Type 09III/09IV (093/094) Nuclear Submarine Thread


Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
Range and payload (number of warheads) are directly connected. Adding several to 10 warheads instead of one (if all are the same size) will lower the range of an ICBM by 10-20%. It may very well be Chinese designers will have to/ already had to choose: single small warhead reaching most of required targets or several warheads reaching fewer targets.
 

ZeEa5KPul

Junior Member
Registered Member
It may very well be Chinese designers will have to/ already had to choose: single small warhead reaching most of required targets or several warheads reaching fewer targets.
Is this some roundabout way of throwing shade on China's technological capability? Chinese designers don't face any more constraints than Russian designers of the Bulava or American designers of the Trident II faced.
 

Lethe

Senior Member
Which do you think is likeliest, the 40, 50, or 60 ton class? @Bltizo did a splendid analysis of BHSIC's new yard here:
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It seems the hall was set up to build some pretty damn big SSBNs, so I don't think the Type 09-VI is getting shortchanged in the size department. This leads me to think that the 60 ton class is most likely, with a range of 12,000 - 14,000 km with 10+ MIRVs.
I think we can assume that JL-3 and the 09VI SSBN program have both been designed with PLAN's deterrence requirements and strategic geography in mind. As such, I would expect the JL-3 missile to be capable of striking at least the US west coast from within the first island chain, a distance of roughly 11,000km. Because this seems to be at the upper range of what a JL-2 sized missile could deliver with minimal payload, and because additional range beyond 11,000km (up to 14,000km) would certainly be useful to bring more of the continental US within striking distance, to allow for increased payload, and to enlarge potential SSBN operating areas further south, I would anticipate JL-3 to be somewhat larger than JL-2 in order to more adequately meet China's requirements, in turn suggesting a submarine that is significantly larger than 09IV.

Of course such logic raises the question of why, if China so clearly requires an SLBM with a range of >11,000km, China has not previously fielded one. I think the answer is that in the previous era China was not capable of producing an SLBM with the required range unless it was truly enormous, in turn requiring a very large and expensive SSBN. Given China's awareness of its general inferiority in submarine technology, such an investment was deemed unwise at the time. An additional generation of development has made such a project feasible.

As described by Klon I think it is reasonably likely that China will also produce an upgraded "JL-2A" missile to equip its 094 boats. The only reason not to do this is if China plans to replace the 09IVs in short order with a larger production run of 09VI submarines. The 09IVs could then be refitted as cruise missile carriers or for intelligence work.
 
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ZeEa5KPul

Junior Member
Registered Member
Of course such logic raises the question of why, if China so clearly requires an SLBM with a range of >11,000km, China has not previously fielded one. I think the answer is that in the previous era China was not capable of producing an SLBM with the required range unless it was truly enormous, in turn requiring a very large and expensive SSBN. Given China's awareness of its general inferiority in submarine technology, such an investment was deemed unwise at the time.
It's not just that. China's deterrence requirement grew along with the country. In the past, China was essentially a giant North Korea - too poor and weak to be worth destroying if there's any chance of retaliation. In those circumstances a nuclear policy like North Korea's - minimal deterrence - was sufficient. Now that calculus is no longer valid; China is very much worth destroying, and an American president might decide that it's worth losing two or three American cities if it means being rid of China forever. China is flirting with catastrophe if it doesn't massively expand the quantity and capability of its nuclear arsenal.

As described by Klon I think it is reasonably likely that China will also produce an upgraded "JL-2A" missile to equip its 094 boats. The only reason not to do this is if China plans to replace the 09IVs in short order with a larger production run of 09VI submarines. The 09IVs could then be refitted as cruise missile carriers or for intelligence work.
The Type 09-IV as it stands is, quite frankly, a joke. Draw a 7000 km circle centred at Los Angeles to see how far into the Pacific that submarine would have to venture to launch. It's even funnier if the target is Washington - there the submarine would have to actually make it past Hawaii. It might as well not even exist, it's so useless. An 11,000 - 12,000 km single warhead (or 2-3 MIRV) JL-2A would enable the 09-IV to hit LA from the northern tip of the SCS, which would have to tie down some American ASW capability; so there's always a reason to do this retrofit no matter what China intends with the Type 09-VI.

I think it makes the most sense for production of the 09-IV to be halted and all SSBN resources dedicated to 09-VI and upcoming designs. The main benefit of a Type 09-VI that can field 14,000+ km 10+ MIRV missiles isn't that it makes a SCS bastion strategy viable; it's that once China establishes naval bases on Taiwan and has a straight shot into the Pacific, the potential launch areas that cover the entire US are staggeringly vast. Only in the Indian Ocean would the submarine be out of range.
 

Biscuits

Junior Member
Registered Member
Is this some roundabout way of throwing shade on China's technological capability? Chinese designers don't face any more constraints than Russian designers of the Bulava or American designers of the Trident II faced.
I don’t think so, for nuclear missiles, the DF-41 is more or less unparalleled, but even so there are technical constraints related to space saving. Chinese designers might face less constraints than most if not all of their counterparts, but physics is still a problem.
 

Lama

New Member
Registered Member
I think the JL-3 may can be adapted to 094 SSBN or we can say 094 SSBN may can be adapted to JL-3. Because just in Dec 2017 and Oct 2018 PLAN launched two 094 SSBN. IMO these 094s are a part of JL-3 plan. Let's wait and see if those 094s are in combat readiness instead of just staying in harbor and having a few training in 2020 or 2021.
 

Lama

New Member
Registered Member
A solid sea-based 2nd nuclear strike ability is urgently needed for China. It cant be wait until the comission of 096 SSBN.
 

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