Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nuclear submarines

I'm sure everyone who follows PLA has seen the recent GE pictures for 094s and also clear photos of 094. I think it was a surprise for many to see 3 094 parked outside in broad daylight (about the same length and clearly larger than original 092). Personally, I'm not knowledgeable enough about submarines to provide analysis on how advanced these boats are or how quiet they are.

Therefore, I thought I'd share some comments made by certain credible poster on Chinese military bbs. Now, I'm not saying they are not necessarily true, but they have made good impressions in the past.

The points are as follows:
  • There are 3 of these 094s, but there are also another SSBN at work that does not have the humps. Apparently, that SSBN is being worked on right now at Huludao (called 094 Type 2)
  • There are at least two 092s and they will be converted to SSGNs. Each tube can hold 3 to 5 LACMs (I guess DH-10 or something like that)
  • There are 5 093s as 2005, I guess either undergoing sea tests or commissioned.
  • The first 095 or 093G is being worked on and will be launched by 2010.
  • They are expected to have 8 093/095s by 2010
  • Another 2 094s are expected by 2010
I'm not sure what we can say at the moment except that there are 094s that may or may not be commissioned. The number of 5 093s seem at least logical to give us an almost 2:1 ratio of SSNs to SSBNs (including 3 091G and 1-2 092). Huludao seems to be building nuclear subs at an extremely rapid pace. And 093 and 094 designs must be pretty formalized for them to allow so many pictures coming out.


dlhh said...

Latest from Maks 2007:

MMPP Salyut Moscow Machine building Production Enterprise is upgrading 117S turbofan to power PLA-11Bs. 95 kits of SU30MKM is being shipped to SAC for assembly into J-11Bs. 117S total thrust is 14.5 tonnes (2 tons more than AL-31F). J-11Bs will be deployed in 4 of the 14 airbases in Tibet to be deployed against the IAF.

AL-31FM-3 is also being developed with planned thrust of 32,000lbs equipped with all aspect thrust vectoring nozzle. This engines will be used to power two tandem seat deep penetration variant of J-10 Medium MRCA. Pakistan has already ordered this aircraft to be delivered in 2012.

MMPP Salyut is also co-operating with Ukraine Motr-Sich to launch series of Ivchenko AI-222-25 turbofan, rated at 5500ibs thrust to equip PLA Hongdu L-15 supersonic lead in trainer.

Feng said...

where did you get this from? I mean especially the part on J-11B, because that just makes no sense.

dlhh said...

this is from a reporter who attended the Maks 2007 and released the article in the defence magazine. I believe its genuine as PLA will need the engines to power J-11Bs as the locally produced engines are not ready yet. PLA needs to counter the IAF which grows stronger every year.

IAF with its phalcon AWACS and SU-30MKI already is superior in the skies above Tibet & Pakistan. Its also upgrading the MKI's to Ibris AESA radar in 2009 which it is co-developing. Add in the Tejas which will go into initial operaing status in 2014 and you can see why PLA has to get the J-11Bs asap to Tibet. FYI IAF will use foreign expertise and components to develop the Tejas. Isreali AESA radar, FBW softare from Rockwell, GE 404 engine and GPS inertial hardware from EADS. In fact the only local avionics component is the ECCM and composite body parts, so any doubts that the Tejas will ever fly is wishful thinking.

My own anaysis is that IAF will still be superior as PLA AWACS is still in development and we can be assured that it is comparable to western systems is when Pakistan gives the Ok to buy China AWACs or AEW&C.

Feng said...

Well, you are going to have to send me the article to check out.

As far as I know, WS-10A is currently in mass production and the production numbers is more than most people would estimate at this point. In fact, even some J-10s are using it. As for Chinese AWACS not being ready, that's simply not true. They already have at least 8 KJ-2000s in service. They've even tested Irbis (which is PESA actually) and wasn't overwhelmed with it. And there is no indication that Russia would export Irbis or 117S to China without forcing China to also buy su-35.

If you read the rest of my blogs on China's future development, you'd see that they have very little to fear from MKI or AESA equipped Tejas. As for Pakistan, they already ordered Y-8 AEW, which is a generations behind KJ-2000.

dlhh said...

This article come from TEMPUR and the website "", look under english articles and new markets sought during. Unfortunately, you can only access all the info if you buy the magazine. The author is Prasun K.Sengupta, a respectable Indian defence analyst whose articles are quoted by quite a few institutions inc. Richard Fisher for IASC, FAS, usa,aussie universities,etc. Google his name to find out more!

Anyway, we have to wait for the latest news to confirm this.

As for Ibris AESA, the article comes with photos of PESA Ibris, so the author is writing about the new AESA Ibris radar being developed with IAF. SU-30MKI already has Bars PESA so any upgrades is definitely AESA.

PLA has only 14 IL-76 so having 8 AWACS is too high as they won't have enough tranport planes. Though the PLA AWACS is operational, whether it is in the same class as Phalcons is yet to be determined. One clue is Pakistan & China signing an agreement to jointly develop AWACS. Since Pakistan does not have the manufacturing and hadrware capability, my humble opinion is the use of the SAAB AEW to benchmark against the Y-8 AEW. Any new capabilities learnt here will also apply to KJ-2000 as they use the same balance beam hardware.

Recently, on CCTV9, the Russians admitted that China have a sophisticated military industry and Russian is now willing to sell China the top end stuff, otherwise PLA is not interested! Selling 117S and AESA radar fits into this category though if PLA wants AESA, they have to go for ZHUK-AE AESA as Ibris is already being offered to IAF.

I have no doubt that PLA will succeed in their future projects but it takes time and for the present PLA will stil have to defend Tibetan borders with India.

dlhh said...

I meant to say the SAAB AEW against the KJ-200 Balance Beam as Pakistan have stated that they are not satisfied with the platform and the radar in the Y-8 rotodome AEW.

dlhh said...

Also, on Al-Jareeza network this week, in an interview between Pakistan Major, Indian General(rtd) & Israeli defence analyst, Pakistan have strongly stated that the Placons that Israeli is selling IAF is tipping the balance of power between the two countries. Pakistan cannot get Placons as it does not recognise Israel diplomatically. Getting American/Euro AWACS is too costly, so I guess Pakistan will have to wait for PLA to develop its large transports before it can get a similiar system. For the time being, my guess is that they have to go for the KJ-200 AEW&C.

Feng said...

A clarification on AWACS situation, they are only offering rotodome to Pakistan, not KJ-200. Pakistan is already invested in the project. As for KJ-2000, we have pictures showing that there are 2 squadrons of 4 KJ-2000s. They originally had at least 20 IL-76 + 1 A-50I. So, they still can build more of it.

As for Irbis, it is PESA. Go check it up. But a more advanced PESA than Bars.

AS for Prasun K.Sengupta, I have seen his previous work on PLA, not overly impressed, but maybe his sources are better this time. There does seem to be some truth in the AL-31FM-3 story from what I know and same with AI-222. Again, I would have to see the article to comment more.

dlhh said...

It seems the PLA has more IL-76MD than what is reported in sinodefence. If Pakistan indeed wants the rotodome AEW&C, the capabilities has to be the same as SAAB, so maybe the co-operation deal is to make Y-8 AEW&C similiar in capabilities.

As for Ibris, there are reports that they are developing an AESA upgrade, I have to find articles to verify it though.

I have a idea what the 117S & J-11Bs article is about. There is an article in sinodefence about the PLA wanting to upgrade the SU-27, etc due to its use for a decade. It seems that Salyut & Saturn was competing for this upgrades with the Al-31FM-1 & 117S respectively. It seems 117S won the upgrade though the AL-31FM-3 is now offered for the J-10 tandem seat deep penetration models. The 95 kits mentioned muust be for body parts that need to be changed in order for the 117S to be installed. The avionics will still be local(AVIC).

The article also mentioned that the upgrade engine AI-222FK 9240Ibs thrust for the Hongdu L-15 was installed late last year. However, as you mentioned, PLA is still not satisfied with the L-15.

Feng said...

Yeah, IL-76 is a concern, but they can probably create another regiment of KJ-2000 before absolutely needing that IL-76 contract. We saw a couple of months back that they were somehow assembling IL-76 or something like that. whole situation is a little unclear.

As for engines, it's not too clear right now either. Other than the fact that J-11Bs are all using WS-10A at the moment. You have to remember that the Russians are allowing shenyang liming to assemble AL-31FM series in Shenyang right now.

Jiang said...

Feng, dlhh is an indian and he is out of his mind. First this article is about Chinese Nuclear Subs, and he is talking about indian air force here and its radar. Second he talks about russian engine on a navy form. I think his indian pride is overwhelming that is why he is posting like this.

As far as Su-30MKI, I know it is better than Su-30MKK but aint better than J-11B in air to air combat at all!! As for LCA Tejes, I have to laugh about it cause it is still unfinised even though it has been almost 28 years!! And now they are talking about putting AESA on it. One simple question, if the indians did not even finish it how can they upgrade it and HOW ON EARTH can it thearten PLAF and PAF with?? Another question, where will the indians get AESA from? Russian, I disagree, because Russian have very little experience making AESA, the AESA on MIG-35 is still not mature and toooo big for LCA. So the other two option for india is to make it on their own or buy it from USA. I do not even bother to think that they can make it on their own because they do not have the experience, in fact india never develped a self-made radar. From USA, possible but Americans are smart, they will force the indians to buy many F-16 or F-18 before they will sell AESA to indians.

Jiang said...

dlhh also say that the InAf(indian air force) being superior than PLAF. lol, please do not make me laugh. If you say this in the 1980's I will accept your comment, but time have changed. PLAF have numerical advangate over the inaf and technology just as good as your pitty airforce(Note, the inaf is defeated twice by the PAF despite the fact that inaf is much larger than the PAF). First, the best plane in inaf is the SU-30MKI a RUSSIAN MADE AIRCRAFT NOT indian, The Chinese counter is the J-11B. Second, the inaf's Mig-29 and Mirage-2000 can easily be countered by Su-27, Su-30MKK, and J-11A. Third, PLAF's most leathal J-10 and its upgrade can also counter the indian's MRCA project. So the question is what edge does inaf have over PLAF??? As Feng said, our air force PLAF have very little fear of yours!!

saintdeb said...

let's wait till the next war between india and china to decide who has a better air force shall we.....

wrt to aesa, Israel has openly offered EL/M 2052 for any aircraft india wishes...even LCA! Europeans have offered joint development of AESA radar with india. I don't foresee a problem in that regard!
IAF has got 3 phalcons with 3 more to be ordered this year! And americans are open to providing any technology we want (they even offered f-35).

wrt su-30mki upgrade, time has cme for the first round of upgrades and india is most likely to fit it and the newer birds coming in with AESA, new engines and more composite usage!!!

Anonymous said...

I have many sources that state that a new generation of nuclear attack submarines/SSGNs is already built and under trials, all in total secrecy. It's called the Type 097 "Qin" class, and is simultaneously developed along the 095, 096.

It supposedly is the world's quietest submarine, and can carry 170 cruise missiles. There's much more to it.

Here are the Google articles: