China’s nuclear submarines are ready to terrorize the sea

China's Submarines
May 2016BEIJING, China China’s about to join an exclusive club for nuclear powers. After decades of development, 2016 could be the year the Chinese navy finally sends its ballistic-missile submarines—“SSBN” is the Pentagon’s designation—to sea for the first time for operational patrols with live, nuclear-tipped rockets. If indeed the Jin-class subs head to sea this year, China will achieve a level of nuclear strike capability that, at present, just two countries—the United States and Russia—can match or exceed.
“China will probably conduct its first SSBN nuclear deterrence patrol sometime in 2016,” the Pentagon warned in the latest edition of its annual report on the Chinese military, published in mid-May. Once the Jins set sail, Beijing will command a nuclear “triad” composed of ground-, air- and sea-launched nuclear weapons. That’s a big deal, according to the dominant theory of nuclear warfare. “The theory is that a diverse array of delivery systems creates survivability by complicating a first strike,” Jeffrey Lewis, an expert on nuclear geopolitics with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told The Daily Beast.
In other words, if a country possesses all three kinds of nukes, it’s harder for an enemy to wipe them all out in a surprise attack. And if you can’t destroy your enemy’s entire atomic arsenal, he can nuke you back—so you’d better not attack at all. The word for that is “deterrence.” And China could be on the verge of gaining a deterrence capability that most countries simply can’t afford. China reportedly possesses several hundred atomic warheads, but no one outside of the Chinese Communist Party leadership and, perhaps, top foreign intelligence agencies, knows the exact number. Regardless, that’s far fewer than the roughly 7,000 warheads that the U.S. and Russia each possess but more than any of the world’s other nuclear powers, with the possible exception of France. And compared to Beijing only Moscow and Washington boast a wider range of launchers for their nukes.

China's Submarine

The Chinese military’s rocket branch maintains around a hundred long-range rockets in land-based silos. The Chinese air force’s H-6 bombers first dropped atomic bombs back in the 1970s—and modern versions of the bombers can fire cruise missiles that are compatible with nuclear warheads. When the Jins are finally war-ready, they will complete Beijing’s land-air-sea atomic triad. To be fair, the Chinese vessels are, in a sense, playing catch-up. The Soviet Union and the United States deployed the first nuclear ballistic-missile submarines at the height of the Cold War in the 1960s—and France and the United Kingdom soon followed suit. Today the U.S. Navy’s 14 Ohio-class missile subs take turns quietly sailing deep in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, ready to fire their 24 nuclear-tipped rockets on a moment’s notice.
Russia, France and the U.K. still operate SSBNs, and India is developing one of its own. The Chinese navy began tinkering with missile subs in 1981. The experimental Xia-class vessel and its JL-1 rocket were technological failures and never sailed on an operational mission. Since 2007, the Chinese navy has completed four of the follow-on Jin-class subs and is reportedly planning on building four more. More than 400 feet long, a Jin can carry as many as a dozen JL-2 rockets, each with a range of 4,500 miles. A Jin sailing in the central Pacific Ocean could strike targets anywhere in the United States. If the Jins finally deploy this year, a whopping 35 years will have passed since China first tried to develop a functional SSBN. But developing a missile sub is hard.
Expensive, too. China has not disclosed the cost of the Jins, but consider that the U.S. Navy plans to spend $97 billion replacing its 14 Ohios with a dozen new submarines. Missile subs are big and complex—and their rockets are, too. Training reliable crews and designing an effective command-and-control system are equally difficult to do. Chinese subs have been plagued with quality-control problems. “While it is clear that the [Chinese navy] is making strides towards correcting these issues, the capabilities of China’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet remain in a process of maturity,” the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group, explains on its website. –The Daily Beast
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5 Responses to China’s nuclear submarines are ready to terrorize the sea

  1. Dennis E. says:

    Losing 5,500 or so lives is not a problem to those who profit from war.
    Aircraft carriers are really just relics just as the battleships were at Pearl Harbor.
    In some case yes, the projection of power of the nation.
    Unless it has a super fast target aquiring computer with lasers or the ability to case a electro-static field around it, (star trek type shields) it could have a bad day.

    And the missiles, hyper-sonic, how do you stop? Too dangerous, expensive to bring such a warship into harms way.

    • Utopia: the Collapse says:

      Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” -Luke 21:26

      Hyper-sonic missiles are unstoppable. The noise of a missile breaking the sound barrier overhead will create extremely loud claps of thunder rolling across the horizon. It will shake everything on the ground – breaking windows in the process and setting off car-alarms. The noise, along, would strike absolute terror in the hearts of the populace. They make the Vergeltungswaffe 2, the so-called “terror or retribution weapons” of the Nazis (the V2 rockets) look like child’s play. This will be the new world we live in. God help us all!

  2. Dennis E. says:

    May have to go back to sticks,stones,arrows and horses.

  3. Dennis E. says:

    During The Cold War Era (as if it ever went away) The Soviets would put so-called fishing trawlers
    near US Carrier Battle Task Forces. Sometimes they would insert themselves behind the Carriers photographing our planes as they landed. It was a rumor that they may have carried nuclear devices.
    When US Carriers were stationed off The Vietnam Coast, they would call in when air strikes were launched.
    Also, their submarines would sometimes surface in front of our ships, carriers and force a quick turn.
    The Kitty Hawk collided with one damaging her bow but not knocking her out of service.
    The Chinese is testing our anti-submarine defenses. Lessons learned from the Russians.

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