Context: According to a US report, China is equipping its nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines with advanced JL-3 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) along with Type 096, the country’s next-generation ballistic missile submarine, that are capable of targeting the continental United States.
About Type 096:
- Type 096 is a class of nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines.
- It will be armed with the JL-3 Nuclear capable Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM). JL-3 is reported as a solid-fueled missile with ranges of over 9,000 km or 10,000 km .
- Type 096 is the third-generation Sub-surface ballistic nuclear (SSBN) submarine.
- SSBNs perform a specialised mission of strategic nuclear deterrence.
- To perform this, SSBNs are armed with submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), which are large, long-range missiles armed with multiple nuclear warheads.
- It has a large pressure hull diameter to incorporate more sound isolation.
- It will complement the existing Type 094 Jin class SSBN. Type 096 are rumoured to be able to carry 24 SLBMs, compared to the 12 of the existing Type 094 Jin class SSBN.