The newest Project 094A strategic nuclear submarine can carry a new ICBM capable of hitting targets throughout the United States.
The Chinese edition of the South China Morning Post told about the new nuclear submarine Changzheng-18 ("Long March 18"), which became part of the PLA Navy on April 30, 2021. According to the publication, the submarine can carry a new intercontinental ballistic missile (SLBM - submarine ballistic missile) JL-3 instead of the JL-2 SLBM previously used on nuclear submarines of this type.
The newspaper relies on sources in the PLA Navy, claiming that the new nuclear submarine was built according to the modernized project 094A, which made it possible to place on board the JL-3 ICBM instead of the JL-2. In addition, the nuclear submarine has significantly reduced noise levels.
According to the available information from open sources, and there is very little of it, since the Chinese do not really like to share the characteristics of their weapons, type 094A submarines can carry 16 SLBMs instead of 12, as was the case with the base type 094 submarine.
The Julang-3 SLBM, or JL-3 for short, is the third generation of ICBMs for submarines. The JL-3 can carry 3 to 7 self-guided warheads. The range of this missile is, according to various sources, from 10 to 12 thousand kilometers, which makes it possible to strike throughout the United States, being at the Yulin base on the island of Hainan.