China has bolstered its great power status beneath the waves with the unveiling of two nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
The two Jin class, or Type 094A, strategic submarines, built at the Huludao shipyard in Liaoning province, in the northeast of the country, will bring the total size of China’s sea-based deterrent to six vessels.
The new submarines, each to be fitted with 12 JL-2 ballistic missiles with a range of 7,000km (4,350 miles), are not yet in service, according to experts at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.
However, preparations to make them operational coincide with the anticipated start of construction of China’s next-generation ballistic-missile submarine, the Type 096, capable of carrying 16 intercontinental missiles.
The expansion and modernisation of China’s submarine and surface ships amid tensions with the US and Japan.
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