Expert: nuclear submarine can deter U.S. from using nuclear strike against China first

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Yao Jianing
2016-01-14 17:41

BEIJING, January 13 (ChinaMil) -- The United States Navy (USN) announced on January 8, 2016, that its most advanced Virginia-class attack submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) arrived at Subic Bay in the Philippines on January 5, 2016.

This submarine just went to Japan last month. The nuclear-powered submarines of the USN have entered and left the first island chain frequently recently; meanwhile, the USN has significantly enhanced its submarine force for the second island chain.

On the one hand, the U.S. has strengthened its nuclear-powered submarine activities in the Western Pacific, on the other hand, it makes wild guesses about China's normal military build-up.

It is reported that the USN kept releasing news about Chinese submarines in 2015: Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations of the USN, said at the Congress in February that China was building "very excellent" submarines, and its total submarines had outnumbered that of the USN; Samuel Locklear, then commander of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), said in April that China had put three type-094 strategic nuclear-powered submarines into service, and would probably have eight by 2020.

The United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) released news in December that Chinese strategic nuclear-powered submarines carried out combat readiness patrols for the first time in history, which means that China has possessed the second-strike capability in the true sense. In this regard, Yang Yujun, spokesman for China's Ministry of National Defense, responded at a news conference in December that similar reports are just hype.

Yin Zhuo pointed out that the U.S.'s concern about China's submarines is above all for strategic reasons. China has possessed nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, and the U.S. believes that China's strategic nuclear-powered submarines have "carried bombs for patrols", which will cause real nuclear deterrent to the U.S. and deter the U.S. from using nuclear weapons against China first.

This is because nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines have a survival probability of up to 80% - 90% under the first strike, which can basically ensure nuclear retaliation against the opponent.

In addition, China's attack submarines and high-performance conventional submarines may deter the large surface warship fleet of the USN, especially aircraft carriers. "Carriers are not afraid of air arms, but are most afraid of submarines.

Therefore, the U.S. keeps a wary eye on China's development of submarine forces."

The author is Qiu Yue, reporter from the People’s Daily Online. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of the China Military Online website.

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