Type 09V/09VI (095/096) Nuclear Submarine Thread


Andy1974

Junior Member
Registered Member
Remembering the time the US surfaced 3 SSGNs within striking distance of mainland China, I think China felt the full deterrent effect of SSGNs that day.

Makes me think this is a tactic China might try themselves one day. This also requires routine deployment in (very) far seas, so large numbers would be needed, even overseas support bases, like Russias maybe.
 

weig2000

Senior Member
Xi Yazhou is not a reliable source, in general he knows as much as members of this forum, no more and no less.

For me torpedo is not an ideal weapon for ASuW just because of range. YJ-xx can easily reach 1000km away but torpedo is useless >100nm.

I specifically mentioned in the post that Xi Yazhou has NO insider information on SSN. His opinion may or may not be making whole a lot of sense. He is certainly quite knowledgeable in military technology particularly Chinese ones, compared with average SDF members. As a result, I think his views on the matter are at least interesting and worth listening, certainly much more than some clueless new members who are doing borderline spamming in some of the threads at SDF right out of the gate.
 
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MarKoz81

Junior Member
Registered Member
Recently I had serious doubts about the quality of discussion on this forum, especially witnessing the repeated and predictable failure of every subsequent Russian invasion thread, and felt discouraged. But I will try to add to this topic as it is of great interest to me - if not the greatest of all the aspects of naval rivalry between US and China.

Specifically I will add two basic arguments that I see often being ignored in considerations.

1. On force evolution

Any weapon is a specific tool for a specific task, and its counter may or may not come in the same category. We have only one historical precedent.

key: first order, class, number of ships, commissioning dates

USN SSN
1951 Nautilus 1 1954
1952 Seawolf 1 1957
1955 Skate 4 1957-59
1956 Skipjack 6 1959-61
1958 Thresher 14 1961-67
1961 Sturgeon 37 1967-75
1971 688 31 1976-85
1979 688 VLS 8 1984-89
1982 688i 8 1988-91

USN SSBN
1957 George Washington 5 1959-60
1959 Ethan Allen 5 1960-62
1961 Lafayette 9 1963-64
1962 James Madison 10 1964
1963 Benjamin Franklin 12 1965-67
1976 Ohio 12 1981-91


Soviet SSN
1955 November 13 1958-64
1963 Victor I 15 1967-71
1968 Alfa 7 1971-81
1971 Victor II 7 1972-78
1976 Victor III 25 1977-90
1979 Sierra 3 1984-90
1983 Akula 8 1984-91

Soviet SSGN
1958 Echo 5 1961-63
1961 Echo II 29 1963-68
1964 Charlie 11 1967-72
1974 Charlie II 6 1973-80
1975 Oscar 8 1980-90

Soviet SSBN
1964 Yankee 34 1967-74
1970 Delta I 18 1972-77
1973 Delta II 4 1975
1974 Delta III 14 1976-82
1976 Typhoon 6 1981-89
1981 Delta IV 7 1984-1990


As you can see both US and Soviet navies had different objectives in their nuclear submarine buildup.

USN first built 41 (for freedom) SSBNs in 1959-67 by which time it had only 26 SSNs. Sturgeon class marked the transition to nuclear-only fleet and with the last boat in service there were only 10 SSKs left.

Soviets built 13 SSNs and 34 SSGNs before first SSBN. Then it built 34 SSBNs in 1967-74 and only 22 SSNs and 11 SSGNs.

After two decades of nuclear submarine buildup, circa 1974, US had 41 SSBNs and 60 SSNs, Soviets had 34 SSBNs, 34 SSNs and 45 SSGNs.
In 1991 US had 37 SSBNs and 93 SSNs, Soviets had 61 SSBNs, 59 SSNs and 29 SSGNs. Royal Navy also had 17 SSNs in 1991.

Both SSBN and SSGN reduction came as consequence of development of missiles. Echo SSGN had to surface to fire its four Pyatyorka missiles and they were replaced by a much bigger Oscar with 24 Granits. Charlie had 8 missiles but could launch submerged.

What this shows is a different set of priorities as well as the always ignored fundamental - SSNs do not hunt SSNs.

Soviet SSNs and SSGNs hunted USN carriers. US SSNs hunted Soviet SSBNs and SSN/SSGNs only because of the huge tech gap in sonar and silencing. Also Soviets had no (real) carriers throughout the Cold War while USN had 14 on average.

The buildup had clear two phases - let's call them a "catch-up" phase and a "head-to-head" phase.

This means that PLAN will have its own set of priorities that may or may not follow USN priorities or Soviet priorities. It will however definitely be a direct response to US posture in the theater. Also both sides will respond to the other's posture - regardless of who is "ahead" or "behind" in the race.

2. On contested environment

Almost everything we know about peer nuclear submarine warfare evolved from USN/RN vs Soviet contest that took place in the North Atlantic/Arctic predominantly, and in very limited terms in the North Pacific. This means most of it took place on the area of the globe distorted by Mercator projections. That affects our (lack of) understanding of how different the scale is in West Pacific. Fortunately there's TheTrueSize dot com.

West Pacific
1280px_West Pacific.jpg

North Atlantic - Indonesia for scale
1280px_Indonesia.jpg

North Atlantic - Papua New Guinea for scale
1280px_Papua NG.jpg

North Atlantic - Japan for scale
1280px_Japan.jpg

West Pacific - Norway and Svalbard for scale
1280px_Norway.jpg

Also the "tiny" Northern Marianas cover the gap between Iceland and Britain or Norway and Svalbard. For scale.

In short nothing about the past - including WW2 and Cold War submarine and naval warfare in the West Pacific - is strongly indicative of how it will develop in the future. This is terra incognita... or should I say mare incognitum.

I think that at any time you think about writing a comment about future PLAN nuclear submarines it will benefit you to remember these two points. I know that just preparing the lists of ships and maps affected almost all of my preconceptions on the subject. I thought I would find answers, instead I found many questions which require too many calculations.

Which is why I don't have anything more to add at this time. My ignorance is vast and I have only a (tiny) cup of green tea for scale. You get the idea. Have fun.
 

Maikeru

Senior Member
Registered Member
Recently I had serious doubts about the quality of discussion on this forum, especially witnessing the repeated and predictable failure of every subsequent Russian invasion thread, and felt discouraged. But I will try to add to this topic as it is of great interest to me - if not the greatest of all the aspects of naval rivalry between US and China.

Specifically I will add two basic arguments that I see often being ignored in considerations.

1. On force evolution

Any weapon is a specific tool for a specific task, and its counter may or may not come in the same category. We have only one historical precedent.

key: first order, class, number of ships, commissioning dates

USN SSN
1951 Nautilus 1 1954
1952 Seawolf 1 1957
1955 Skate 4 1957-59
1956 Skipjack 6 1959-61
1958 Thresher 14 1961-67
1961 Sturgeon 37 1967-75
1971 688 31 1976-85
1979 688 VLS 8 1984-89
1982 688i 8 1988-91

USN SSBN
1957 George Washington 5 1959-60
1959 Ethan Allen 5 1960-62
1961 Lafayette 9 1963-64
1962 James Madison 10 1964
1963 Benjamin Franklin 12 1965-67
1976 Ohio 12 1981-91


Soviet SSN
1955 November 13 1958-64
1963 Victor I 15 1967-71
1968 Alfa 7 1971-81
1971 Victor II 7 1972-78
1976 Victor III 25 1977-90
1979 Sierra 3 1984-90
1983 Akula 8 1984-91

Soviet SSGN
1958 Echo 5 1961-63
1961 Echo II 29 1963-68
1964 Charlie 11 1967-72
1974 Charlie II 6 1973-80
1975 Oscar 8 1980-90

Soviet SSBN
1964 Yankee 34 1967-74
1970 Delta I 18 1972-77
1973 Delta II 4 1975
1974 Delta III 14 1976-82
1976 Typhoon 6 1981-89
1981 Delta IV 7 1984-1990


As you can see both US and Soviet navies had different objectives in their nuclear submarine buildup.

USN first built 41 (for freedom) SSBNs in 1959-67 by which time it had only 26 SSNs. Sturgeon class marked the transition to nuclear-only fleet and with the last boat in service there were only 10 SSKs left.

Soviets built 13 SSNs and 34 SSGNs before first SSBN. Then it built 34 SSBNs in 1967-74 and only 22 SSNs and 11 SSGNs.

After two decades of nuclear submarine buildup, circa 1974, US had 41 SSBNs and 60 SSNs, Soviets had 34 SSBNs, 34 SSNs and 45 SSGNs.
In 1991 US had 37 SSBNs and 93 SSNs, Soviets had 61 SSBNs, 59 SSNs and 29 SSGNs. Royal Navy also had 17 SSNs in 1991.

Both SSBN and SSGN reduction came as consequence of development of missiles. Echo SSGN had to surface to fire its four Pyatyorka missiles and they were replaced by a much bigger Oscar with 24 Granits. Charlie had 8 missiles but could launch submerged.

What this shows is a different set of priorities as well as the always ignored fundamental - SSNs do not hunt SSNs.

Soviet SSNs and SSGNs hunted USN carriers. US SSNs hunted Soviet SSBNs and SSN/SSGNs only because of the huge tech gap in sonar and silencing. Also Soviets had no (real) carriers throughout the Cold War while USN had 14 on average.

The buildup had clear two phases - let's call them a "catch-up" phase and a "head-to-head" phase.

This means that PLAN will have its own set of priorities that may or may not follow USN priorities or Soviet priorities. It will however definitely be a direct response to US posture in the theater. Also both sides will respond to the other's posture - regardless of who is "ahead" or "behind" in the race.

2. On contested environment

Almost everything we know about peer nuclear submarine warfare evolved from USN/RN vs Soviet contest that took place in the North Atlantic/Arctic predominantly, and in very limited terms in the North Pacific. This means most of it took place on the area of the globe distorted by Mercator projections. That affects our (lack of) understanding of how different the scale is in West Pacific. Fortunately there's TheTrueSize dot com.

West Pacific
View attachment 88652

North Atlantic - Indonesia for scale
View attachment 88653

North Atlantic - Papua New Guinea for scale
View attachment 88654

North Atlantic - Japan for scale
View attachment 88656

West Pacific - Norway and Svalbard for scale
View attachment 88655

Also the "tiny" Northern Marianas cover the gap between Iceland and Britain or Norway and Svalbard. For scale.

In short nothing about the past - including WW2 and Cold War submarine and naval warfare in the West Pacific - is strongly indicative of how it will develop in the future. This is terra incognita... or should I say mare incognitum.

I think that at any time you think about writing a comment about future PLAN nuclear submarines it will benefit you to remember these two points. I know that just preparing the lists of ships and maps affected almost all of my preconceptions on the subject. I thought I would find answers, instead I found many questions which require too many calculations.

Which is why I don't have anything more to add at this time. My ignorance is vast and I have only a (tiny) cup of green tea for scale. You get the idea. Have fun.
Very interesting points. I have a feeling UUVs and USVs will play a big part in trying to overcome the "tyranny of distance" for both sides.
 

Michaelsinodef

Junior Member
Registered Member
If a first wave strike somehow crippled Virginia, B21, F35 and certain missile factories, it would be devastating to their ability to wage war, even if Guam was left unmolested. I must stress that I think this should, like all future Chinese operations against US forces, to make utmost efforts to preserve life, but especially serving US military personnel lives.
?????
What are you smoking, sparing your opponents? You really think if they just go for equipment (people will also die) it will mean lower public outrage in the US???
A first strike needs to consider and prepare for the opponents public reaction to it, because that could determine their next move.
I'm doubtful China would do a 'surprise first strike' out of the blue, but it might be high tensioins and even if say the US attacked first, when China responds, we will most likely see US media say it was China attacking first as well, after all, do not underestimate what kind of lows the US media will go to.
 

AndrewS

Brigadier
Registered Member
Fascinating discussion about disabling Guam.

I think of Sun Tzu saying not to attack where the enemy is strong, but where they are weak, as well as the advice not to turn public option against you unnecessarily.

I think supply chain and even CONUS targets with minimal defenses could be prioritized from the beginning. This way all your expensive missiles can reach their targets are degrade/cripple the opponents ability to replace losses, regenerate, repair or sustain what they have.

If a first wave strike somehow crippled Virginia, B21, F35 and certain missile factories, it would be devastating to their ability to wage war, even if Guam was left unmolested. I must stress that I think this should, like all future Chinese operations against US forces, to make utmost efforts to preserve life, but especially serving US military personnel lives.

A first strike needs to consider and prepare for the opponents public reaction to it, because that could determine their next move.

As I mentioned previously, it's not really in China's interests to conduct a first strike, because China should continue to grow its economy/military faster than the US and its allies for the next 20+ years.
 

AndrewS

Brigadier
Registered Member
Also the "tiny" Northern Marianas cover the gap between Iceland and Britain or Norway and Svalbard. For scale.

In short nothing about the past - including WW2 and Cold War submarine and naval warfare in the West Pacific - is strongly indicative of how it will develop in the future. This is terra incognita... or should I say mare incognitum.

Yes, distances and transit times are so much longer across the Pacific than the Atlantic.

And this plays to the advantages of nuclear submarines, which can have high sustained speeds and can patrol for long periods without resupply.

So it argues for higher numbers of Chinese nuclear submarines and for them to patrol what is a limited number of distant chokepoints as standard, otherwise it would take too long to surge to those positions.

For example, a submarine travelling at 20knots would take 12 days from China to the West Coast. Then it would take another 12 days for a return journey.
 
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Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
If we're talking about a situation where China has 60 modern SSNs, then we're looking at a 2035-2045 timeframe anyway.
By that time, I would expect China would have more than enough forces to smash the deployed US forces in the Western Pacific.

So China would be looking at winning a war of attrition in the Pacific, which means Pearl Harbor is a key target from Day 1.

Let's put it this way, I would not be opposed to the PLA using forces at the commencement of conduct to strike US targets beyond the second island chain, so long as they have sufficient forces to comprehensively defeat forward surge deployed US forces West of Hawaii in relatively rapid manner (2 to 3 weeks).

If they are unable to do so, then I believe priority for the role of SSN-Gs should be on assisting the ability for the early phase Westpac conflict to be won.


As I mentioned previously, it's not really in China's interests to conduct a first strike, because China should continue to grow its economy/military faster than the US and its allies for the next 20+ years.

To clarify, I'm not suggesting China should launch any sort of surprise attack or first strike.

My proposal for the SSN-Gs is that they should have constant readiness to launch strikes immediately at commencement of a conflict to reduce early warning time and in a geographical manner to increase likelihood of mission success.
 

gelgoog

Colonel
Registered Member
I would say that unlike the US, which has to control the sea lanes in the Pacific to the Far East and Australasia, China will be more interested in controlling the sea lanes on the first and second island chain and the Indian Ocean to get to the Middle East.
So the idea you will be designing nuclear attack submarines for deep oceanic combat seems kind of ludicrous to me. I do agree that it should be less important for China to have VLS on their attack submarines. At best you should be able to make do with cruise missiles launched from torpedo tubes. A technology they already have. Unlike Russia, China will not have a disparity in terms of the surface navy. So the idea you need to have carrier group killer SSGNs as part of doctrine to the same degree, I think, is kind of pointless. And US ships are way more vulnerable to torpedo attacks than cruise missiles.
 

Andy1974

Junior Member
Registered Member
?????
What are you smoking, sparing your opponents? You really think if they just go for equipment (people will also die) it will mean lower public outrage in the US???

Yes, I am suggesting the Chinese way of war is different from the American.

You do not want the US to escalate to tactical nukes, but you want the population to know that the homeland is held at risk and this war is not a far off war, while still not going full out and killing masses

Yes, disabling equipment is preferable to killing people. If you have the capability to choose which you do then China will choose to spare lives.

I am referring to first strike as being a surprise strike at any stage of the war. Of course I don’t think China would actually start the war by attacking America.

Any attack on US supply lines would only occur after the war had already started, I am using it as an illustration of an alternative use of resources to attacking Guam.
 

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