Skip to comments.China Displays World’s Largest Conventional Submarine
Posted on 06/12/2014 9:08:09 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
State media report that Chinas new Type 032 Qing-class submarine was displayed at an expo last week.
Chinas state-run media is reporting that Beijing publicly displayed what is believed to be the largest conventional submarine in the world last week.
According to Want China Times, which cited a Chinese-language report in the state-run Guangming Daily, Chinas new Type 032 Qing-class test submarine was on display last week at the Sixth Shipping Expo held in Guangdong province in southern China from June 6 to June 8. IHS Janes also noted the report was carried in Chinas state media outlets.
The Type 032 submarine first came to foreign analysts attention in 2010 when pictures emerged on the Chinese internet of the vessel in a Wuhan-based shipyard (at that time, some began calling it a Type 043 submarine, causing some confusion).
According to Global Security, development of the submarine began in early 2005 followed by construction in 2008. Construction was completed in 2010, and sea trials ended in the fall of 2012. It entered PLA service in October of that same year, and testing commenced in 2013.
For some time now, defense analysts have believed that the Type 032 has a surfaced displacement of 3,797 tonnes and a submerged displacement of 6,628 tonnes. The new reports in Chinas state media confirm this. According to IHS Janes, the new reports say that the Type 032 is a 3,797 tonne vessel that can carry a crew of 200 sailors and researchers. It is said to be 92.6 m long with a height of 17.2 m. This displacement makes it the worlds largest diesel-electric submarine.
From the initial images in 2010, analysts noted that the vessel possessed a large sail and under-hull extension. From this, they speculated that the Type 032 was being developed to eventually replace Chinas Type 031 test submarine, which was built in the 1960s based off the Soviet-designed Golf-class submarines. This was later confirmed.
The Type 031 never reached operational capacity but has been used by China to test its submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM): the JL-1 and more recently the JL-2. Because of this, many believe that the Type 032 submarine will carry Chinas new JL-2 SLBMs, and therefore could contribute to Chinas nascent undersea nuclear deterrent. According to the U.S. military, China is on the verge of fielding its first credible undersea deterrent in the form of the Type-094 (Jin-Class) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), which will also be equipped with the JL-2 SLBM.
At this point, the Type 032 would be utilized merely to continue testing the SLBMs, as well as other sea-launched missiles. However, if China orders more additional units which some claim it already has this would indicate that Beijing may intend to use the new diesel-electric subs to augment the Type 094 SSBNs in providing China with a sea-based deterrent.
At the same time, the Type 032 could be used for a variety of different missions. The IHS Janes story cited unspecified reports as saying that the new subs could be configured to deploy underwater drones as well as PLA special forces. The Type 032s two vertical launching systems could also be used to launch a number of different missiles. Besides the JL-2 SLBM, these other missiles could include the CJ-20A anti-ship cruise missile and YJ-18 anti-ship missile. Indeed, some analysts believe that China will use the Type 032 subs, at least in part, as another carrier killer weapon. The Type 032 also carry torpedoes and could therefore be used to harass surface vessels and other submarines.
I’m all for China having loud and proud submarines!
A “sea-based deterrent” to deter other countries from protecting their islands from Chinese theft.
Wuhan is about 800 miles up the Yangtze river.
I doubt this is an actual ocean going craft
You’d think they’d have a yellow submarine.
Wonder what endurance it has on batteries.
Too lazy to look up what those huge Japanese WWII subs displaced, the ones that could launch airplanes.
Does this have Air Independent Propulsion (AIP)?
I recently saw a documentary about the Japanese I-400 subs. Monster subs, way ahead of their time in WWII. They had an aircraft hanger inside and could deploy aircraft after surfacing. It’s a shame none survived after the U.S. scuttled them off Hawaii to keep the technology out of Russian hands. The Chinese are seventy years late on a big sub and still can’t match what the Japanese accomplished so many years ago.
On the plus side they had enough fuel to circle the globe 1.5 times and three torpedo aircraft.
On the minus side they had a huge radar signature, took almost a full minute to dive and then only had a test depth of 300’. They fact that they could travel 30,000 miles was offset by the fact that there was no cold refrigeration stores or AC. The crew would have died of disease and malnutrition long before needing a fill up. They were slow and slow to turn and the offset hanger deck hull caused a serious pull to port.
Still they were pretty amazing craft. I am not sure why we thought needed keep them from the Russians, it is not like the Russians couldn't figure out how to do it on their own.
They're dead quiet as long as they stay under 5 knots. Make them move and they're "loud and proud".
I have always wondered if that Chinese sub that surfaced behind the Kitty Hawk group in 2006 was being followed by a LA-class boat getting a sound profile on it.
All right, I’ll ask a question that will certainly display my ignorance, but why is displacement in a sub important? I understand why the noise it makes would make a difference but how much water it displaces puzzles me. Thanks.
The limber holes look noisy.
Don't know. Those were crazy times near, and at the end of the war. We were both in Germany snatching German scientists and technology. We were blocking them in Korea at the 38th parallel to keep them from invading Japan. The Russians were dismantling Japanese factories in China and shipping the stuff back to Russia, keeping it out of U.S. hands. We were grabbing Japanese technology elsewhere and keeping it from the Russians. The Russians didn't figure out a lot on their own, a lot was copied from us (the bomb) and others. Copying served them well for a while.