A model of China's new Type 032 Qing-class test submarine went on display at the Sixth Shipping Expo held in Zhongshan in southern China's Guangdong province between June 6-8, reports the Chinese-language Guangming Daily operated by the Communist Party of China.
The Type 032 is designed as the world's largest conventional submarine to replace the older Type 031 test submarine. With a displacement of 3,797 tonnes, defense analysts claim that China could test launch its JL-2 intercontinental-range submarine-launched ballistic missiles from the new submarine. Others believe that the Type 032 may provide the People's Liberation Army Navy with the opportunity to develop and test a number of "carrier killer" missiles.
The Qing-class submarine can accommodate up to 200 crew and researchers. The model demonstrated at the shipping expo indicated that the boat is equipped with two vertical launching systems to fire various types of tactical weapons including JL-2s, CJ-20A anti-ship cruise missiles and YJ-18 anti-ship missiles. In addition, this test submarine can launch torpedoes as well, the paper said.
Analysts claim that JL-2 missiles launched from Chinese submarines can reach all major cities in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, and the range of the JL-2 is estimated to be between 7,000-8,000 kilometers. By looking at the design of the Type 032, the Guangming Daily concluded that China's future ballistic missile submarines must also be able to fire tactical missiles against enemy ships to confront the enemy anti-submarine force.