What if the rumours about China's Type 093 submarine were true?

According to information published by the Times on October 4, 2023, it might have revealed that the Chinese navy could have suffered a tragic loss of 55 sailors if one of its nuclear-powered submarines had been ensnared in a trap originally set for American and British ships.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Type 093 nuclear-powered attack submarine. (Picture source: Weibo)

The submarine, which would have been identified as the PLA Navy's "093-417," might have experienced a severe malfunction leading to the poisoning of its crew on August 21. 

Despite the alarming details that would have emerged from such a report, both China and Taiwan, an island nation claimed by Beijing, might have denied any mishap of the submarine in the Yellow Sea.

Type 093

Compared to China's first-generation attack nuclear submarines, the Type 093 series has seen significant improvements and advancements in terms of displacement, speed, noise reduction, armament, information technology, human-machine efficiency, and reliability.

According to open sources, the basic model of this submarine is 107 meters long, 11 meters wide, and 7.5 meters high. Her submerged displacement is 6,096 tons, and she can accommodate a crew of 100.

She is powered by two 150-megawatt pressurized water reactors with natural circulation capabilities and uses a single-shaft, single-propeller propulsion system. The submarine's underwater speed is said to reach 30 knots, with a maximum diving depth of 300 meters (some sources suggest 400 meters).

She is equipped with a 7-blade noise-reducing propeller. The arrangement of her water outlets is longitudinal, which further reduces underwater noise and enhances her stealth capabilities.

In terms of firepower, the Type 093's primary weapons are her six 533mm torpedo tubes located at the bow. These can launch a variety of new-generation domestic torpedoes, including the Yu-6. 

Additionally, the submarine can fire the YJ-18A supersonic submarine-launched anti-ship missile and the land-attack variant from the YJ-18 family. She is also equipped with sophisticated bow and flank sonar arrays.