Tuesday, October 20, 2015
China to deploy nuclear-armed submarines this year, capable of missile attacks on U.S. mainland
China's Type 094 submarine carrying sub-launched missiles with a range of 7,400 kilometers.
Staff, The Liberty Web
20 October 2015
China is expected to start 24-hour patrols with nuclear-powered submarines within this year, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) announced.
The boomer slated for deployment is the Type 094 submarine armed with JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles that have a range of about 7,400 kilometers. The missiles could reach the continental U.S. if launched from the waters off Hawaii.
Larry Wortzel, a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission that the U.S. Congress created, said in a report by Bloomberg Business, “The capability to maintain continuous deterrent patrols is a big milestone for a nuclear power.”
A 24-Hour Nuclear Deterrent
What is the merit of sending a submarine armed with nuclear weapons to patrol the seas of the world? The greatest merit of it is that if one country were to be
destroyed in pre-emptive strikes with nuclear weapons by its enemy country, it could launch retaliatory attacks on the enemy from its nuclear submarines. This is a strategy based on “mutually assured destruction” in which the use of weapons of mass-destruction by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender.
The U.S. Navy has been using Ohio-class submarines armed with nuclear missiles to patrol all the seas of the world for 24 hours since the Cold War. This means it is possible for the U.S. to use nuclear missile forces from anywhere in the world.
Vice Admiral Robert Thomas, commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet said in a report by the Wall Street Journal, “They were very clear with respect to messaging to say that, ‘We’re a professional navy, we’re a professional submarine force, and we’re global. We’re no longer just a coastal-water submarine force.’ ”
China Accelerates Its Moves to Gain Military Hegemony
In recent years, China has been pursuing a military buildup including its first aircraft carrier, the development of anti-ship missiles, the test of anti-satellite weapons, and the deployment of nuclear-powered submarines at this time, which has enabled it to exercise military power worldwide. China’s aim is to get the U.S. troops out of Asia and to bring Asia under its control.
In Japan, a package of security-related laws is still under criticism. However, if China continues to expand its military forces, and Japan does not strengthen its national defense, the U.S. might hesitate to intervene in the case of territorial disputes between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands and other islets. The U.S. does not want to get involved in disputes that could escalate into a nuclear war solely for the purpose of defending uninhabited islands.
In that event, Japan would have to fight singlehandedly. To avoid such a consequence, it is essential for Japan to be able to exercise the right to collective self-defense in a limited way, which will, as a result, enhance cooperation with other nations.
Furthermore, with an eye on the possibility that Japan might have to fight unsupported, Japan also has to promote its own research and development on the technology of disabling nuclear weapons or missile defense. Showing the spirit of defending our own country can be helpful in further deepning trust with friendly nations.