The details of China's Type 039B submarine, which is reportedly to be sold to Pakistan this year, have been revealed by the Canada-based Kanwa Information Center, reports Huanqiu, the website of China's nationalistic tabloid Global Times.
The Pakistani Navy has reportedly required that China install air-independent propulsion systems on the submarines it has chosen for the transfer of these related technologies in order to assemble the submarines in Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan.
China has called for tenders for its type S20P submarine, which is another version of the type 0369B submarine that the country builds to export. Pakistan hopes to obtain six type S20P submarines to obtain stronger underwater combat capabilities along with its three existing Agosta-class 90B submarines. Currently, China's PLA Navy has nine type 0369B submarines in service.
The type 0369B submarine is reportedly 66m long and 8.2m high, can dive as deep as 300 meters and has 1,850 tons of displacement above water and 2,200 tons underwater. Its maximum speed reaches 18 knots and it can propel up to 8,000 nautical miles at 16 knots. The double-hull submarine is highly automated and only requires 38 crew members.
The submarine is also equipped with an advanced seven-blade curved propeller and an X-shaped rudder. It carries Yingji 83 anti-ship missiles that have an attack range of 180 kilometers. The sonar and radar installed on the submarine are also state-of-the-art but their details have not been revealed.
Kanwa's report said the Pakistani Navy may ask China to integrate its cruise missile Babur, which can be launched underwater and has an attack range of 500 kilometers. The report also said the 039B submarines have been produced in Shanghai and Wuhan. The first of them is likely to be shipped to Pakistan while the remaining of them are to be assembled in the country.