China’s Bohai Shipyard has built a new large-scale plant to mass produce nuclear submarines.
Western production lines for the most part can only build one submarine at a time, and only the US is capable of building two submarines simultaneously, but China is now capable of building four submarines at one time.
China already has at least four type 094/094A ballistic missile submarines and at least five Type 093/093G attack submarines, so it is speculated that the new facility is to build the successor third-generation classes of Type 096 ballistic missile submarines and Type 095 attack submarines. The new submarines will be built using modular fabrication techniques. The projection is made that Chinese nuclear submarine production will double its rate within two to three years.
China currently has about three submarine production lines and can build 5 to 6 submarines at one time. This would mean in three years China could be building ten to twelve submarines at one time.
Type 094 submarine
The Type 096 submarine is a SSBN (nuclear ballistic missile submarine) being developed for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy Submarine Force. Official specifications are unknown. The Type 096 may carry 24 SLBMs, double the number carried by its predecessor, the Type 094. According to analysts, it could also feature a hull similar to Western SSBNs. As of January 2017, the Type 096 has yet to enter service.
The Type 095 submarine is a proposed class of third generation nuclear-powered attack submarines for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of China.
It is anticipated that Type 095 submarines will have a substantially reduced acoustic signature, within an improved hull type and pump jet propulsion system. Compared to the Type 093, the Type 095 will have a more advanced nuclear reactor, VLS tubes and greater number of advanced sensors such as new active/passive flank array sonar and low and high frequency towed sonar array. Additionally, it is also speculated that Type 095 submarines may act as a potential undersea escort for any future PLAN aircraft carrier task forces.
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