China reveals possible new variant of Qing-class submarine
Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
09 June 2014
A model said to be of the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN's) new Qing (Type 032)-class diesel-electric test submarine was displayed at a shipping expedition held in the southern China province of Guangdong from 6-8 June.
Reports carried by Chinese state media described the submarine as a 3,797 tonne vessel that can carry a crew of 200 sailors and researchers. It is said to be 92.6 m long with a height of 17.2 m.
Images of the model displayed indicated that the Type 032 vessel is equipped with what appears to be two vertical launching systems and two torpedo tubes. Also visible are two forward hydroplanes not seen on earlier images of the Type 032, although much of the vessel's superstructure does not seem to have deviated from earlier images of the Qing-class submarine.
The vessels is said to be built with a double hull and has a maximum dive depth of 200 m.
A report by IHS Jane's in July 2013 indicate that the Type 032 may be used as a platform to test new vertically launched cruise missiles and fibre-optic guided missiles, such as the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile, which is destined for the PLAN's fleet of Jin-class (Type 094) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
The Type 032 is seen as a replacement for the PLAN's long-serving Type 031 conventional missile submarine (SSB) built in China in the mid-1960s. Reports suggest it could also be configured to deploy multiple types of UUVs and about 50 special forces troops on short distance missions.