April 1, 2023

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From the US point of view, Chinese nuclear submarines are arming themselves with new ballistic missiles

To bolster its nuclear deterrent, Beijing has the next-generation JL-3 intercontinental ballistic missile capable of easily reaching the United States, a US admiral has announced.

In Asia, North Korea is not alone in its development Its nuclear weapons. Gradually, China is also trying to catch up with its American rival. Beijing has taken an important step by equipping its six nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SNLE). Gin The next generation of ICBMs has been publicly announced by the US for the first time. They now”The JL-3 is equipped with intercontinental ballistic missilesAdmiral Sam Paparo, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, said at a press conference on November 18. Bloomberg .

«We are keeping a close eye on these submarines“, the admiral announced, without specifying whether these newly equipped submarines had already conducted preventive patrols near Hawaii. But “They were created to threaten America“, added four stars.

The second is striking ability

This new weapon, the Chinese nuclear weapon, is only a phenomenon. Submarines are still the cornerstone of deterrence until a nuclear second-strike capability is guaranteed. Because they can be deployed intelligently over oceans and remain on patrol for extended periods of time—which allows for nuclear propulsion—SSBNs can ensure a nuclear-armed state can always respond to an adversary nuclear attack. Destroyed its land or air nuclear forces.

China lags behind the US in this regard. Originally, it had only six Type 094 SSBNs – the Gin – certainly recent (2007-2021), but less sophisticated than their Western equivalents, especially in terms of choice. However, the JL-2 missiles deployed in 2015 are estimated to have a range of 7,200 kilometers, while the new JL-3, according to Chinese and American sources, has a range of 9,000 to 12,000 kilometers. In concrete terms, it allows submarines Gin To reach the west coast of the US they would have to be relatively close to China, whereas the JL-2 would have to go far across the Pacific Ocean, near or beyond the US, to hit any point in the US. Island of Hawaii.

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With this new missile, Chinese nuclear forces can strike the continental United States.From a fortified fortress in the South China Sea“, Admiral Charles Richard, head of US Strategic Command, explained during a Senate hearing in early March. Bloomberg. Geographical accuracy is not trivial. Chinese SSBNs are located on the Hainan Peninsula in the north of the South China Sea, which Beijing claims and wants to control, particularly because of its geographic position and its underwater relief. The sea is shallow and landlocked within a necklace of islands, which does not make it easy to dilute Chinese submarines, which are already less structurally sound than their Western equivalents and must borrow narrow depth corridors before escaping into the ocean.

«And it’s not over yet“, the US official added to the Senate. China is particularly engaged in the development of a new generation of nuclear submarines, which will replace the Type 094. Their construction has been carefully studied by the OSINT community for many years (Open Source Intelligence, Ed. ) confirmed.

«Interestingly… from the Huludao Nuclear Submarine Shipyard in China, as of October 22, what are the first signs of the upcoming construction of the long-awaited Type 096 nuclear submarines.“, former submariner Tom Shugard, a researcher at a new US Defense Center, commented on Twitter on November 19. Regarding the construction time of an SSBN, this new generation of ships cannot be fully operational before 2030. This will not stop China at this time. Developing its land and air nuclear weaponsimproves its credibility”Atomic triangle», the Holy Grail in terms of prevention. The introduction of the JL-3 missile is a step on this strategic path for Beijing, which is still far from being on par with the United States.

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