This list includes all submarines.
Ships not yet commissioned, or in long-term overhaul/conversion, are listed in italics. Navigation and surface-search radars are not listed. All classifications are purely unofficial and are based on an attempt to use standard classifications throughout all navies; they may or may not correspond to "official" designations.
Note: It remains very difficult to obtain accurate, up-to-date information regarding Chinese naval forces. These is major conflict between published references, especially with regard to class names and numbers. It is also difficult to tell exactly how many vessels are active and how many are in reserve, since many "active" vessels only go to sea for a few days each year. This list represents the best data available from a variety of sources, however, it probably is not complete nor 100% accurate, due to inadequacies of source material.
Fleets: The following abbreviations are used to indicate fleet
YEL: Yellow Sea. Officially North Sea Fleet.
ECS: East China Sea. Officially East Sea Fleet.
SCS: South China Sea. Officially South Sea Fleet.
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Concept/Program: China's only SSBN to date; essentially a lengthened 'Han' class SSN. Some reports indicate a second unit was built and that one boat was lost at sea in 1985. Series production was cancelled in favor of a new design. Currently in refit to receive the JL-2 missile in place of the original JL-1. Some sources report the ship has turbo-electric drive.
Builders: Huludao SY.
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Concept/Program: The first Chinese-designed and -built submarines. First two units had very long trials periods and reportedly were unreliable, but they have recently undergone major refits and are fully active. The last two units reportedly are 8 meters/26 feet longer, but there is no evidence that SSM tubes have been fitted aft of the sail, as had once been reported. These vessels probably are rather noisy and primitive in terms of combat systems. Some sources report the ships have turbo-electric drive.
Builders: Huladao SY.
Concept/Program: The specifications listed above reflect the normal equipment of the 'Improved Kilo' design. These units apparently were started for the Russian Navy but sold before completion.
Builders: United Admiralty SY, St. Petersburg, Russia.
|366||Lin San Liu||1998|
Concept/Program: These are standard export versions of the 'Kilo' design, purchased in 1994 and delivered from stocks on hand. Reportedly both had become inoperable by 1997 and will be refitted in Russia.
Builders: Krasnoye Sormovo Zavod 199, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia.
Concept/Program: A new Chinese-designed and -built diesel submarine. Production was reportedly planned at two per year starting in 1998, but it is expected that this will be slowed or cancelled in favor of Russian-built subs. The second unit has been badly delayed, and the first is reported to be unsatisfactory.
Builders: Wuhan SY.
Concept/Program: A Chinese-built variant of the 'Romeo' design. These boats are completely obsolete in modern terms, but are useful as patrol and coastal defense assets. Production continues, probably to provide cheap replacement for aging 'Romeos'.
Builders: Wuhan SY; built 1975-date.
Concept/Program: Chinese-built copies of the Soviet 'Romeo' design. 84 units were built for Chinese service; of these 65 are believed to remain in existence, with around 38 nominally operational. Of the operational boats, however, only a small number are capable of going to sea at any given time, due to a lack of trained crews. These boats are completely obsolete, but a limited life extension overhaul program is reportedly being undertaken.
Builders: Wuhan SY, Guangzhou SY, Jiangnan SY, Huladao SY; built 1960-1984.
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