China Confirms Submarine-Launched Missile Test

JL-3 is Beijing’s newest nuclear missile capable of ranging US

BY: Bill Gertz
June 28, 2019 3:55 pm

China’s Defense Ministry this week confirmed the test firing of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile the Pentagon regards as a strategic weapon capable of striking anywhere in the United States from underwater launch points.

Asked about the test of the new JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile, Sr. Col., Ren Guoqiang, a Defense Ministry spokesman, acknowledged the test firing.

“It is normal for China to conduct scientific research and tests according to plan,” Ren said during the monthly press briefing.

“These tests are not targeted against any country or specific entity,” he said. “China follows a defense policy which is defensive in nature and an active defense military strategy, and our development of weapons and equipment is to meet the basic demand of protecting China’s national security.”

American defense officials disputed the Chinese claim that the test was not targeted at any country and said the missile firing on June 2 coincided with the visit to Asia by then-acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan.

The test was reported by the Washington Free Beacon on June 13.

Shanahan spoke at a defense conference in Singapore where he indirectly identified China as “the greatest long-term threat” to the vital interests of states in the region for undermining the rules-based international order.

China is engaged in destabilizing actions, what Shanahan termed “a toolkit of coercion,” including the deployment of advanced weapons in militarizing disputed areas and threatening to use force to compel rivals.

China also is engaged in influence operations to interfere in the domestic politics of other nations, undermine the integrity of elections, and threaten internal stability. Predatory economics are another feature of Chinese malign activities, along with state-sponsored theft of military and civilian technology.

Shanahan declared that Chinese behavior “that erodes other nations’ sovereignty and sows distrust of China’s intentions must end.”

Ren’s confirmation of the JL-3 was a rare public confirmation of one of the People’s Liberation Army’s most secret military programs.

American officials said the JL-3 was launched from a submarine test platform in the Bohai Sea and flew several thousand miles to a missile impact range in western China.

Adm. Philip Davidson, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, said in February that the new JL-3 is being developed for a new class of ballistic missile submarines. The four-star admiral said the JL-3 is part of a strategic nuclear modernization program that is adding new capabilities across the spectrum of nuclear forces.

“China’s third generation Type 096 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine will be armed with JL-3 sea-launched ballistic missiles and will likely begin construction in the early-2020s,” Davidson said.

Other new strategic missiles include the new road-mobile DF-26 intermediate-range missile and the new DF41 ICBM.

Rick Fisher, a China military expert, said the disclosure by regime is an example of Beijing practicing “transparency concerning nuclear and missile issues only under duress.”

“One conclusion that can be drawn is more official U.S. revelations of Chinese missile tests will force greater transparency on the Chinese Communist dictatorship,” said Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

“There is a great deal of information about Chinese military developments that the U.S. intelligence community should keep classified, but consideration should be given to revealing more about missile tests,” he added. “Many of these are weapons that China is developing to destroy the democracy in Taiwan, to attack U.S. military forces in Japan and to attack U.S. allies like Japan and South Korea. American citizens deserve to know of this growing danger as do our allies in Asia.”

Trump administration officials said earlier this month that the United States would seek to include China in future strategic arms talks aimed at limiting nuclear forces. Chinese officials so far have flatly rejected U.S. appeals.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a June 18 interview that the concept of bilateral U.S.-Russian arms talks is outdated.

“Cold War style, bilateral strategic arms negotiations don’t make sense when you’re in a multipolar nuclear world,” Bolton said.

Agreements between the United States and Russia, such as the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that Moscow later violated, limited Washington and Moscow but not Beijing.

“The whole point is to find a way, whether it’s in a trilateral negotiation, or maybe you could consider even more nuclear powers involved,” he said. “But looking at this as a bipolar nuclear world when it’s manifestly a multipolar nuclear world is just conceptually completely backward.”

Bolton noted China’s reluctance to join arms talks but said the effort should be made because the risks of nuclear arms proliferation spreading to other nations is growing.

The JL-3 is expected to have a range of more than 7,000 miles and likely will be equipped with multiple, independently targetable reentry vehicles.

The June 2 test was the second flight test of the JL-3. The first test took place in December.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission stated in one of its recent annual reports that the JL-3 is designed to be more lethal and accurate than the JL-2, the current SLBM. The commission said the JL-3 “will be capable of striking the continental United States from China’s periphery.”

Ren, the Defense Ministry spokesman, also criticized the Pentagon’s recently published Indo-Pacific Strategy that identifies China as a strategic competitor.

“No strategy should go against the times,” Ren said. “The trend of the world is mighty and overwhelming. Those who follow it will prosper while those who resist will perish.”

Source: Washington Free Beacon “China Confirms Submarine-Launched Missile Test”

Note: This is Washington Free Beacon’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

China’s New SLBM as Good as or Better than US Trident II D5

File photo: Underwater launch of missile by a certain new-type submarine of PLAN

At IHS Jane’s 360’s recent report on modification of China’s world largest Type 032 conventional submarine for test launch of China’s new SLBM speculated to be JL-3, China’s official TV media CCTV interviewed Chinese military expert Du Wenlong.

Du said that China’s new generation of nuclear submarines shall be extremely quiet and stealthy with extremely great capabilities to remain long underwater and extremely good command, communication and integrated networking combat capabilities.

As for foreign media’s speculation that China’s new-generation JL-3 SLBM will be as good as or even better than US Trident II D5 in range, MRIV and accuracy, Du said that if China’s JL-3 SLBM and Type 096 strategic nuclear submarines are really commissioned, they will play their magic role to ensure peace and stability in the oceans. It is what we expect, he said.

Source: “Expert on China’s new generation of nuclear submarines: Stealth Functions Shall Be Extremely Good” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

US Ignorance of China’s Much Better Second-Strike Capabilities

China’s DF-31AG ICBM displayed in July-30 military parade. Photo from CNTV footage.

On July 24 I reblogged Jamestown Foundation’s article “China’s Nuclear Submarine Force” by Renny Babiarz, an AllSource analyst of China’s nuclear weapons.

The article shows serious US ignorance of China’s nuclear submarine capabilities. I wonder whether the ignorance has been caused by US inability to monitor Chinese publication or US arrogance in regarding itself always the best while other have always been copying the US or even less the Soviet Union.

Mr. Babiarz seems to rely only on what US intelligence has found even without the commonsense in jumping to his conclusion.

His article reminded me of what US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told Congress during a House defense appropriations subcommittee hearing in May 2013. At that occasion, he said that the Chinese navy is “not there yet” in terms of undersea power despite deploying a current force of 55 submarines, both diesel and nuclear powered.

True US had not detected the secret submarine operations in the oceans, but that only meant US inability to discover them. With the least commonsense, one certainly cannot believe that China had spent billions of dollars to build a submarine fleet of 55 including nuclear ones without second strike capabilities. Can Chinese leaders be so stupid?

My post on November 6, 2013 titled “China’s Nuclear Submarines Able to Ambush Near the US for Sudden Second Strike” provided information about Chinese strategic nuclear submarine’s second-strike capabilities based on’s report in Chinese titled “In an emergency, order from above to nuclear submarine contained only 12 characters” on the same day. The report said that Chinese submarines cruise to sea areas far away quite a few times.

Mr. Babiarz, however, like Adm. Jonathan Greenert, believes Chinese nuclear submarines cannot go to the Ocean to conduct a second strike due to US strong ASW capabilities. China has to deploy its strategic nuclear submarines in the South China Sea to conduct second strike far away from continental United States.

He says as China has difficulties to send its submarines across the first island chain, China may adopt a “bastion” strategy first adopted by the Soviet Union to keep its strategic nuclear submarines within the South China Sea and thus maintain a credible nuclear counterstrike.

Soviet Union adopted that strategy as its nuclear submarines could not go near the US due to US ASW capabilities. However, before China obtained the ability to build nuclear submarines as advanced as US ones, China was already able to send its strategic nuclear submarines into the Pacific Ocean. With better submarines, China certainly has no difficulties to send them out.

What about attach nuclear submarines? China is building a blue sea navy, for which attack nuclear submarines are indispensable. A blue sea navy with its attack nuclear submarines confined in the South China Sea! What an idea!

Moreover, Mr. Babiarz simply lacks an overall understanding of China’s second strike capabilities. He believes that like the US China will develop have a triad nuclear force including land-based ICBMs, strategic nuclear submarines with SLBMs and strategic bombers with nuclear bombs.

China, in fact, needs no triad nuclear force. Its mobile ICBMs hidden in its 5,000-km tunnels are quite enough. Previously, China’s mobile ICBMs need roads for traveling to their launch sites. That makes them easy to detect and destroy as US satellites may keep constant watch on the roads leading to the tunnels. Now, China has mobile DC-31AG that can travel and launch anywhere without the need of any road. That will enable China to send out its DC-31AGs from any concealed entrances leading to forest or small piece of land surrounded by hills and mountains. The carrier trucks of such ICBMs are much cheaper than the carrier submarines of SLBMs. Why shall China launch its strategic ballistic missiles from very expensive submarines instead of land-based mobile ICBMs that cost much less and can carry much heavier loads? Compared with such land-based ICBMs deployed in existing tunnels, deployment of SLBMs in the South China Sea with only a little shorter distance to hit the US is utterly stupid.

Does Mr. Babiartz have commonsense?

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Jamestown Foundation’s article, full text of which can be viewed at

China Developing New Nuclear Weapon with Absolute Superiority

China's mobile ICBMs

China’s mobile ICBMs

China's mobile ICBM

China’s mobile ICBM

According to China’s, US intelligence has learnt that China is developing a new type of nuclear missile with absolute superiority.

The missile is given the code name “Light of North Pole”. It can carry 7 to 21 nuclear warheads depending on the density and scale of its attack. As it hits its target with one warhead going straight down deep underground at high speed and another going down at reduced speed to explode about 100 meters above the target simultaneously with the underground one, its two explosions will have the power 5-10 times greater than a single warhead. In addition, it can carry a cruise missile along with the two ballistic warheads to hit their target to enhance the power of the explosion of the two.

It has a range of 24,000 km to hit anywhere in the world and cannot be intercepted because the radar in its head is able to detect mid-course interceptor so that before being hit it can release its warheads that are separately guided to hit their respective targets.

A US intelligence official unwilling to disclose his name has revealed that the hit of one such missile may paralyze half the United States. However, he believes it will take 10 to 15 years for China to really be able to deploy such ICBMs. The hardest problem for China to resolve is the computer radar in its major warhead, but there has been information that China has solved that problem.

The ICBM may be launched from underwater or space and may be one of the integrated space and air capabilities China is developing.

Source: “What nuclear weapon US has leant that China is developing” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

China Developing 096 Strategic Nuclear Sub Able to Carry 24 SLBMs

China test launch of SLBM

China test launch of SLBM

Russian Military Observation website published an article titled “China’s Nuclear Potential” on December 30, 2014. It says that China is upgrading and improving its strategic bombers, but H-6K, the upgraded version of H-6 bomber imported from Russia has a range of 3,000km only and does not constitute nuclear deterrence against the US.

China has tried without success to import the technology of Russian TU-22M3 bomber.

However, China is vigorously developing its strategic nuclear submarine fleet. Its first Jin-class nuclear submarine was commissioned in 2004 while its sixth such submarine was launched in March 2010.

China is developing Type 096 Tang-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine that is armed with 24 submarine-launched ICBMs (SLBMs) with a range of 11,000 km enough to attack anywhere in the United States.

By 2020, Chinese navy will have at least 6 094 and 096 ballistic missile nuclear submarines armed with 80 SLBMs in all. They can carry 250-300 nuclear warheads.

Source: “China developing Type 096 strategic nuclear submarine able to carry 24 missiles” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese”

Related posts:

  • China Completes Deployment of Six 096 Nuclear Submarines with JL-3 SLBMs dated March 30, 2014
  • China Successful Test of JL-3 nuclear SLBM Able to Hit Anywhere in the US dated February 19, 2014
  • China Test Launches in a Row of New Types of ICBM and SLBM within 10 Days dated December 24, 2013

China Tests Hypersonic Nuclear Missile that Cannot Be Intercepted

Falcon HTV-2 hypersonic aircraft developed by the United States. US is the only other nation known to have developed similar technology.

Falcon HTV-2 hypersonic aircraft developed by the United States. US is the only other nation known to have developed similar technology.

China conducted its first successful test of hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) on January 9, 2014.

There are only two countries in the world the US and China that have succeeded in their HGV tests. However, Chinese HGV achieved a speed of Mach 10 while US HGV’s speed does not exceed Mach 6.

HGV is regarded by Pentagon as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. China’s better HGV roused Pantagon concern. Previously, high Pantagon officials said that in spite of the reduction of US military budget, US development of HGVs has not been affected, but after China’s successful HGV test, they asked US Congress for more funds.

Sharing the worry, In late May, 2014, US congress allocated $70.5 million for development of HGV in 2015.

US Navy worried that China might use its HGV technology in its second-generation DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missile. Due to the hypersonic speed, there is no defense against the missile when it attacks an aircraft carrier.

However, I pointed out in my post “Better Hypersonic Glide Vehicle Makes China Leader of Weapon Development” on June 1, 2014, that what is to be worried is the application of HGV in Chinese ICBMs and SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles). The use of HGV will greatly extend their range so that the range of China’s DF-31 ICBM and JL-2 SLBM will be lengthened by 5,000 km to enable them to hit anywhere in the United States. Due to the missile’s super high speed, the US is unable to intercept it.

Now, according to SCMP’s report today, China has really tested an HGV for its ICBM but failed. SCMP says that the HGV “It is designed to be carried by a ballistic missile to an undisclosed suborbital altitude, then released. The vehicle then dives towards its target at speeds of up to Mach 10, more than 12,000km/h.

It gives the following diagram to describe the Chinese missile that uses HGV.

Description of the trajectory of a ballistic missile using HGV

Description of the trajectory of a ballistic missile using HGV

Yesterday, I reblogged The Butcher’s post “China Secretly Conducts Second Flight Test Of New Ultra High-Speed Missile” based on Washington Free Beacon’s report. Unlike SCMP’s report, the post fails to point out that the test was a failure.

SCMP’s report, though not official, may be closer to truth as SCMP reporters are quite active in China.

Readers can read The Butcher’s post through my Reblog.

The full text of SCMP report is set out below:

China’s second test of nuclear-armed hypersonic glider fails

The People’s Liberation Army has carried out a second, albeit unsuccessful test of a hypersonic vehicle, two sources close to the military said, as China attempts to find a way to deliver nuclear weapons at immense speed to evade defence systems.

The test was carried out on August 7 at a missile and satellite launching centre in Shanxi province, about 300km from its capital Taiyuan, said the sources, who asked not be named.

It was the second time the system had failed, the two sources said. The vehicle broke up soon after it was launched.

It is designed to be carried by a ballistic missile to an undisclosed suborbital altitude, then released. The vehicle then dives towards its target at speeds of up to Mach 10, more than 12,000km/h.

The United States is the only other nation known to have developed similar technology. China first tested the technology successfully in January. Russia and India are also known to be developing similar vehicles.

The defence ministry in Beijing did not respond to requests for comment

Wang Xudong, a satellite adviser to the central government, said the system was needed for the nation’s defence.

“It’s a necessary for China to boost its missile capability because the PLA’s weapons are weaker than the US’ shields, which are deployed everywhere in the world,” Wang said.

The Pentagon has dubbed the Chinese vehicle WU-14.

Media reports in the US in June said Washington was funding the further development of a hypersonic missile programme amid concerns over China’s research.

A US-based news website, the Washington Free Beacon, reported on this month’s test on Tuesday, quoting unnamed American government officials.

Satellite expert Wang said China had a military disadvantage to the US because current technology meant Chinese missiles had to be fired from the mainland itself and could easily be intercepted.

“The US has sophisticated intelligence to routinely monitor the PLA’s military development, but China doesn’t have any overseas military bases,” Wang said.

“All missiles launched by the PLA, if there was a military conflict, would be intercepted by the US’ defence systems before entering the atmosphere.”

Professor Arthur Ding Shu-fan, the secretary general of the Taipei-based Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies, said if Beijing successfully developed the vehicle, existing US missile defence systems might be rendered obsolete. “The WU-14 will become China’s global strike weapon that would cause a great threat and challenges to the US.”

A hypersonic expert told the South China Morning Post in January that China had more than 100 teams from leading research institutes and universities involved in the project.

“Developing [the vehicle] could definitely help China enhance its military deterrence, but Beijing will also stick to a no-first use nuclear doctrine,” Beijing-based military expert Li Jie said.

Military spending topped US$145 billion in China last year, prompting fear and unease among many of its neighbours.

Source: China Daily Mail/The Butcher “China Secretly Conducts Second Flight Test Of New Ultra High-Speed Missile”

Source: SCMP “China’s second test of nuclear-armed hypersonic glider fails”

Related posts:

  • China Secretly Conducts Second Flight Test Of New Ultra High-Speed Missile dated August 20, 2014
  • Better Hypersonic Glide Vehicle Makes China Leader of Weapon Development dated June 1, 2014
  • China First Vibration Test in Hypersonic Wind Tunnel, Vital for Hypersonic Weapons dated March 20, 2014
  • China Developing DF-26 Aircraft Carrier Killer Missile with Hypersonic Warhead dated January 30, 2014
  • China challenging U.S. military technological edge: Pentagon official dated January 29, 2014
  • China Tests Mach 10 Hypersonic Weapon: US media dated January 14, 2014
  • Arms Race between China and America dated March 5, 2012

Successful Test of China’s JL-3 Nuclear SLBM Able to Hit Entire USA

Test launch of JL-3 SLBM

Test launch of JL-3 SLBM

On March 30, I had a post based on a report on a US military officer’s words in an interview with an international media that it was quite probable that China has completed its deployment of six 096 submarines to have the capability of nuclear strike covering Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. . said in addition that according to media report, not long ago, a 096 submarine launched a JL-3 SLBM from the Yellow Sea and successfully hit its target in Gobi Desert 8,000 kilometers away.

On February 19, I said in another post on JL-3 based also on report, which said according to Yumiuri Shimbun, a Chinese submarine successfully test launched a JL-3 and hit a target in Xinjiang. The report did not mention where the missile was launched.

I believe both previous tests failed to see whether the JL-3 launched has a designed range exceeding 8,000 km while the recent test from the Atlantic has actually proved that the missile is capable to hit a target within its designed range that covers the entire United States.

The report I now based is dated August 4, 2014. It said that recently Japan’s Yumiuri Shimbun reported that a nuclear submarine of Chinese navy successfully launched a new-type JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) at the Atlantic a few days ago. The missile hit its target in a desert in Xinjiang.

According to foreign research institute, JL-3 has been developed on the basis of Changzheng-2F rocket and DF-41 ICBM. It is a smaller version of Changzheng-2F rocket without booster and with warheads installed. The liquid fuel has been replaced by solid fuel. It has a range 5.000 km longer than JL-2 so that the entire United States is within its range. It can carry 5 to 7 35kt nuclear warheads with MIRV delivery.

The US and Japan pay great attention to that test launch of great significance. The successful test means that China has full second-strike capability as long as it has one nuclear submarine armed with such missiles. The missile greatly enhances China’s nuclear deterrence and signifies China’s entry into the club of nuclear powers.

US intelligence agency believes that PLA’s Type 094 strategic nuclear submarines armed with 12 JL-2 SLBMs will begin their first routine patrol in preparations for war within this year. China’s new generation of nuclear submarines will carry JL-3 SLBMs.

According to Russian media’s recent reports, PLA Navy has 9 first-generation Type 091 and Type 092 nuclear submarines. The number of its second generation Types 093 and 094 submarines is unknown. The third generation (perhaps the improved version of Types 093 and 094) is expected to be commissioned within 5 years.

This blogger’s note: There are discrepancies among the three posts based on and as China’s SLBMs and strategic nuclear submarines are well-guarded secrets. We cannot be sure whether the information provided by the media is correct or accurate.

Source: “Chinese navy successfully tests JL-3 missiles, Russian experts warn the US” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

Related posts:

  • China Completes Deployment of Six 096 Nuclear Submarines with JL-3 SLBMs dated March 30, 2014
  • China Successful Test of JL-3 nuclear SLBM Able to Hit Anywhere in the US dated February 19, 2014
  • China Test Launches in a Row of New Types of ICBM and SLBM within 10 Days dated December 24, 2013
  • China Conducts Second Flight Test of New DF-41 ICBM with 10 MIRVs dated December 19, 2013