28 October 2011

Survivability of China’s Sea-Based Nuclear Forces

Wu Riqiang, Survivability of China’s Sea-Based Nuclear Forces,” Science & Global Security, 19.2 (2011): 91-120.

The survivability of China’s ballistic missile submarines and submarine-launched ballistic missiles is examined. First, the Type 094 ballistic missile submarine is noisy and vulnerable even in shallow waters. This suggests the urgency for China to improve the quietness of the Type 094. Second, after the deployment of the U.S. interceptor missile, SM-3 Block IIA, in 2018, China’s intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles launched from Chinese coastal waters would face a three-layer engagement, constructed by SM-3 IIAs deployed near China’s coastal waters, ground-based interceptors deployed in California and Alaska, and SM-3 IIAs deployed near U.S. coastal waters respectively. These deployments could undermine the credibility of China’s nuclear deterrence. It would be well for China and the United States to work together to improve strategic stability between these two states. …