China has constructed two terrifying new nuclear submarines (Pic: AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
China unleashes deadly new NUKE submarines in race to be next SUPERPOWER
CHINA has constructed two terrifying new nuclear subs as it laps the West in the international arms race amid World War 3 fears.
By Matt Drake
14.12, 02 Dec 2018 UPDATED 21.12, 02 Dec 2018
The Type 094 JIN-class ballistic missile nuclear submarines (SSBN) is the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy second generation SSBN and are at the centre of the Communist state’s sea-based nuclear deterrent.
Satellite imagery from Planet Labs has revealed that workers at the Bohai Shipyard at Huludao have constructed the two additional subs that bring China’s total number to at least six.
Skysat imagery of Bohai Shipyard acquired on 16 November 2018 (Pic: Planet Labs)
Catherine Dill of the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, said: “China is continuing to modernise its nuclear weapons programme, broadly.
“There’s a big emphasis on the SSBN program because all of its deliverable nuclear weapons are on land-based systems. Expanding into these SSBNs gives China more flexibly and credibility.
“These observations would not have been possible without the high cadence of the Planet imagery, which gave us 244 days of exploitable imagery to monitor from July 2017 to November 2018.”
It comes after the US Department of Defence’s China military report published in August 2018 claimed China operates four JIN class boats but did not say anything about SSBN’s under construction.
Beijing’s nuclear deterrent is definitely operational (Pic: TASS\TASS via Getty Images)
But the 2016 report said China may produce a fifth hull before turning to the development of the next generation – the Type 096 SSBN in the 2020s.
China currently has a goal of eight nuclear submarines and the photographs suggest it is well on its way to achieving this.
Western observers have underestimated the number of Chinese nuclear subs in development, but they have overestimated how many are operational.
China currently has a goal of eight nuclear submarines (Pic: VCG)
Only half of China’s nuclear-armed SSBNs appear to be operational and the photos of the Bohai Shipyard and the Longpo Naval Facility suggest that “China does not yet have a credible sea-based deterrent,” Ms Dill continued.
She claims that: “Two of China’s four JIN (or 094)-class subs appear to not be in operation and are undergoing maintenance or repairs at the Bohai shipyard, suggesting to us that credibility is still in question.”
The revelations come as a report this month claimed the US would lose a war against Russia and China.
Four Type 094 are operationally deployed to the Longpo Naval Base on Hainan Island (Pic: Planet Labs)
US submarine USS Albuquerque SSN 706 (Pic: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
US defence chiefs claim its historic military strength has been devastated, leaving it unable to fight more than one war at once.
It was issued by the National Defence Strategy Commission, whose board are appointed by the House and Senate Armed Services committees.
“US military superiority is no longer assured and the implications for American interests and American security are severe,” it says.