A new image emerged on 21 June providing confirmation of the latest variant of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN’s) Type 093 nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN).
Published on Chinese online forums, the picture shows that the new Shang-class submarine appears to have a new ‘bump’ shape after the sail that may be intended to help dissipate root vortices that emerge from the base of the sail, which can help reduce drag and noise.
An article published that same day on Guancha.com claims the boat also employs a vertical launch version of the YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile and a naval version of the DF-10 long-range land-attack cruise missile. The new photograph, however, does not provide confirmation that the ‘bump’ also houses vertical-launch cruise missiles.
It is unclear, however, where exactly this boat lies in the PLAN’s Shang-class programme. A 2016 Pentagon report to the US Congress on China-related military and security developments stated a few months ago that the East Asia country was continuing to improve its SSN force and that four additional Shang-class SSN would eventually join the two already in service.
“The Shang SSN will replace the ageing Han-class SSN (Type 091). These improved Shang SSNs feature a vertical launch system and may be able to fire the YJ-18 advanced anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM),” the paper stated.
It has been reported for some time that the third and subsequent three boats are stretched versions of the two original Shang-class boats: possibly in an attempt to accommodate a Dry Dock Shelter as appears to be the case in the recently released image. While authenticity cannot be guaranteed, this may be the third boat. These are known as Type 093A.
However, there has also been firm reporting that the Chinese have been developing a nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine (SSGN), known in many circles as Type 093G.
Read the Original Article at Janes 360