China in a frenzy to build nuclear attack submarines

Bill Gertz reports for The Washington Times, July 4, 2014, that China‘s People’s Liberation Army is investing heavily in advanced submarines, including both ballistic and cruise missile firing vessels and attack subs.

In a report published by the think tank International Assessment and Strategy Center, veteran military analyst Richard Fisher noted that “A large outdoor model of a next generation nuclear attack submarine [SSN] has appeared at the People’s Liberation Army Navy [PLAN] submarine academy in Qingdao, China. The role of this model may simply be to inspire the academy’s students, but it may signify a larger personnel investment by the PLAN to prepare for its next generation submarines, as it may also offer some indications about a new class of SSN.

SSN is the military acronym for attack submarines.

Photos of the model were first published in April during a Chinese naval conference. Fisher said the Chinese have long used such photos of mock-up weapons as political messages for both domestic and foreign audiences.

The mock-up could be the first peek at China’s Type-095 attack submarine — the second nuclear-powered attack submarine being built by the Chinese after its current Type-093 Shang-class nuclear attack sub.

Type 093 nuke attack sub

Type-095 nuke attack sub

In addition to the attack subs, the Chinese also are building two new ballistic missile submarines, the Type-094 and Type-096.

The Pentagon in its latest annual report on China’s military said currently two Type-093s are deployed and four improved Type-093s will be fielded in the next five years. Fisher, however, said Asia military sources have indicated that in addition to the six Type-093s, two new Type-095s could be deployed by 2020.

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