The following is a translation from Chinese media:
The Chinese navy has significantly expanded its submarine fleet due to recent very fast development. According to news published by an official Chinese source not long ago, a newest improved version of Type 041 Yuan class diesel powered submarine is now ready for sea trial. Since its photo appeared for the first time on the Internet in December 2013, Chinese officials have for the first time admitted the existence of the improved version of Type 041 submarine.
It was made by China State Shipbuilding Corporation. Its sail hull is very similar to the modernised submarine produced by Germany. In the sail hull, there may be an additional high-accuracy sonar. The improved version may hopefully have a displacement of 3,500 tons.
Since 2004, China has built twelve Type 041 submarines. Some US experts believe the total number of such submarines built will reach twenty. Those submarines are all installed with the new-type AIP system. At the same time, China is marketing its export version of the Type 041 submarines, codenamed S-20, with a displacement of 2,300 tons.
U.S. Pacific Command Commander Samuel Locklear said on March 25, 2014, China has substantially strengthened its submarine capabilities. It will have 60-70 submarines in the next decade, quite a huge scale for a regional power.
At the same time, he pointed out that China continues to build nuclear submarines that are able to carry JL-2 ICBMs. He said, “China may possibly have obtained effective nuclear deterrence by the end of 2014.” According to speculation, JL-2 missiles will mainly be carried by Type 094 Jin class nuclear submarines. So far there are at least four 094 submarines in service. According to Jane’s Defense Weekly’s estimate, the Chinese navy now has four ballistic missile nuclear submarines, five attack nuclear submarines and 53 diesel powered submarines.
Some Western experts pointed out that Russia and China are now jointly developing and producing Lada class submarines and conducting negotiation on development of new conventional submarines on the basis of the Lada submarine. That indicates China’s great desire for further improvement of its submarines.Source: huanqiu.com “Russia media says China has built 12 new-type AIP submarines while Japan only have 5” summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese
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