China hides the number of newest strategic nuclear submarines by changing their identification numbers
China is building up its naval forces by commissioning new warships and submarines. In addition, in order to mislead the enemy, the Chinese Navy has begun to change the identification numbers of nuclear submarines, the South China Morning Post, an English-language newspaper in Hong Kong, writes.
The publication cites a report compiled by the author of the French submarine encyclopedia Eric Genevel and American submarine expert Richard W. Steern, as well as analytical data. In their report, the Frenchman and the American argue that the Chinese navy has not only modernized its nuclear submarines, making them less noisy, but also used special tactics to hide identification numbers.
According to experts, China, in order to conceal the number of the latest type 094 and type 094A nuclear submarines built for the PLA Navy, assigns them identification numbers of other submarines. In addition, the PLA Navy is changing the tactics of using submarines in order to mislead those watching their fleet opponents. In 2020, it was reported that the PLA Navy is armed with six newest strategic nuclear submarines of the 094A project, but in fact, it is not possible to accurately count their number.
The United States is concerned that the Type 094A nuclear submarine can carry a new ICBM capable of striking targets throughout the United States. In May of this year, the same South China Morning Post wrote about a new submarine type 094A, capable of carrying a new intercontinental ballistic missile (SLBM - ballistic missile of submarines) JL-3 instead of the JL-2 SLBM previously used on nuclear submarines of this type.
It is reported that 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, even while at the Yulin base on the island of Hainan.