China’s Jin-class ballistic nuclear submarine will begin sailing deterrent patrols in 2014. It would mark the Chinese navy’s “first credible a-sea-second-strike nuclear capability,” according to the report. ONI prepared the report as part of testimony on the Chinese navy to the U.S. China Economic and Security Review.
The Chinese fleet consists of about 62 submarines. Of the 62, five are nuclear attack submarines, four are nuclear ballistic missile submarines and 53 are diesel attack subs.
ONI officials found that China has rapidly increased the offensive weapons technology aboard these subs. A decade ago, China could only fire anti-ship cruise missiles off a few submarines. That has changed. More than half now fire the anti-ship cruise missiles.
The nuclear ballistic missile submarines will fire a JL-2 submarine launched ballistic missile that has a range of 4,000 nautical miles. It would give the Chinese the ability to fire a ballistic missile capable of hitting Hawaii, Alaska and western portions of CONUS from East Asian waters, according to the report.
Read more about the report, which was first published by USNI, here .