Tuesday, January 6, 2015
China'sType 096 submarine can attack U.S. homeland from Chinese coast
By WantChinaTimes.com, Jan 6
The Type 096, China's third-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, has given the PLA Navy the means to strike the continental United States from the Chinese coast for the first time, according to the Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao.
China is estimated to have four Type 094 Jin-class second-generation ballistic missile submarines. Together, those four submarines can carry 48 JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles and 200 nuclear warheads, which is 35% of China's nuclear arsenal. With an attack range of 6,000 kilometers, the JL-2 missile's threat to American forces is confined to the Western Pacific.
China is developing Type 096 Tang-class ballistic missile submarines to replace the Type 094 by 2020, according to a study from the Moscow-based Russian Military Analyst. By then, the PLA Navy is looking to have at least six Type 094 and Type 096 submarines operational. It will control 80 submarine-launched ballistic missiles with about 300 nuclear warheads.
The new ballistic missile designed for the Type 096 submarine is estimated to have a range of 11,000 kilometers. This would make the submarine capable of launching a direct nuclear attack against the continental US.
The new submarine reportedly even has the capability of firing its missiles through layers of ice, said an US expert. Under the escort of the Chinese surface combat fleet, it would be able to begin its attack from Hawaiian waters.
It is inevitable that more US targets will become exposed as China continues to advance its missile weapons technology.