Military sources and analysts said that China's new nuclear submarine missiles are capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.
China's Newly Comisioned Nuclear-Powered Submarine
In a recently published article from the South China Morning Post, a military source and analyst said that China has upgraded its Type 094 submarine and equipped it with nuclear missiles that can hit the U.S. mainland.
The newly-equipped submarine was presented on Friday as part of China's 72nd anniversary of the PLA Navy. A source from the navy who chose not to be named said that the submarine carries a more powerful JL-3 that can reach over 10,000 kilometers or 6,200 miles.
He said, "the Type 094A is an upgraded version of Type 094 that overcame one of the key problems - noise - by improving hydrokinetic and turbulent systems, allowing it to carry the more powerful JL-3."
JL-3 Missiles Capable of Hitting the U.S. Mainland
According to a published report by Korea Times, the submarine was already equipped with JL-2 missiles, but it can only hit the Northeastern part of the United States. The JL-3 missiles can now hit the entire American continent.
According to state media, Chinese submarines have been plagued by being too loud and quick to spot, but this has been increasingly remedied in recent years by Chinese naval engineer Rear Admiral Ma Weiming, who is now leading the way in cutting-edge propulsion technology.
Other Military Plans of China
The PLA decided to outfit the Type 096 submarine with JL-3 missiles last year, a phase that could take years. A Pentagon study on China's military capability revealed that each Type 094 submarine can carry 16 JL-3 missiles, but the upgraded Type 096 could carry as many as 24.
The Type 094A is one of three new warships commissioned on the same day. The Type 075 amphibious helicopter attack ship and the Type 055 Renhai-class guided-missile cruiser were the others.
Song Zhongping, a former PLA instructor, did not specify what kind of SLBM the Type 094A was armed with but said that it would improve China's second-strike capability—its ability to retaliate after a nuclear strike.
However, he said, "The new SLBM with MIRVs with a firing range over 10,000km is the basic technical requirement for an upgraded Type 094 SSBN to cause nuclear deterrence. China promises not to use a nuke first, but a powerful SSBN fleet will help the PLA strengthen their second-strike power against rivals."
Meanwhile, Macau-based military specialist Antony Wong Tong, suggested that China had made several technological breakthroughs to make the JL-2 match the Type 094A silos. Wong said, "The original design and size of the JL-3 should be adjusted, but those changes do not reduce its firepower and range - a significant breakthrough."
On the other hand, Song Zhongping, a former PLA nstrutori, did not specify what kind of SLBM the Type 094A was armed with, but said that it would improve China's second-strike capability - its ability to retaliate after a nuclear strike.