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Naval Warfare

CNS Changzheng (18)

Ballistic Missile Submarine [ 2021 ]

CNS Changzheng represents the latest underwater offering for the PLAN - and one of its most critical deterrence pieces.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/26/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Type 094 boats of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of China is to consist of eight total entries once construction and commissioning is completed on the project. To NATO, the boats are known as the "Jin-class". At their core, these vessels are ballistic missile carriers, housing a total of twelve JL-2 Surface-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) against ground targets at range. The missiles are considerably larger than the preceding JL-1 type (NATO: CSS-N-14), offering greater ranges out to 4,500 miles and an at-sea nuclear-centered deterrent once lacking by the service.

Coupled to the modern Type 094 design, the submarines make for a potent adversary.

CNS Changzheng (421) is one of the newer, slightly modified Type 094A boats now available to the PLAN. She was formally commissioned on April 23rd, 2021 and remains in active service as of this writing (2021). She joins sisters Changzheng 10 (412) and Changzheng 11 (413) laid down in 2001 and 2003, respectively, and commissioned in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Displacement of these boats reaches 11,000 tons when submerged and dimensions include an overall length of 442.10 feet with a beam of 41 feet. Propulsion power is through a single water-cooled nuclear reactor fit driving a single propeller shaft astern, giving the design essentially unlimited traveling range. Beyond the SLBMs carried in the design, the vessels are also equipped with traditional torpedo armament - giving them a dual-threat nature.

Type 094A boats are an offshoot of the base Type 094 class, differing from the original plan primarily by having revised sail assemblies proven through an earlier Type 093 project. Otherwise, the boats are closely related.

The profile is conventional with the sail mounted closer to the rounded bow. The sail contains the diving planes. Aft of the sail is the integrated SLBM launcher section with appears as a long-running, flattened section of upper hull. Each missile is held in compartments and are revealed for firing by way of powered circular covers which roll open. At the stern is the traditional cruciform tailplane pattern set ahead of the multi-bladed propeller unit. Torpedo tubes are all fitted to the bow.

Construction of the boats has been through the Bohai Shipyard at Huludao, China and the newer series has directly succeeded the Type 092 (Xia-class) form. The Type 094 is, itself, followed by the newer Type 096 model - which has yet to enter service with the PLAN. These will also be nuclear-powered and possibly carry the JL-2's successor, the more powerful JL-3.

As it stands, the Type 094/094A represents a new threat to the West - particularly as Chinese authorities have flaunted the Type 094A's ability to hit the American West coast with missile strikes from afar. The combination of the Type 094 hull with the JL-2 missile certainly gives it hitting power, the first seaborne nuclear threat capability for the PLAN, and represents a threat to neighboring India as well, which remains at odds with its regional neighbor. Nevertheless, United States Navy equipment has been able to track Type 094s due to their elevated noise levels - making surprise attacks less likely.©MilitaryFactory.com
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April 2021 - CNS Changzheng (18) was formally commissioned into service with the PLAN on April 23rd, 2021.


Service Year

China national flag graphic

In Active Service.

Type 094A

CNS Changzheng (18); Unnamed Boat #2

National flag of China China
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Submerged Attack
Traveling under the surface to search, track, and / or engage or reconnoiter areas.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.

The vessel supports the launching of missiles against airborne, waterborne, or land-based targets at range; typical of modern designs.
Ability to launch torpedoes against ocean-going targets.

436.0 ft
132.89 m
41.0 ft
12.50 m
30.0 ft
9.14 m

Installed Power: 1 x Water-cooled nuclear reactor unit of unknown output power driving 1 x Shaft astern.
Surface Speed
20.0 kts
(23.0 mph)
Submerged Speed
25.0 kts
(28.8 mph)
Essentially Unlimited

kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers

1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
6 x 533mm torpedo tubes at the bow (bow-facing).
12 x JL-2 ballistic missiles (nuclear-attack capability) held in vertically-launching tubes aft of the sail.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Graphical image of a ballistic missile
Graphical image of an air launched nuclear weapon

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)

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