2016 Report on the State of the PLAN

Note: For all photos in the report, refer to This Flickr Album for high resolution images of teach.


Yuan Class AIP Diesel Eletctric Submarine:
The Chinese continue to develop and build their improved Yuan class conventional (non-nuclear powered) submarine. The new version was first sighted in 2014 and more continue to be seen. With a more stealthy and efficient sail, and with other innovations, including a potentially new Air Independant Propulsion unit, these vessels are very quiet and very dangerous in littoral waters or at any natural choke point where they could be stationed to act in an area denial role.

Twelve of the orginal Yuan class were built and it is estimated that another three or more of these new boats have been constructed.

With several old Ming class submarines requiring replacement, and ultimately as the Song class begins to age, the PLAN is going to need more of these newer SSK boats.

Type 093 Nuclear Attack Submarine:
The Chinese developed the Type 093 nuclear attack submarine to replace their original Type 091 SSNs of which five were built. But it took many years to make the 091s operational and they were not very quiet. The PLAN hoped for a vessel in the Type 093 that would begin to substantially close the gap in terms of technology and quieting capabilites with the west.

Originally, two of Type 093 boats were built and launched in 2003 and 2004. They were bigger and faster than the older Type 091. Apparently, these first two did not meet the PLAN's full requirements or expectations because the build was suspended and it was a long time before those two were put in actual service. It was not until some years later that they started building the Type 093 again and the newer builds were given the Type 093G designation in the West. In 2015 pictures, several of the new boats have surfaced with reports that as many as three of them have been trialed and put in service with the fourth yet to be commissioned.

By building four of the new Type 093G boats, it is clear that the PLAN has made some decent progress in their technologies. It has been reported that the "G" boats also have a vertical launch capability. These boats may have reached a quieting level of just below the original US Navy Los Angeles Class submarines, between the Sturgeon class and the LA Class. Production has ceased on these vessels at this point.

Once the fourth Type 093G boat is put in service, the PLAN will have eight operating nuclear attack submarines. Two remaining old Type 091, the first two Type 093, and the four Type 093G boats.

It has been reported for some time that the PLAN was designing the next generation Chinese nuclear attack submarine, the Type 095 boats. There are indications that one of them may already have been built, though no pictures or physical evidence of it has been seen. We will report on any new information in next year's report.

Go to 6. Chinese 5th Generation Stealth Development of the 2016 PLAN Report


Other links of Interest:

World-Wide Aircraft Carriers
AEGIS & AEGIS-Like Vessels of the World
The US Navy in the 21st Century