The People Liberation Army Navy is playing catch up as their next-gen submarines may be in the works to build them.
PLAN is getting a page from the Russian and American playbooks of building next-gen submarines, but it is not clear if it is nuclear powered yet. The subs are yet to be verified if they can carry submarine-launched missiles or how many, reported Asia Times.
All these speculations are fueled by a report from Forbes, with proof that the groundwork is getting laid out by the Bohai Shipyard.
These subs will be the new 095 and 096 when it gets started getting built. Everything needed and the infrastructure is all laid out, according to Forbes.
A large barge has been constructed at the shipyard, which indicates something will be under construction too.
One unclassified examination of the evidence by the US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) is that China's sub fleet will increase from 66 units to 76 units by the year 2030.
The Chinese want to increase its submarine fleet with six nuclear-powered attack submarines, and the Bohai shipyard is specially equipped for at Huludao builds.
China wants these subs that will threaten American naval firepower which they cannot match. Theatres of combat like the open pacific, even go to the Indian ocean.
To be able to construct the submarine hulls, an expansion in 2014 that included construction halls fabricated on reclaimed land. Each hall has a provision to have three construction bays, in order to build two submarines inside with enough space.
All the buildings were done by 2017, there is a dry dock to where the finished subs will be sent to the water. With all these structures in place, China will be launching advanced Type-095 Tang Class submarines (similar to Virginia Class sub).
Captain Chris Carlson, who used to work for intelligence, said that according to his observations the facilities for the submarines might be for constructing other than the Type-096.
He added that the newer Type-096 can fire ballistic missiles. It can be the first construction hall which is not enough to fit two new subs. Despite all the speculation on all these facilities to build and launch a Type-96, they might be adequate for the task.
Carlson thinks the upcoming models will feature a greater width, when compared to older model types, according to Forbes.
Next generation of Chinese submarines
The Chinese are inflating the capacities of their inferior Type 093, which is very loud in the water. Even the 093A just falls short to the claims that it can match a 688 or a Los Angeles attack sub. Overall,these Chinese subs are sub-par. It is yet to be seen how they can get better.
Most Chinese subs have a small pressure hull that makes them noisy in the water, and that makes them detectable easily. These subs will be silent as the Russian Improved Akula class.
GlobalSecurity.org said that the Type-096 submarine is expected to be the most silent, missile laden vessel in their inventory soon.
Significant upgrades in design for the Type -096
All the equipment relevant to make it modern and capable will be incorporated, to make it combat and system ready. There will be improvements in the submarines profile like a teardrop shape with hydrodynamic skin.
Underwater maneuvering is done with control surfaces while moving. Chinese subs have a pressurized water reactor (PWR) linked to a steam turbine.
The loadout will be 24 nuclear missiles, six bow torpedo tubes capable of shooting acoustic homing torpedoes.