this illustration, the Type 096 Tang SSBN is hydrodynamic and "humpless."

The Type 098 SSBN is the expected successor to the Type 096 Tang SSBN. As the fourth generation of China's nuclear ballistic submarines, the Type 098 SSBN is expected to be a mature design without a hump. The Type 098 SSBN is expected to carry a full complement of 24 JL-3 SLBMs (ie. navalized DF-10 10-MIRV ICBM). Each Chinese Type 098 SSBN will carry 240 MIRVs.

In conclusion, The Hunt For China's Red Octobers will become overwhelming. There will be many more Chinese boomers cruising the world's oceans.

Reference (p. 9 of Pentagon 2015 Report on Chinese Military Power): Military and Security Developments
Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015 | Department of Defense


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