The Type 032 (Qing-class) is a double-hulled, experimentally-minded attack submarine serving the modern Chinese Navy (the "People's Liberation Army Navy"). It followed the Type 039A (Yuan-class) of 2006 into service when commissioned in 2012 (October 12th, 2012) and both are conventionally-powered through a diesel-electric propulsion scheme. Designed in 2005 with work beginning in 2008, the Type 032 was launched in September of 2012 - considered to be the largest diesel-electric-powered submarine currently in active service.
As an experimental platform, the Type 032 is used exclusively in the fielding of submarine-related equipment for active evaluation at-sea. Its profile is generally consistent with modern submarines with a short, rounded nosecone, rounded hull and tapered rear section. The sail, well-contoured into the hull's design lines, is positioned just slight ahead of midships and, in 2017, was given a raised structural extension. The dive planes are positioned on the upper sides of the forward hull. Along the ventral line of the hull is an noticeable protrusion. The tailplanes, seated ahead of the multi-bladed propeller shaft, is of a typical cruciform arrangement.
The submarine is able to remain submerged for a period equal to thirty days and an enclosed shelter component supports the delivery of special forces elements. A crew escape pod is built into the sail section in case of emergencies. Submerged, the vessel has a displacement of 7,305 tons (short) and an overall length of 304 feet, a beam measuring 33 feet and a draught down to 22.45 feet. The diesel-electric drive powers a single shaft at the stern using a traditional propulsion arrangement. Maximum speed is said to reach beyond 14 knots.
The boat features a crew of eighty-eight and armament is 1 x 650mm torpedo tube with 1 x 533mm torpedo tube. In addition to this, the vessel carries 2 or 3 x Surface-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) and is equipped with a 4-cell Vertical Launch System (VLS) housing Land-Attack cruise missiles.