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Rising red tide: China’s Navy in frenzy to build new nuclear-powered attack subs

A Chinese submarine on the ocean surface. (credit: AsiaNews)A Chinese submarine on the ocean surface. (credit: AsiaNews)
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China's military is investing heavily in advanced submarines, including both ballistic and cruise missile firing vessels and attack subs.

Recently, Beijing showed off what appears to be a mock-up of its next-generation nuclear-powered attack submarine, according to veteran military analyst Rick Fisher.

"A large outdoor model of a next generation nuclear attack submarine [SSN] has appeared at the People's Liberation Army Navy [PLAN] submarine academy in Qingdao, China," Mr. Fisher stated in a report published by the International Assessment and Strategy Center, a think tank.

"The role of this model may simply be to inspire the academy's students, but it may signify a larger personnel investment by the PLAN to prepare for its next generation submarines, as it may also offer some indications about a new class of SSN," he said, referring to the military acronym for attack submarines

Photos of the model were first published in April during a Chinese naval conference, and Mr. Fisher said the Chinese have long used such photos of mock-up weapons as political messages for both domestic and foreign audiences.

The mock-up could be the first peek at China's Type-095 attack submarine — the second nuclear-powered attack submarine being built by the Chinese after its current Type-093.

In addition to the attack subs, the Chinese also are building two new ballistic missile submarines, the Type-094 and Type-096.

The Pentagon in its latest annual report on China's military said currently two Type-093s are deployed and four improved Type-093s will be fielded in the next five years.

However, Mr. Fisher said Asia military sources have indicated that in addition to the six Type-093s, two new Type-095s could be deployed by 2020.

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About the Author
Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.

He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.

Mr. ...

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