Chinese Navy commissions Type 094 nuclear ballistic missile submarine

According to information published by Global Times on April 23, 2021, Type 094 Jin-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine Changzheng 18 (421) being commissioned friday.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Type 094 Jin-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine Changzheng 18 (Picture source: Twitter account of AAG_th)

The Changzheng 18 is likely an upgraded version of original Type 094 nuclear submarine, as it gets enhanced capabilities in noise reduction and missile attack accuracy, giving China even more credible nuclear deterrence with further improved nuclear retaliation capability.

Another Type 094's commissioning also means China now has more strategic submarines on alert and can cover more time periods, leading to enhanced nuclear counterattack capability, another Chinese military expert told the Global Times, requesting anonymity.

The Changzheng 18 submarine had its missile hatch open during the commissioning ceremony, observers said.

As a pillar of China's sea-based nuclear power and the country's latest nuclear-powered strategic submarine, equipped with the country's most advanced submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the Changzheng 18 left its missile hatch open to show its capability.

Type 094 (Jin class) is a class of ballistic missile submarines developed by China for the People's Liberation Army Navy Submarine Force. The Type 094 succeeds the Type 092 submarine and precedes the Type 096 submarine.

The Type 094's design is likely based on the Type 093 nuclear attack submarine.

The Type 094 submarines are approximately 137 meters in length and equipped with 12 missile tubes, each capable of firing the JL-2 SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile), which can carry up to three nuclear warheads to a target up to 7,200 kilometers away. The JL-2 had replaced the JL-1 SLBM that had been deployed on the Type 092 submarine.