Type-093B / Type-093G VLS LACM Shang-class
Chinese shipbuilders had completed three advanced nuclear-propelled submarines that can fire the latest vertically launched anti-ship missiles, local media reported. Satellite pictures broadcast in April 2015 by China Central Television showed three submarines anchored at an unidentified port. The vessels were reported to be Type-093G submarines just completed by a shipyard and ready to be delivered to the Navy of the People’s Liberation Army.
In June 2016, photos surfaced of China's new nuclear-powered Type 093 attack submarine. The Shang-class vessel appeared to some to feature vertical-launch tubes that could fire both YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missiles and DF-10 long-range land-attack cruise missiles.
The quiet and fast Type 093B "Shang" nuclear attack submarine would be the first Chinese submarine equiped with vertically launched cruise missiles. The US Defense Department believes that three Type 093B SSNs were launched in 2015, and entered service in 2016. The first pair of Type 093 SSNs had noisy reactors and propulsion systems, especially at high speeds. These defects limited their combat potential, making them highly detectable to enemy anti-submarine efforts. The improved Type 093B, in contrast, used advances in Chinese metallurgy and reactor design to make a quieter submarine. US assessments place its stealthiness between that of the USN Los Angeles Flight I and the Flight III SSNs.
The US DoD report "Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2017" reported that "Since 2002, the PLAN has constructed ten nuclear submarines—two SHANG I-class SSNs (Type 093), four SHANG II-class SSNs (Type 093A), and four JIN-class SSBNs (Type 094)... Over the next decade, China probably will construct a new variant of the SHANG class, the Type 093B guided-missile nuclear attack submarines (SSGN), which not only would improve the PLAN’s anti-surface warfare capability but might also provide it with a more clandestine land-attack option."
According to the 2018 Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China, "By the mid-2020s, China likely will build the Type 093B guided-missile nuclear attack submarine. This new SHANG-class variant would enhance the PLAN’s anti-surface warfare capability and could also provide a more clandestine land-attack option."
Type-093G is said to be an advanced version of Type-093, China’s second-generation nuclear-powered attack submarines. Compared to the relatively short 110-m regular variant, the Type-093G is claimed to have a longer hull to make room for a vertical launch system. Earlier, appearing on the internet, the new Type 093 was often referred to 093G or modified 093G2, but this is unlikely to meet the Chinese navy vessels modified naming rules.
The launchers are claimed to be designed to fire the YJ-18, the vertically launched version of China’s YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missile, according to the Navy’s website. The advanced missile can reportedly carry a 300-kilogram warhead to a range over 200 kilometers and is capable of performing maneuvers at speeds of up to Mach 3 just before hitting its target. The Type-093G submarine also has improved speed and mobility, and reduced noise compared to the regular version.
The outside world speculated that the submarine can be equipped with "Eagle-18" supersonic anti-ship missiles and long range "sword-10" submarine-launched cruise missiles on combat model. Western analysts believe that the former may be a large attack missile with speed of Mach 3 to strike surface ships 300 km away, while the latter will reach a maximum range of more than 1,500 km. Reference News Network reported on 17 March 2015 that Hong Kong's "Ming Pao" published an article on Hong Kong military commentator Liang Guodong that reported the Chinese Navy's 093B cruise missile nuclear submarine is equipped with 16 vertical launch units, which can launch "Eagle Strike-18" supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles. It was reported that it can also launch DH-10 long-range cruise missiles.
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