Type 091 submarine
The Type 091 (Chinese designation: 09-I; NATO reporting name: Han class) is a first generation nuclear attack submarine produced by the People's Republic of China. They were the first nuclear-powered submarine employed by the People's Liberation Army Navy Submarine Force, and the first indigenously produced nuclear attack submarines in Asia.
Han-class SSN profile
A Type 091 submarine in 1993
|Builders:||Bohai Shipyard, Huludao|
|Succeeded by:||Type 093|
|Displacement:||5,500 tonnes (submerged)|
|Length:||98 m (321 ft 6 in)|
|Beam:||10 m (32 ft 10 in)|
|Draft:||7.4 m (24 ft 3 in)|
|Propulsion:||1 Nuclear turbo-electric engine – Pressurized water reactor|
|Speed:||25 knots (46 km/h)|
|Armament:||6 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes|
The Chinese naval nuclear power program started in July 1958 when Mao Zedong and the Central Military Commission gave approval to start the 091 submarine project. Peng Shilu was the first chief designer of this project. The first submarine in the class, the Long March I, was commissioned in 1974; the last was launched in 1990. In 1983, Peng shifted from military to civilian sector in application of nuclear power plants and his duty at the nuclear submarine project was succeeded by Huang Xuhua.
The Type 091 has operated mainly in local waters, and has appeared in incidents. One submarine shadowed a U.S. carrier battle group in the mid-1990s. Another entered Japanese territorial waters through the Ishigaki, Okinawa island group near Taiwan in November 2004, causing Japan's maritime forces to go on alert for the second time since the Second World War; China apologized for the trespass and blamed "technical reasons" on the submarine.
The boats have received major upgrades and numerous refits since commissioning. They have six 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes and carry 20 torpedoes. Alternatively, they can carry 36 mines in their tubes. It is capable of firing sub-launched variants of the C-801 anti-ship missile as well as a range of indigenous and Russian torpedoes or mines. All remaining hulls have been refitted with new sonars, with Type H/SQ2-262B sonar manufactured by No. 613 Factory replacing the original Type 603 sonar on board. Anechoic tiles were added later to reduce noise levels.
The Type 091 is extremely noisy and has poor radiation shielding, a result of being based on 1950s technology. It cannot launch missiles while submerged. Overall, the submarine's tactical utility is limited against modern combatants.
Failed lease to Pakistan
In 1989, Pakistan made an abortive attempt to procure a Type 091 for USD$63 million in 1992:contents, as a response to the Soviet K-43 leased to India in 1988.:92 Occasional rumours of Pakistani interest in a Type 091 continued to surface as late as 2012; any purchase would be useful mainly as an antiquated training platform.
|401||1970||1974||2000||Reactor removed. Preserved at the Chinese Navy Museum, Qingdao.|
|402||1977||1980||2004||Decommissioned in 2004|
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