China PLA Test Launch of J L 3 SLBM MIRV/MARV Confirmed
Global Times reported on 4 June, that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had posted a file photo of firing of the JL 3 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile.
Earlier a number of posts on Chinese social media had sighted Unidentified Flying Objects across several provinces in the country
Global Times quotes that JL-3 is China’s latest SLBM under development and also indicated a report from the Russia Today (RT) that the SLBM has a range of over 14,000 kms with 10 multiple independent re-entry vehicle (MIRV) capability.
Xu Guangyu, a senior consultant at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association connected the launch with release of the United States Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report and “US warships frequently making what are widely seen as confrontational and belligerent passages through the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea”.
“It is important to showcase China’s deterrence capability to counter US provocations”, Xu said as per Global Times.
He also said that while Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe spoke well at the recently concluded Shanghai Dialogue there was a need to demonstrate capability which the test launch did.
Andrew Tate writing for Jane’s Defence Weekly from London states that the Bohai Sea from where the launch took place was closed on 01 and 02 June by the Maritime Safety Administration.
He also recollects reports that the underwater ejection test for the JL 3 was possibly carried out in November 2018 when a similar closure was ordered by the Maritime Safety Administration in the Bohai Sea.
The difference being there were UFO sightings this time reported from Shandong, Shanxi, Hebei, and Henan provinces, which are in the flight path to the impact area in Western China.
United States Department of Defence Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2019 has indicated that “Over the past 15 years, the PLAN has constructed twelve nuclear submarines – two SHANG I-class SSNs (Type 093), four SHANG II-class SSNs (Type 093A), and six JIN-class SSBNs (Type 094). Equipped with the CSS-N-14 (JL-2) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), China’s four operational JIN-class SSBNs represent China’s first credible, sea-based nuclear deterrent. China’s next-generation Type 096 SSBN reportedly will be armed with the follow-on JL- 3 SLBM, which will likely begin construction in the early-2020s”.
The JL 3 when deployed will enhance Chinese strategic deterrence vis a vis the United States.
Chinese land based missiles cover the Indian Sub Continent while the JL 3 will enhance the capability to strike from undersea.