China Conducts Test Launch of New JL-3 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile: Reports

China has conducted a successful test launch of its new JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from the Bohai Sea on June 2, Defence Blog reported.

According to the report, the missile was launched by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy at 4:28 hours and was spotted by numerous witnesses and fishermen.

The maiden flight test of the new missile, which will reportedly carry multiple nuclear warheads and will be capable of targeting most of the United States, was reportedly conducted in November last year.

The new JL-3 (JL stands for Julang meaning Giant Wave) missile will be deployed on the PLA Navy’s next generation of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), designated Type 096 (NATO reporting name: Tang class). The first Type 096 submarine to be equipped with the JL-3 is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s.

The report in the China’s state-run publication, Keji Ribao, stated that Chinese military experts believe the solid-fueled JL-3 will use technologies from the new DF-41 land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and that it will be comparable to the U.S. Navy’s UGM-133A Trident II (D5) and Russia’s new RSM-56 Bulava submarine-launched missiles.

The missiles will reportedly have an operational range of 7,456-8,700 miles (12,000–14,000 km) and will be equipped with various missile defense-penetrating features such as a variable trajectory, a radar-evading stealth warhead, and fast burning rocket motors.

China’s current sea-based nuclear force includes four Type-094 (NATO reporting name: Jin class) missile submarines, each outfitted with 16 JL-2 ballistic missiles, with an estimated range of 7,400 km (4,600 mi). JL-2 missiles reportedly can carry 3 to 4 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) nuclear warheads.

Type 094 Jin-class SSBN
A Type 094 Jin-class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) operated by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Submarine Force.
JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

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