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New Chinese Missile Subs Pose Challenge To U.S.

Discovery of the Yuan-class vessel (pictured) came as a surprise to U.S. intelligence agencies, East-Asia-Intel said.

Washington (UPI) Oct 18, 2005
China's two new next-generation submarines with anti-ship missile capabilities pose a greater challenge to U.S. and Western fleets in the near future, World Net Daily reported this weekend.

According to a report by last week, the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy has already completed 18 voyages with its new Yuan-class vessel, a conventionally-powered attack sub which is believed capable of firing anti-ship cruise missiles as well as standard torpedoes.

The new Yuan-class vessel has reportedly passed a series of performance tests and is ready to be deployed, said, quoting Chinese news sources.

The Jinyangwang news site, reported the vessel "has now formally become a new member of the PLA Navy's submarine force." It went on to say the vessel had achieved 15 firsts during its initial cruises, which "included technical performance, development and construction quality assurances." The news agency also said the new sub set a depth record for a conventional submarine.

Discovery of the Yuan-class vessel came as a surprise to U.S. intelligence agencies, East-Asia-Intel said.

Meanwhile, China appears on the verge of deploying its newest SSBN, or nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, the Type-094 class, which is being developed as a seagoing extension of Chinese nuclear weapons power projection, World Net Daily reported.

The Type-094 is a follow-on to earlier SSBNs produced by China, most recently the Type-093, a nuclear-powered attack vessel "similar to Russian second-generation designs such as the Victor III," according to an analysis from the American Federation of Scientists, or FAS.

The 093 carries the JL-1, a two-stage, solid-propellant weapon with a single nuclear-capable warhead with a yield between 200 and 300 kilotons and a range of 1,056 miles. A sea-launched version of China's land-based DF-21 missile, the JL-1, was initially developed for the Type-092, Xia-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile boat, which became operational in 1983, according to FAS.

China has also developed the JL-2, a three-stage, solid-fuel sea variant of China's DF-31 ballistic missile. It is capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads -- as many as four, FAS says -- and has a range of 4,971 miles.

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Elbaradei 'Confident' Nuclear Talks Will Resume With Iran
Vienna (AFP) Oct 18, 2005
The head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, said Tuesday he was "confident" that negotiations would resume soon with Iran over the nature of its nuclear program.

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