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China Tests Sub-Launched Nuclear Missile That Can Hit USA From Thousands Of Miles
12-22-2018, 01:54 PM,
China Tests Sub-Launched Nuclear Missile That Can Hit USA From Thousands Of Miles
China Tests Sub-Launched Nuclear Missile That Can Hit USA From Thousands Of Miles 

<p>China conducted the first known flight-test of its JL-3 solid-fuel, submarine-launched ballistic missile last month, according to <a href=""><em>The Diplomat</em></a>, citing US government sources with knowledge of the test. The test took place in the Bohai Sea from a modified conventional submarine, according to the <a href=""><em>Washington Free Beacon</em></a>, which first reported the test this week. </p>

<p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/sites/default/files/inline-images/china%20sub%202.jpg?itok=yMhsxkjy" data-link-option="0" href=""><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ae48c62b-ee2b-43b0-b2c5-9efbb3f2b12b" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="317" width="500" srcset=" 1x" src="" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></a></p>

<p>The JL-3 will include advanced precision guidance technology as well as anti-jamming capabilities, utilizing a "<strong>photonic-crystal optic-fiber gyroscope</strong>" as well as other guidance systems described as "terminal boost, stellar guidance and scene matching guidance." According to the <em>Beacon</em>, the JL-3 will include missile-defense penetrating features such as variable trajectory, a stealth warhead which evades radar, and motors which burn quickly and early in order to reduce the heat signature detected by US warning satellites. Furthermore, the JL-3 will feature "water-exit" technology that will optimize underwater ejections from launch tubes. </p>

<p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/sites/default/files/inline-images/type%2032.jpg?itok=BLt20PUS" data-link-option="0" href=""><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="df674885-e180-44e5-a639-dd305723bf14" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="281" width="500" srcset=" 1x" src="" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /></a></p>

<p>To launch the new missiles, Beijing is developing a "Type 096" nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) which is expected to begin sea trials in 2021 - 2022. </p>

<p>The test on November 24 did not see the JL-3 fly to its full range. The first flight test likely verified the system’s proper cold ejection from the submarine-based launch tube. <strong>The missile’s full range is likely to be in excess of 9,000 kilometers, according to U.S. intelligence estimates.</strong></p>

<p>The JL-3, along with the Type 096, will mark the modernization of China’s sea-based nuclear deterrent, which became operational only recently. Currently, Beijing is known to operate at least four, but possibly as many as six, Type 094 SSBNs armed with the JL-2 SLBM—an SLBM based off the land-based DF-31 solid-fuel intercontinental-range ballistic missile.</p>

<p>The JL-3 is expected to offer a considerable range extension over the JL-2, which has been estimated by U.S. military intelligence to possess a range of just over 7,000 kilometers. That means the SSBNs carrying these missiles would be out of range of continental United States-based targets.</p>

<p><strong>The range of the JL-3, meanwhile, would allow Chinese submarines to strike at continental U.S. targets from further away, increasing their survivability by reducing the need to navigate into contested waters in the Western Pacific in a conflict, for example</strong>. -<a href=""><em>The Diplomat</em></a></p>

<p>"China’s four operational <em>JIN</em>-class SSBNs represent China’s first credible, seabased nuclear deterrent," according to the US Department of Defense in their 2018 report on Chinese military power. </p>

<p>"China’s next-generation Type 096 SSBN, reportedly to be armed with the follow-on JL-3 SLBM, will likely begin construction in the early-2020s."</p>

<p>Given the expected life-spans of both the operational Type 094 and the next-generation Type 096, the People’s Liberation Army-Navy is likely to operate both types of SSBNs concurrently. All of China’s operational Type 094 SSBNs are based at a base near Yulin on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. -<a href=""><em>The Diplomat</em></a></p>

<p>Chinese authorities have not publicly confirmed the test, however it is believed that Beijing is focusing on shifting towards the Type 096 / JL-3 over the next few years. </p>

<p>Disclosure of the flight test followed internet reports last year that China deployed a Type-032 auxiliary submarine that is the likely test bed for JL-3 launches.</p>

<p>Private sector China analysts who examined photos of the Type-032, now located at a port on the Bohai Sea in northeast China, say the submarine's tower contains missile launch tubes that appear to have been enlarged for JL-3 tests.</p>

<p>The Type-032 was used in the past for tests of the shorter-range JL-2 missile, a variant of the DF-31 land-based missile. -<a href="">Free Beacon</a></p>

<p>"<strong>With wide applications of new materials and technologies, the development [of submarine-launched missiles] is accelerating</strong>," said military commentator Wang Qiang, as quoted by the <em>Free Beacon</em>. </p>

<p>China's current sea-based nuclear force includes four Type-094 missile submarines, each outfitted with 16 missiles. Internet reports from China have stated that the future Type-096 will carry up to 24 missiles—similar to numbers at one time carried by Navy Ohio-class missile submarines. Current U.S. missile submarines carry 20 missiles each.</p>

<p>"<strong>So it is possible that the Type 096 SSBN could be equipped with hundreds of nuclear warheads</strong>," Fisher said.</p>

<p>By contrast, the next generation U.S. missile submarine, the Columbia-class, will carry 16 missiles. -<a href="">Free Beacon</a></p>

<p>According to China military analyst Rick FIsher, "<strong>China is headed for a period of rapid buildup in its intercontinental nuclear warhead numbers</strong>." </p><img src="" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

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