Tuesday, May 28

China chases US and Russia guided-missile submarine capabilities with new vessels

China has launched its first nuclear-powered guided missile submarines, according to the Pentagon’s latest report on China’s military – giving it land and sea attack options once the sole province of U.S. and Russian vessels.

The Pentagon report, published Oct. 20, marks the first apparent confirmation that modified submarines seen in Chinese shipyards over the last 18 months are Type 093B guided missile submarines.

The Pentagon report says that in the short term, the Chinese navy “will have the ability to conduct long-range precision strikes against land targets from its submarine and surface combatants using land-attack cruise missiles, notably enhancing (China’s) power projection capability”.

Known as SSGNs, conventionally armed missile submarines were developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War in part to target U.S. aircraft carriers, while the U.S. Navy developed its own version by converting ballistic missile boats to carry large numbers of land-attack Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Cruise missiles are typically long-range, precision weapons that, unlike ballistic weapons, fly at low altitudes or skim the surface of the sea. – Reuters

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