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CNS Type 039A (Yuan)

Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine (2006)

Naval Warfare

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The compact Type 039A series Yuan-class attack submarines by China succeeded the older Type 039 Song-class models in service.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/31/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Modern day China is firmly entrenched in the business of designing, developing and - most importantly - producing of a myriad of weapon types for both local and foreign procurement. This is the case with the Type 039A (Yuan-class), a modern diesel-electric attack submarine that has been sold to the navies of Thailand and Pakistan while also having been taken on by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of China. Some twenty total boats are planned for the class with fifteen having been completed and achieving active service. The first boat was commissioned in 2006.

The class is also known as the Type 041 due to its essentially all-new design apart from the earlier Type 039 boats (Song-class) detailed elsewhere on this site.

The locally-developed diesel-electric propulsion scheme utilizes a pair of diesel turbines for surface travel and battery packs for underwater operation. The combination system drives power to a single shaft astern and propels the boat to speeds of 20 knots under water. The hull can reach depths of 400 meters. It is said that the class incorporates a series of noise reduction systems and inherent construction techniques to provide for a small acoustic footprint.

Externally, the boats take on a classic submarine form with a forward-set sail, streamlined hull and cruciform plane arrangement astern. Internally, the boats are crews by a collection of 38 men. Its relatively compact design allow operations close-to-shore, acting as denial platforms for encroaching enemy ships. However, the boats also maintain a deep-sea capability.

The boats are armed through 6 x 533mm (21") bow-mounted torpedo tubes and these launchers can also fire anti-ship / cruise missiles as well as disperse naval mines to deny harbors and strategic passages. An all-modern Battlefield Management System (BMS) has been installed on these vessels.

The Type 093A boats are original production models. The follow-up Type 039AG has a revised conning tower (sail) that may contain additional sensor equipment. The Type 039B has a side-mounted sonar array and the Type 039B represents upgraded attack forms with revised conning towers and additional sensors.


Service Year

China national flag graphic

In Active Service.

Type 039A / Yuan-class

Not Available.

National flag of China National flag of Pakistan National flag of Thailand China; Pakistan; Thailand
(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.
Offshore Operation
Activities conducted near shorelines in support of allied activities.
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.

255.0 ft
77.72 m
27.5 ft
8.38 m
18.0 ft
5.49 m

Installed Power: Diesel-electric configuration (2 x diesel turbines) driving an unknown amount of output power to a single shaft astern.
Surface Speed
20.0 kts
(23.0 mph)
Submerged Speed
15.0 kts
(17.3 mph)
6,517 nm
(7,500 mi | 12,070 km)

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 (21") torpedo tubes in bow; support for anti-ship missiles and naval mines.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-ship missile
Graphical image of a naval mine

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

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