Tuesday, October 29, 2013

PLA submarine can strike US cities with JL-2 missiles

China's nuclear-powered ballistic submarine is capable of conducting combat patrol missions around the Second Island Chain, according to military expert Li Li in an interview with the Party-run People's Daily online, while another analyst writes that the JL-2 missiles it carries could be launched from the Kuril islands in the north Pacific to strike the western seaboard of the United States.
The Second Island Chain extends from the Japanese main island of Honshu southward to New Guinea.
Only a few nations around the world are able to construct their own ballistic submarines because of the technical challenges involved, said Li. Larger pressurized water reactors are suitable for surface combat vessels but cannot be used for submarines. It is extremely difficult for most nations to build an adequately sized pressurized water reactor in their submarines.
The PLA Navy has solved these major problems through years of development. The earlier Chinese submarines designed during the Cold War were small, noisy and had a short attack range. China's new generation Type 094 Jin-class submarines however are able to reach the Second Island Chain. Equipped with 16 JL-2 missiles, their attack range extends 8,000km.

The JL-2 could hit Los Angeles from waters east of the Kuril islands, Peter Howarth says in his work China's Rising Sea Power: The PLA Navy's Submarine Challenge. When launched from the East China Sea, the JL-2 is capable of reaching Guam, Hawaii and Alaska. The JL-2 intercontinental submarine-launched ballistic missiles can carry a nuclear warhead, posing a considerable threat to US national security.

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