China is preparing to liberate its nuclear submarines that hide 12 nuclear missiles in their distinctive “hump”.
Beijing is reportedly pushing for an upgrade to the Type 094 “Jin” class boats amid the threat of a possible military conflict with the US.
War fears mount as China moves increasingly boldly toward the separatist island of Taiwan, with President Xi Jingping pledging “reunification”, while Taipei vowed it would not “bow” to China .
US military chiefs have always promised to defend the island enclave, but a potential military confrontation with China threatens to escalate into a theoretical World War Three.
China appears to be prepared for the threat of conflict on such a large scale – with a focus on its nuclear missile-carrying submarines in the Pacific.
With 12 nuclear missiles on each “commodity”, just one ship has enough firepower to kill millions and wipe out cities.
The submarines are reportedly capable of carrying China’s JL-3 “Big Wave” missiles, which have a range of 7,500 miles, more than enough to reach the continental US.
And each submarine is believed to already have an unlimited range, thanks to its nuclear-powered propulsion, meaning they could in theory reach the shores of both US coasts.
China is believed to have upgraded the boats to be more stealthy, a . According to report good French submarine encyclopedia author Eric Genevel and former US submarine sonar tech Richard W. Stern.
The development fleet is said to address issues that the larger submarines had, such as being too noisy, to keep them undetected.
The Type 094A and Type 094B variants have reportedly both received an upgraded hull design and modified sonar arrays.
And ships have also been given ways to hide their identification marks to hide how many “commodities” may be deployed at sea by China.
There are believed to be six ships currently operating in Beijing – but the actual number is a state secret.
The use of a fake hull number would help confuse spy observers when the submarine came out of the water.
Western countries such as the US and UK declare that the number of ballistic missile submarines is at sea – a practice that China has not adopted.
The report said China has begun hiding the ID numbers of its submarines, such as editing state-issued photographs and creating at least four sub-pictures with the number “409”.
And this appears to be a new policy for China as it has gone to greater lengths to conceal its submarine prowess.
However, the report’s authors note that the ships are still very noisy, with US shores undetected.
But the range of their missile arsenal means they don’t even need to leave the waters around China before launching a devastating attack.
Zhou Chenming, a researcher at the Yuan Wang Military Science and Technology Institute in Beijing, however, insisted that the new upgrades are standard procedure and not related to escalating tensions with the US.
“It may take up to eight years for the submarine to be commissioned, while the electronics and many sophisticated components will be advanced within this period by several generations,” he said. south china morning post.
“The Chinese Navy will request shipmakers to install the most advanced features in the next hull, while the sub engineers need to think about how to put those components in the right places. The dimensions for all of these, including the sails, rudder, may require changes in the design of the number of organ perforations and other factors.”
Lu Lee-shih, a former instructor at Taiwan’s Naval Academy in Kaohsiung, said that using fake hull numbers was an attempt to create confusion – but would be useless in combat.
“Using a fake hull number would help to confuse spy observers when a submarine emerges from the water, but in naval combat the number would be meaningless, as the hull would disappear when submerged in deep water, Lu said.
Tensions between China and Taiwan have peaked as it fears the Communists may attempt to reclaim the island it claims.
Chinese warplanes are flying over Taiwan’s airspace in record numbers, as part of a massive exercise widely seen as a rehearsal for the invasion.
Taiwan maintains that it is an independent nation after separating from mainland China in 1949.
Chinese President Xi has vowed to ensure “reunification” with Taiwan – but did not mention the use of force.
And in a speech today, Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen vowed that the island would continue to strengthen its defenses in a direct attack on Xi.
He said: “There should absolutely be no illusions that the Taiwanese people will succumb to pressure.”
Tsai said, “We will continue to strengthen our national defense and demonstrate our determination to defend ourselves to ensure that no one can force Taiwan to follow the path set for us by China.” “
“This is because the path China has taken does not provide a free and democratic lifestyle for Taiwan, nor sovereignty for our 23 million people.”
China immediately pulled back as it accused Taiwan’s leadership of being the “greatest threat” to peace, insisting once again that the island should be “reunited” with the mainland, and on Tsai ” accused of inciting conflict”.
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