An article in USNI, which carries this photo of USS Hartford (SSN-768) damaged in a recent collision, discusses China’s ballistic missile submarines.
By Hans M. Kristensen
The magazine U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings has an interesting article about China’s nuclear ballistic missile submarines written by Andrew S. Erickson and Michael Chase from the U.S. Naval War College. And I’m not just saying that because they reference several of my publications about China, but because they provide an interesting discussion of the possible motivations for China’s emerging sea-based nuclear force.
I, for one, have always wondered why, if China’s current strategic modernization is intended to reduce the vulnerability of its long-range nuclear deterrent, would China want to cluster a significant portion of its missiles on a few submarines and send then out to sea where U.S. attack submarines can hunt them down?
In theory a sea-based nuclear deterrent is invulnerable because it can hide. But given that the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Strategy in the 1980s was explicitly designed to find and sink Soviet ballistic missile submarines before they could launch their missiles, how secure will China’s sea-based nuclear deterrent actually be? Or how would China react in a crisis, if one of the submarines went missing due to an accident?
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
Charlotte Yeung’s latest work weaves Kurt Vonnegut’s stance on nuclear weapons with current issues we face today.
New U.S. Air Force budgetary documents strongly imply that the United States Air Force is in the process of re-establishing its nuclear weapons mission on UK soil.
Earlier this spring, the Department of Defense and Department of Energy twice rejected requests from the Federation of American Scientists to declassify the number of nuclear weapons in the US stockpile and the number of nuclear weapons awaiting dismantlement.