Friday, May 2, 2008

China builds n-submarine base: CPM China patriots to note and denounce.

China builds n-submarine base: CPM China patriots to note and denounce

China’s new missile submarine seen by satellite

WASHINGTON (Reuters) 2 May 2008 - China’s newest ballistic missile submarine, the Jin-class vessel, has been spotted for the first time by a commercial satellite, a nuclear expert at the Federation of American Scientists said on Thursday.
The submarine was photographed in late 2006 south of the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian, said Hans Kristensen, director of the FAS’s Nuclear Information Project.
It appeared to be based on Russia’s Victor-3 model and, although photographs are unclear, resembles China’s early-1980s Xia-class submarines, said Kristensen, who spotted the long-anticipated vessel.
Google Earth captured an image of the new Chinese ballistic-missile submarine, docked at the Xiaopingdao base south of Dalian. U.S. officials say the new submarines may increase Beijing´s strategic arsenal.
The 133-metre (436-foot) Jin-class submarine probably will carry Julang-2 sea-launched ballistic missiles in its estimated 12 launch tubes. It was spotted moored at Xiaopingdao Submarine Base, which it has used for testing in the past, he said.
“Chinese nuclear submarines are normally not based there. They’re located to the south, near Qingdao,” Kristensen said by telephone.

In a defense strategy paper published on Thursday, Australia echoed previous documents by the United States and Japan in voicing concern about a rapid Chinese military expansion and lack of transparency about strategy and policy.

The U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence estimated in December that China might build five Jin-class submarines, but that estimate was not included in the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military power, published in May, Kristensen noted.

“The Chinese naval nuclear programs so far have been very, very slow,” he said. “They’ve managed to get this submarine out, but it’s been under construction for many years.”

Images of the submarine are published and analyzed on the FAS web site and visible on Google Earth
Normally secretive China likely sees a deterrent effect in allowing the submarine to be seen from the sky by outsiders, Kristensen said.
“The fact that they have it and the fact that it moves around, I’m sure they want the world to know about it,” he said.

China builds N-submarine base
Friday May 2 2008 01:38 IST
The Daily Telegraph
LONDON: China has secretly built a major underground nuclear submarine base that could threaten Asian countries and challenge American power in the region.

Satellite imagery, passed to The Daily Telegraph, shows that a harbour has been built which could house a score of nuclear ballistic missile submarines and a host of aircraft carriers.

In what will be a significant challenge to US Navy dominance and to countries ringing the South China Sea, one photograph shows China’s latest 094 nuclear submarine at the base just a few hundred miles from its neighbours.

Other images show numerous warships moored to long jettys and a network of underground tunnels at the Sanya base on the southern tip of Hainan island.

Of greater concern to the Pentagon are tunnel entrances, about 60ft high, built into hillsides around the base. Sources fear they could lead to caverns capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy satellites.

The US Department of Defence has estimated that China will have five 094 nuclear submarines operational by 2010 with each capable of carrying 12 JL-2 nuclear missiles.

The images were obtained by Janes Intelligence Review after it was given access to imagery from the satellite company DigitalGlobe.

Analysts for the military magazine say the base could be used for “expeditionary as well as defensive operations” and would allow the submarines to “break out to launch locations closer to the US”. It would now be “difficult to ignore” that China was building a major naval base where it could house its nuclear forces and increase its “strategic capability considerably further afield”.

Analysts believe China’s build up of its forces is gaining pace but has remained hidden from the world in the build up to the Olympics. The location of the base will also give the submarines access to very deep water exceeding 5,000 metres within a few miles, making them even harder to detect.

Two 950 m piers and three smaller ones would be enough to accommodate two carrier strike groups or amphibious assault ships.

Editor for Jane’s Intelligence Review said the complex underlined Beijing’s plan “to assert tighter control over this region”. So far China has offered no public explanation for its building at Sanya.

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