China develops sub-launched long-range N-missile


Prime VIP
Staff member
New Delhi, February 11
The Dragon is flexing its military muscle yet again. China, it seems, is on the way to add a potent weapon to its sea-based nuclear arsenal, which will mount pressure on India — an emerging dominant player in the Indian Ocean region. Beijing has, for the first time, tested an 8,000-km range submarine launched nuclear-tipped missile, Julang-2. In military parlance, it is known as submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

In stark contrast, India, as of now, does not even have a submarine in its fleet that can launch an SLBM, leave aside a missile with that kind of a range. Such missiles are considered as the best option to retaliate in case a country faces a nuclear strike. Indian security agencies have informed the government that China carried out the missile test six weeks ago — December 30, 2011. A set of six missiles were fired from the Jin class nuclear- powered submarines.

These 8,000-tonne submarines can stay submerged under water for longer periods avoiding detection. The test is said to have been conducted in the Gulf of Bohai - located just east of Beijing. The Chinese Jin class submarines can carry as many as 12 missiles. The Julang-2, designed by China Aerospace Science and Industry, is a derivative of China’s land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Dong Feng 31 (DF-31) that can cover a distance of 10,000 km.

Sources within the security set-up said this adds a new dimension to China’s attack ability. So far it was known that China had the capacity to launch a 3,000- km range SLBM, the extended range means a remotely sitting submarine could pose a risk.

The Indian Navy is still to get a sophisticated missile like this. New Delhi has successfully tested the 3,500- km range SLBM, codenamed K-4. It is to be part of the arsenal of the indigenous nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant, which is expected to join the fleet by year end. A pressurised canister submerged under water was used to mimic a submarine-style launch. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma has already declared that the Arihant, when ready, would be on ‘deterrent patrol’. It is meant to 'deter' an adversary from launching a first N-strike on the nation as the submarines can then launch the retaliatory strike within minutes from remote locations.

INS Chakra, an Akula class nuclear-powered submarine leased from Russia, is set to join the fleet in the coming weeks. However, the Russian submarine does not have any long-range SLBM as part of its arsenal. However, India’s ballistic missile defence shield project is moving on a fast track. Two days ago, the DRDO conducted a successful launch of an interceptor missile. It hit an incoming ballistic missile and destroyed it at a height of 15 km off the Coast of Orissa.