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China launches second possible Type 093B nuclear-powered attack submarine hull


Nov 4, 2011

China launches second possible Type 093B nuclear-powered attack submarine hull​

by Christopher Biggers
01 FEBRUARY 2023


Planet imagery showing Type 093 SSN hull 8 during launch at Huludao shipyard in China. This is possibly the second Type 093B hull. (Planet Labs PBC/Janes)

China launched the eighth Type 093 Shang-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) at Huludao shipyard in northern China between 13 and 18 January 2023. This is the second Type 093 hull to be launched from the new assembly halls on the eastern side of the harbour.

On 11 January, the SSN was brought out to the graving dock where it was visible on a floating transfer platform with a section behind the sail partially covered. After launch, the hull was relocated to the fitting-out pier on the western side of the harbour by 18 January.

While it remains unclear whether the hull has a vertical launch system (VLS), the 2021 and 2022 annual China military report published by the US Office of the Secretary of Defense stated that a Type 093B guided-missile nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSGN) was expected by the mid-2020s.

Planet satellite imagery shows the new hull is 110 m in length, with an approximate beam of 10 m, similar to the seventh Type 093 hull launched in May 2022. After relocation to the fitting-out pier, the hull had a waterline measurement of 105 m.

The Huludao shipyard returned to Type 093 fabrication after two Type 094 SSBNs were produced between 2017 and 2021. According to satellite imagery, the Type 093s were previously in production between 2000 and 2002 and between 2013 and 2017 with two and four built, respectively.



Dec 17, 2014
United States
The Type 093B is estimated to be at the same noise level as the Improved Los Angeles class subs as well as Russian Akula Subs (which India operates and probably bases their subs); 105-110 decibels. With more modern Virginia SSN at 95 decibels.

Considering the PLAN will try to transition to the Type 095 ASAP, once the economy and political situation is stabilized, IMHO the PN should try to buy the 3 Type 093G in the mid-2030s, by which time the subs will be 20 years old and the PLA maybe willing to part with them. A pump jet sub with 16 VLS, for use to protect the SLOCs, but during heightened tensions could be a very potent strategic India specific platform, if equipped accordingly, perhaps with a design based on the YJ-21 Hypersonic glider ballistic missile (survivable against all current Indian air defenses) with a supposed range of 1500 km. (BTW, this kind of missile could be developed domestically and have an extended range three stage variant from the standard two stage variant to replace all current strategic missiles for the SPD make make the entire force survivable against Indian air defenses.)

A PN That could operate these subs would have the needed facilities built to maintain them, and could be a port the PLAN submarines would be able to visit and get some maintenance done in the western Indian Ocean.

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