“We are anticipating that combat patrols of submarines carrying the new JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile will begin next year,” said one unnamed source said with knowledge of intelligence assessments on the matter.
China is now operating three Jin-class ballistic missile submarines, each with a dozen firing tubes, the Washington Free Beacon said. Beijing plans to assemble two more of the vessels before rolling out the future Type 096 ballistic missile submarine, according to a yearly U.S. Defense Department assessment of Chinese armed forces.
The U.S. Navy's top officer, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, in May told lawmakers he intended to monitor these developments but was not concerned by them, saying, "We own the undersea domain," according to the newspaper.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.