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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

JL-2 (CSS-NX-14)

For the first time at the National Day parade in Beijing, on 01 October 2019 China exhibited its new JL-2 nuclear-capacity, submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) technology based on DF-31 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). In the parade 12 exhibited missiles, People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) reportedly used by. The JL-2 was introduced as a submarine-launched version of the DF-31 long-range, three-stage, solid-fuel rocket ICBM. A total of 12 vehicles carrying the JL-2 missiles passed through the Tian'anmen Square in the heart of Beijing. The formation was mainly composed of a naval base's troops that were reviewed in a naval parade marking the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in April this year.

A grand military parade was held in Beijing on 01 October 2019 to mark the People's Republic of China's 70th founding anniversary. China said the parade, the country’s most important political event of the year, which featured more than 15,000 troops marching through part of Tiananmen Square as jet fighters trailing colored smoke soared overhead, was not meant to intimidate any specific country. But it was a message to the world that China’s military prowess is growing rapidly, even as it faces mounting challenges. Military Parade Deputy General Manager Tan Min, at a press conference the week before the parade, 'All the weapons exhibited in the parade active service.' had used. This statement shows that the aircraft is actively used by the Chinese armed forces.

JL-2 SLBM - 01 Oct 2019 JL-2 SLBM - 01 Oct 2019 JL-2 SLBM - 01 Oct 2019 JL-2 SLBM - 01 Oct 2019 JL-2 SLBM - 01 Oct 2019 JL-2 SLBM - 01 Oct 2019

The new JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) is the sea-based variant of the DF-31 land-mobile long-range missile. Development of these missiles was accelerated following the successful test of their common 2m-diameter solid rocket motor in late 1983. The missile is apparently roughly comparable in size and performance to the American TRIDENT C-4 long-range multiple-warhead three-stage solid fuel missile missile that is launched from submerged submarines.

The missile will reportedly carry either 3 or 4 MIRV (90kT each) or a single warhead with a yield of 250-1000 kT. Other reports suggest that each missile might be loaded with as many as six warheads. Most reports agree that the JL-2 will have a range of about 8,000 km, while some reports suggest that the missile will have an estimated range at least 9,000 kilometers.

Some sources suggest that China tested the JL-2 in 1999, but as of December 2000, construction of the first Type 094 had apparently been delayed, and the PLAN had yet to test-launch the JL-2.

The first at-sea launch of China's JL-2 ballistic missile in mid-January 2001 was conducted from China's Golf-class trials submarine. The Chinese have modified the older Russian-made submarine, based at a naval port on the north China coast, for "pop-up" tests of the JL-2. The test involves ejecting the missile out of the submarine launch tube. China carried out another pop-up test of the JL-2 in October 2001. As of early February 2002 China was preparing to conduct another test of the JL-2.

On 02 December 2004 Bill Gertz reported that China conducted tests of the JL-2 in 2002 and 2003. The Chinese suffered a setback in the JL-2 missile program when a test flight of the JL-2 missile failed in the summer of 2004. The JL-2 missile program was delayed by the test failure but continued under development.

China test-fired a new long-range, submarine-launched ballistic missile on 16 June 2005. The missile was believed to be the Ju Lang-2. The new SLBM was reportedly fired from a nuclear submarine in waters off Qingdao, with the warhead impacting in a desert in China several thousand kilometers away.

This missile was though to be designated the CSS-NX-4 by the US intelligence community, but many reports suggested that it is designated the CSS-NX-5. The U.S. Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) published “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat” in July 2013 settled matters by using the previously unheard of CSS-NX-14 designation.

The prospects for the deployment of this missile long remained obscure, given the protracted development effort of the associated DF-31, the initial deployment of which has slipped from 1998 to around 2003. Also worthy of note was the persistent absence of public reports of the start of construction of the Type 094 submarine that would be needed for the JL-2 missile.

On 02 December 2004 Bill Gertz finally reported that the new 094-class submarine had been launched in late July 2004. Construction of this submarine would constitutes a leading indicator for the JL-2's deployment schedule, since several years would be required for submarine construction, and probably an additional year or two for shake-down trials of the submarine, and testing of the JL-2 from the submarine.

In the 2004 edition of the US Department of Defense "Annual Report on the Military Power of the People's Republic of China" the deployment dates for two new Chinese ballistic missiles (DF-31 and JL-2) had slipped from "mid-to-late-decade" [reported in the 2003 edition] to "by the end of the decade". In May 2008 a JL-2 was successfully launched from the 031-type submarine. In early 2009, the JL-2 was successfully launched for the first time by the Type 094 submarine.

According to the US Department of Defense's Annual Report to Congress on The Military Power of the People's Republic of China for 2013, "Three JIN-class SSBNs (Type 094) are currently operational, and up to five may enter service before China proceeds to its next generation SSBN (Type 096) over the next decade. The JIN-class SSBN will carry the new JL-2 submarine launched ballistic missile with an estimated range of more than 4,000 nm." The careful reader may note the reference to the JL-2 was in the future tense, suggesting that the DOD assessment was that this new SLBM was not yet operationally deployed.

The Julang-2 is estimated to have a range of "more than 4,000 nm" [about 7,500 km or 4,600 statute miles], which may bring Hawaii and Alaska (but not the continental United States) within reach if the missile were launched from a submarine in Chinese territorial waters. The U.S. Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) published “Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat” in July 2013 with a map depicting JL-2 coverage as barely reaching the Aleutians, and falling well short of either Hawaii or the continental United States.

The JL-2A, with a lower estimated range of 9,250 km, if the missiles were launched from a boat patrolling in the Bohai Gulf bastion, could reach San Francisco at 9,300 km, as would points north. But points east of Denver, just over 10,000 km from the Bohai Gulf, would be out of range. San Diego, also just over 10,000 km from the Bohai Gulf, would be out of range, but If the range is 11,250 km, almost all the continental United States would be within range if the missiles were launched from a boat patrolling in the Bohai Gulf bastion. Atlanta, some 11,500 km downrange from the Bohai Gulf, might be just out of range. Miami, some 12,500 km downrange from the Bohai Gulf, might just be out of range of the JL-2A.

Submarines bastioned in the South China Sea, a popular topic, would have a rather more difficult time of things. Seattle is 11,500 km down range, while Miami is nearly 16,000 km away. While the South China Sea may be an attractive bastion from which the forthcoming JL-3 might attack the continental United States, the JL-2 surely lacks the range to mount such attacks while in bastion.


JL-2B / JL-2C also reported
ContractorAcademy of Rocket Motors Technology - ARMT
Configuration3 Stage3 Stage
Length [meters]10+11+
Diameter [meters]2.02.0
Mass [kilograms]20,000+22,000
First Flight200120
DeploymentType 094 JinType 094A SSBN
Range 7,500-8,000 km9,250-11,250 km
Re-entry Vehicle Mass (kg)700 kg
Warhead Yield 3 or 4 MIRV @ 90 kT
1 @ 250-1000 kT
3 or 4 MIRV @ 90 kT
1 @ 1000 kT
CEP (meters)500 ??500 ??

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Page last modified: 03-05-2020 17:14:48 ZULU