In a bid to get nearer to its dream of turning into a ‘blue-water energy’, the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has initiated its efforts to construct submarine nuclear deterrence with the primary Golf class SSB (submersible ship with a ballistic missile). Based on erstwhile USSR Navy’s Golf class SSB below Project 6631, the ship was constructed at Lvda Shipyard, Korea Bay Eastern part of Dalian metropolis.
The Type 31 Golf class SSB has now been transferred to Qingdao Museum and stands on the alternative facet of the primary Type 91 Han class SSN (submersible ship nuclear) at a pier specifically developed for it.
With the assistance of satellite tv for pc imagery, India Today OSINT Team seems to be on the lifetime achievements of this ship.
Spotting of the submarine
The US Central Intelligence Agency had reportedly first noticed the development of Communist China’s first ballistic missile-firing submarine on February 16, 1966.
The CIA lined it with 12 Corona KH missions, reporting it to be constructed between June 1962 and September 1964. It in all probability underwent a fitting-out of greater than 12 months and later performed sea trials from January 1966 onwards.
Satellite picture reveals Type 31 Golf and Type 91 Han at Qingdao Museum (Photo Credits: India Today)
The submarine might have been commissioned in 1967 with pennant quantity 200 and was named “ChangCheng 1” which was revealed a lot later.
The refit saga
After commissioning this submarine, the Chinese PLAN determined to have solid-fuelled ballistic missiles relatively than liquid-fuelled. The ship needed to endure a serious refit, particularly the conning tower half – to have the ability to accommodate wider solid-fuelled ballistic missiles.
The conning tower of the SSB might accommodate solely two ballistic missiles as in comparison with the set of three leaner USSR missiles. The refit additionally led to alter in different assist tools within the submarine equivalent to simulators and so on.
The ship needed to floor for nearly 7-Eight minutes for firing the ballistic missile which was thought of harmful with developments in submarine detection applied sciences. Hence, the necessity for a second refit arose.
Satellite picture reveals Type 31 Golf SSB at Lvshun Naval Academy (Photo Credits: India Today)
The second refit came about in 1978, which improved the Changcheng’s potential to launch the ballistic missile whereas staying submerged.
The change in kind and title was observed after this refit – to Type 31 Changcheng. This submarine underwent the third refit throughout the 1990s probably to accommodate a more-wider Julang-2 missile.
This refit once more needed to scale back the variety of launch tubes to slot in wider Julang-2. The sail might take solely a single silo of the brand new missile. The final refit was in 2010 at Lvshun base, probably to transform the submarine for coaching functions.
The trials of Julang
China has been repeatedly testing the Julang collection of missiles on this ship for the reason that early 1970s. The Julang-1 (that means Giant Wave-1) was the naval model of the DF-21 missile. Julang-1, additionally recognized by its NATO title CSS-N-Three missile, had an operational vary of 1,800-2,500 km.
The profitable trials of Julang-1A from subsurface launches within the early 1980s noticed the missile being deployed within the mid-1980s on Type 92 Xia class SSBN, a nuclear powered ballistic missile firing submarine, the PLAN’s first.
Satellite picture reveals Type 31 Golf SSB at Lvshun Dry Dock (Photo Credits: India Today)
The Julang-2 (NATO title CSS-N-14) with a variety of seven,500 km was first examined on the bottom as DF-31 and later sea trials have been performed.
The main sea trials have been in June 2005 and May 2008. The check on Type 31 SSB in 2006 failed. The Julang-2 was later examined on Type 94 in 2009 when the SSB was stored in standby mode.
Used for specialised coaching
The Changcheng was in all probability used for coaching after its final refit in 2010. The submarine has been noticed on satellite tv for pc imagery on the Warf utilized by Lvshun Naval Academy from August 2012 onwards. The ship didn’t transfer from this location till April 2020.
Satellite picture reveals Type 31 Golf and Type 32 Qing at Lvshun Shipyard (Photo Credits: India Today)
The submarine was probably used for specialised coaching of officers particularly on launch simulators earlier than deploying them onboard Type 94 SSBNs.
Preservation inside museum
The Type 31 Golf class SSB Changcheng was noticed being scrounged on the Lvshun shipyard on July 1, 2020.
The main tools of the ship was probably being taken out to arrange it for museum show. The submarine was noticed on September 20, 2020 on the Qingdao Naval Museum alongside the earlier Han class nuclear submarine.
The saga of this most necessary Type 31 Golf class Changcheng submarine ends along with her preservation on the Qingdao Naval Museum.
(Col Vinayak Bhat (Retd) is a guide for India Today. A satellite tv for pc imagery analyst, he served within the Indian Army for over 33 years)