The type 094 Jin-class ballistic missile submarine will begin its patrol mission over the Western Pacific this year, according to William Cole, a journalist working for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Equipped with JL-2 intercontinental-range submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the type 094 Jin-class is capable of launching a nuclear attack against critical targets in Alaska and Hawaii, Cole said, citing a report published by the US Office of Naval Intelligence. The advancement is unprecedented in China’s submarine force, putting even the west coast of the US under direct threat, said Jesse Karotkin from the Office of Naval Intelligence.
The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission has received a report from the Office of Naval Intelligence outlaying the Jin-class submarine’s potential threat to US national security, as confirmed by The Washington Free Beacon. The report said that Type 094 submarine and the JL-2 missile it carries empowers China with realiable second-strike capability. As the US Navy estimated, the range of the JL-2 is about 14,000 kilometers.
In addition to the missile’s longer range, it is also capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads. As well, it is very difficult to detect under water, said Liu Jiangping, a Chinese military analyst, as cited in the state-run Global Times. Though lacking the missile capacity of US Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarines, these new developments escalate China’s claims to the Pacific theater.