|Type 093 submarine|
|Builders:||China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Bohai Shipyard, Huludao|
|Operators:||People's Liberation Army Navy|
|Preceded by:||Type 091|
|Succeeded by:||Type 095|
|Planned:||6 - 8|
|Displacement:||6,000 - 7,000 tonnes submerged|
|Propulsion:||pressure water nuclear reactor|
6 torpedo tubes|
The Type 093 (NATO reporting name: Shang, Chinese designation: 09-III) is a nuclear-powered attack submarine class deployed by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy. These boats are expected to replace the older Type 091 (NATO: Han class) SSNs currently in service. The Type 093 are armed with various torpedoes and anti-ship missiles. The lead boat in this class was launched in 2002. Construction of the Type 093 submarines is being conducted at the Bohai Shipyard in Huludao. Six to eight boats are expected to be built. Improved Type 093 variants has also been launched, with an upgraded subclass seen in 2013.
China’s new generation nuclear submarine program can be dated back to the early 1980s, when the PLA Navy issued the requirement for a new nuclear attack submarine (SSN) as the successor to its first-generation Type 091 (NATO codename: Han class) nuclear attack submarine. The submarine development program, codenamed Type 093, was officially approved by the PLA leadership in July 1983. However, the development program only made very limited progress in its early stage due to enormous technical difficulties, especially the nuclear reactor and onboard weapon systems. Development was speculated to have been suspended until the mid-1990s, when the Type 093 project revived, which finally commenced construction in the late 1990s. The extended re-fits to the 091 Han-class SSNs appeared to be the reason of delaying the development of the Type 093.
Rumors were that the Type 093 design was speculated to have general performance comparable to that of Russian Victor-III class, SSNs originally introduced in the late 1970s by the Soviet navy, as well as early versions of the American Los Angeles class submarine. Some have gone as far as saying it is comparable to early Alfa class submarine SSNs. Chinese articles and researchers claim that the submarine is close to the improved Los Angeles class in performance.
The U.S. Navy intelligence and Pentagon predicted that the PLA Navy would have around 3~4 Type 093 submarines by 2010, other sources suggested that eventual production could reach 6 to 8 units. The exact number to be built may well depend on the results of the ongoing sea trial for the first hull, which has been carried out at the PLA Navy’s Huludao submarine base since 2003.
A modified Type 093 with a planeless sail may also have been produced. By 2013, two newly improved 093 designated 093A and a further improved one designated 093B were spotted under construction. This would bring the total number of 093 class SSN to seven, and potentially with more to be build. The new boats have slightly improved hull shapes and smoother surface.
The Type 093 is estimated to be roughly 7000 ton displacement when submerged. The Type 093 is estimated to be 110 metres (360 ft) long with a beam of 11 m and can dive to a maximum depth of 400 metres (1,300 ft). It is estimated to have a noise level of "110 decibels" and have an endurance of 80 days. It is thought to have a seven-blade asymmetric propeller. This submarine is the first to incorporate flank linear array sonars designated as H/SQG-207 in its design, and this linear flank array was designed by the 715th Institute, with deputy chief designer Mr. Li Qihu (李启虎), who was the chief designer of H/SQ-2 262/262A/262B/262C/H-SQG-4 sonars used to upgrade Type 035, 033, both 091 and 092, 035G, and 039 submarines.
An improved Type 093 variant incorporates new technologies such as retractable diving planes and a modified hull for greater acoustic stealth. Another improved variant may have been sighted in 2013.
The Type 093 is expected to be armed with six 533 mm and/or 650 mm torpedo tubes that will launch wire, acoustic, and wake-homing torpedoes as well as anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles. This could include the submarine-launched version of the YJ-83 anti-ship missile. Currently the YJ-83 is not believed to be nuclear tipped. Nuclear deterrence missions are delegated to the 092 Xia class and 094 Jin class SSBN.
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- Sinodefence page on the Type 093
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