Sunday, November 22, 2009

China, A new giant supported by its nuclear submarines


China finally can say no to any other countries including U.S. due to its radical break-through on the submarine technologies.

Recently, Xinhua News Agency reported that, China has successfully completed a series of tests on a China-made new-type nuclear submarine. The tests included dive limit, underwater high-speed, deep-sea mine and warfare launching, and training evaluation. The report also said the test results have met the design and operational requirements that indicate China’s new type submarine has fully formed its combat capability.

As we know, China’s nuclear submarines consist of the 093-type (Shang class) nuclear attack submarine (SSN) and the 094-type (Jin class) strategic nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN). From the report of Xinhua News Agency, the analysts believe that the recently tested Chinese nuclear submarine has realized its revolutionary changes on the propulsion system, acoustic and speed performances, and weapon system.

According to the information collected from China, the recently tested nuclear submarine changed the propulsion method from nuclear reactor - turbine - gear - propeller to a new method of nuclear reactor – low speed and high torque motor – propeller. It eliminated the mechanical gear-system that is noisy and heavy. The change significantly reduced the noise value of the submarine.

Besides the propeller system, the new type submarine also used the pump jet propulsion as its auxiliary propulsion. The new pump jet propulsion system comprises of left and right sections. Each one fits for harsh combat environment under waters. During a war environment, the submarine could shut down propulsion motor to reduce the noise level and only use the pump jet propulsion system for its tactically hiding mobility. If necessary, the submarine can also use both propulsive systems to get a top speed.

On the aspect of acoustic and speed performances, the Chinese newly tested submarine has used a new noise-reducing technology called sharkskin coating. It significantly not only absorbs the noise generated by the submarine itself but also weakens or eliminates enemy's sonar sound waves. Besides the stealth to the enemy’s sonar, the imitated sharkskin also helps the submarine gain a faster underwater speed.

To reduce the noise level more, the submarine also used other noise reducing measures, such as: a new type propeller, flexible pipe-connections, propulsion motors on floating raft, etc.

All these technologies have radically reduced the lowest noise level of the new type Chinese submarine to 100 db or less that is equal to or less than the noise level of the sea background, and they have also increased the highest underwater speed to more than 40 knots that is faster than that of U.S. Seawolf class or Virginia class submarines.

With these advanced technologies, the analysts believe, China will build more nuclear submarines and modify all of its existing 093-type (Shang class SSN) and 094-type (Jin class SSBN) nuclear submarines. Not long later, all of Chinese nuclear submarines will freely cruise between continents without being detected by the other countries including U.S.

The headache to U.S. is that the 094-type (Jin class) is a nuclear strategic nuclear submarine, which is able to carry 18 China-made JL-2 intercontinental ballistic missiles and up to 144 nuke warheads. The JL-2 is capable of carrying up to 6 nuclear warheads including a fake warhead for anti-interception. If there were only one such Chinese submarine hiding under waters of any a country, its ability would be enough to destroy that country several times.

Due to this reason, the analysts believe it is impossible for U.S. to directly fight a war against China for any other countries in the future. On this point, China has become a real giant supported by its nuclear submarines even in front of the United States.