Giant Panda Not: China's SSBNs & 4000 NM nuke missiles (this year)
Referring to China's SSBNs, Admiral Samuel Locklear, US Pacific Commander, indicated that JIN-class subs will soon be armed with new the new JL-2 ballistic missiles (estimated range: 4,000 nautical miles [7,500 km]).
"This will give China its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent, probably before the end of 2014 [emphasis mine]," Locklear told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"I think they'll have in the next decade or so a fairly well modernized force of probably 60 to 70 submarines which is a lot of submarines for a regional power," he said.Locklear said Beijing is investing in new weapons and naval power in part "to deny US access to the Western Pacific during a time of crisis or conflict and to provide the means by which China can bolster its broad maritime claims in the region." read more Business Insider - Military & Defense
China now has five nuclear attack submarines, four nuclear ballistic missile submarines, and 53 diesel attack submarines, according to Jess Karotkin of ONI.
Between 1995 and 2012, Beijing produced 2.9 submarines a year, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Submarines are always silent and strange.