It's like trying to knot with fog trying to make sense of all the different speculative versions of the 09III Shang class!
Some are apparently longer than others ... but no one seems to know the actual length of them.
Humps, bumps and bulges ... are they pregnant?
I just wonder. When the Type 096 comes into service. Could the older Type 094s be converted into dedicated Cruise Missile Submarines? Something similar to the older Ohio class submarines. China does not yet have dedicated nuclear cruise missile submarines at the moment.
These converted Type 094s would exchange their JL-2s for navalized CJ-10 LACMs, YJ-100 long range AshMs or YJ-18 AshMs.
In the Ohio class. Each Trident launch tube could accommodate 7 Tomahawk missiles. So using that as an estimate, the Type 094s could theoretically carry up to 84 cruise missiles. Not the biggest, but still a decent payload. And no need to build brand new cruise missile submarines in the short term.
These converted Type 94s would serve a role similar to the Soviet/Russian Oscar class submarines vs USN Carrier Battle Groups.