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Sunday, 22 April 2018

INFOGRAPHICS #31: The People's Liberation Army Navy submarines in 2018

Written by D-Mitch 

Jin class ballistic missile submarine of the PLA Navy
In the following infographic, The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) submarines in 2018, I depict all the submarines that are currently in commission with the PLA Navy (as of April 1, 2018). Currently, the PLA Navy (PLAN; Chinese: 中国人民解放军海军), operates a large number of nuclear-powered and diesel electric submarines. The Chinese ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) fleet  consists of  at least five (5) Jin class (09IV/09IVA, from now on 094/04A) SSBN  vessels (other sources mention six boats already in the class) and one Xia class (Type 092) SSBN (other sources report also a sub-variant, the Type 092G, consisting of a pair of boats) and perhaps one boat of the third generation of Chinese SSBN, the lead ship of the Type 096 SSBN (NATO:Tang-class). Therefore the total number of boats is the minimum six boats and maximum ten boats! Moreover, China operates at least four or five variants of the Type 093 (Shang class) nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) according to the latest reports; the initial pair of Type 093 with the old sail, the Type 093A with the new sail, the Type 093B with the small narrow hump located behind the sail, the Type 093B1 with the wider and more smooth hump and the Type 093B2 with the even smoother hump and shorter in height. The last variant could be though the Type 095 class as it is rumored that China has put in service the third generation of Chinese SSNs; the first boat of the new Type 095 SSN, and possibly one more boat already has been commissioned. In service there are also three (3) Type 091 (Han class) SSN boats, the first generation of Chinese SSNs. Therefore the number of Chinese SSNs is at least 13-14 boats, if we assume at least a pair for each variant plus the old Type 091s, either just eight (8) boats if we assume there is only one boat for each variant except the Type 091s (which is unlikely to be the case), or the real number is even bigger with the Type 095s a completely new variant in addition to the existing five Type 093 variants!

Type 093s. Source: dafeng cao
Two different Type 094 SSBN variants
The active diesel electric submarine (SSK) fleet consists of approximately 58 boats in active service! About 18 Type 039A/039B/039C SSK (Yuan class) boats (other sources mention 12 Type 039B/C boats and two other vessels in sea trials) and 13 Type 039/039G SSK boats (other sources mention 16 boats in the class). Furthermore, the Chinese Navy operates 12 Kilo class SSK, five (5) Type 035B (Ming class) SSK and about nine Type 035G old SSKs, the remaining of total 12 boats completed of which one was lost and two were transferred to Bangladesh. It is not known if they are still in active service. China operates also a sole boat of the Type 032 class (Qing-class), a diesel-electric submarine currently as a testbed in PLAN. It is said to be the world's largest conventional submarine, at a submerged displacement of 6,628 tonnes (!) and a length of about 93 meters. This impressive vessel is armed with a number of 533/650 mm torpedo tubes, 2-3 SLBM VLS in the conning tower and four (4) tube VLS for cruise/ASW/AShM missiles in the forward section! The submarine tests new technologies such as torpedoes, compartments for special forces, underwater unmanned vehicles, new missiles, and others. Take into account please that the sources vary a lot on the amounts of boats in each class and moreover on the pennant numbers of the boats (for example Wiki reports the same pennant numbers for different classes of vessels). Moreover, the new classes are illustrated according to the latest artist's impressions as well as the few existent photos.

The People's Liberation Army Navy submarines in 2018 (v.II). For a high resolution image click here.

3 comments:

  1. Hi, DaMitch!

    Did you label the Type 09IIIB as the Type 09V?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there. Type 095 is 09V. Type 093B is 09IIIB. Pennant numbers could not be accurate because sources vary on the matter.

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  2. The only SSBN Type 092 of the Xia class has always been plagued by many problems.
    Even after the important modernization in the 80s, at the end of which was reclassified as Type 092G.
    There are even doubts that he has ever been able to complete a deterrent patrol; in fact, it is thought that it's no longer operational.
    As for Type 094/094A, not all sources agree on 5 or even 6 boats; often speaking of only 4 SSBNs in service, although the fifth submarine may have entered in service recently.
    The Type 096 remains instead a big "mystery", waiting to be unveiled ...

    ReplyDelete