Type 093 submarine

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Shang class SSN.svg
Profile of the type 093
Class overview
Name: Shang-class
Builders: China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Bohai Shipyard, Huludao[1]
Operators:  People's Liberation Army Navy
Preceded by: Type 091
Succeeded by: Type 095
In commission: 2006-present
Building: 4 as of January 2014[2]
Active: 2 as of June 2014[3], 5 as of April 2015[4]
General characteristics
Type: SSN
Displacement: 7,000 tonnes (submerged)[1]
Length: 110 m[1]
Beam: 11 m[1]
Draft: 7.5 m[1]
Propulsion: Pressurized water nuclear reactor
Speed: 30 kn[1]
Range: Unlimited
  • 6 × 553 mm or 650 mmtorpedo tubes
  • Suspected VLS on improved variants

The Type 093 (Chinese designation: 09-III; NATO reporting name: Shang-class) is a class of nuclear-powered attack submarines deployed by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Submarine Force. They are constructed at the Bohai Shipyard in Huludao. These boats are expected to replace the older Type 091 submarines.

An improved type, alternatively called Type 093B[5] or Type 093G,[6] is in production.


Global Security.org reports that development of the Type 093 began in the early 1980s.[1] However, Admiral Liu Huaqing wrote in his memoirs that development began in 1994; this followed President Jiang Zemin's continued support for nuclear submarine development after the launch of the final Type 091 in 1990. Erickson and Goldstein suggest that the Yinhe incident in 1993,[7] and continued tensions with Taiwan,[8] also drove approval of the program.

Two Type 093s were launched in 2002 and 2003 respectively.[2]

In 2013, it was understood that four improved Type 093s were at various stages of construction,[9] including one which had already been launched 2012.[2] In December 2014 Chinese media reported that two may have been completed.[6] In 2015 The Independent reported that three of the improved Type 093 variants were on the verge of being commissioned.[10] These three new subs are an upgraded version of the Type-093, designated the Type-093B/G, which implement a teardrop shaped hull for quieter operation along with a vertical launching system.[11]

Analysts speculate that no further Type 093s will be built due to the development of the Type 095 submarine.[1]. However, this was proven wrong in April 2015, when China commissioned three newer Type 093 submarines of the newer Type 093G variant, with teardrop-shaped hulls and VLS tubes allowing them to launch cruise missiles, including the many supersonic ones in China's arsenal.[12]


The Type 093 is estimated to be roughly 7,000 t displacement when submerged, 110 metres (360 ft) long with a beam of 11 m. Commercial imagery suggests the improved Type 093B is longer.[5] Chinese sources claim the improved Type 093B includes a vertical launching system.[6] The sonar suite includes H/SQC-207 flank-mounted sonar.[1] The boat may also use a seven-blade asymmetric propeller.[1][13]

The powerplant is speculated to be two pressurized water reactors.[1] In 2002, Chinese sources claimed the Type 093 was powered by a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor, but the immaturity of the technology makes this unlikely.[14]

The Type 093 is armed with six torpedo tubes; reports conflict on whether these are 553 mm[1] or - as claimed by Chinese sources in 2002 – 650 mm tubes.[15] The Type 093 has been claimed to be armed with the YJ-12[15] or YJ-82 anti-ship missiles.[1] Anti-ship cruise missiles may also be future options.[16]

Chinese sources claim the improved Type 093B includes a vertical launching system for YJ-18 anti-ship missiles.[6]


In 2002, Chinese sources claimed the Type 093's noise level was on par with the improved Los Angeles-class. In 2004, Chinese sources claimed the Type 093 was on par with Project 971 (NATO reporting name Akula), at 110 decibels.[13] In 2009, USN ONI listed the Type 093 as being noisier than Project 671RTM (NATO reporting name Victor III) which entered service in 1979.[17]

The three recently completed Type-093G submarines are reported to implement a longer, teardrop shaped hull for quieter operation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Type 093 Shang-class Nuclear Attack Submarine". GlobalSecurity.org. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c O'Rourke (2014: 91)
  3. ^ United States Department of Defense (2014: 8)
  4. ^ Navy to get 3 new nuclear subs, usa.chinadaily.com.cn
  5. ^ a b O'Rourke (2014: 14)
  6. ^ a b c d "PLA's new Type 093G nuclear sub a potential 'carrier killer'". wantchinatimes.com. 15 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Erickson and Goldstein (2007: 58)
  8. ^ Erickson and Goldstein (2007: 64-65)
  9. ^ United States Department of Defense (2013: 6)
  10. ^ Chinese navy prepares to launch three new and upgraded nuclear submarines 5 April 2015
  11. ^ China's new submarines could create problems for the US Navy 7 April 2015
  12. ^ http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015-04/03/content_19989106.htm
  13. ^ a b Erickson and Goldstein (2007: 67)
  14. ^ Erickson and Goldstein (2007: 67-68)
  15. ^ a b Erickson and Goldstein (2007: 68)
  16. ^ United States Department of Defense (2013: 34)
  17. ^ Office of Naval Intelligence (2009: 22)