What some considered a possible, future Chinese conventional submarine (SSK) in 2013 - when few knew the above was a Soryu cutaway. Most text above is in Chinese. Possible specifications: 3,400 t (submerged), Length: 80 m, Beam: 10 m, Tubes: 6 x 533mm torpedo tubes, 21 heavyweight shots...AIP...Depth: 450 m, Duration: 60 days, Crew: 50. (Cutaway Image likely originated from a model builder or gamer network)
Research for my future (end 2017) book on Chinese submarines, so far indicates:
China has 15 Yuan class submarines that are active, with 4 or 5 to be built in 2017-2018.
A. By 2017-2019 China will wish to launch a more advanced class of submarines to maintain its
SSK numbers while replacing obsolete Ming class.
B. Advanced class 2019 Chinese SSKs (lets call it SSK2019) may well have a higher surfaced
displacement and larger dimensions for greater capability. This would follow the
worldwide trend of steadily larger SSKs in each succeeding class.
Features deficient in the Yuan, tending to alter or make the weight of SSK2019 heavier, may include:
1. old fashioned Lead-acid Batteries (desire to deploy Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs) by 2025).
AIP with its at least 200 tonnes weight might be deleted by 2025 if LIBs are successfully
2. crew of only 38 are too few for long endurance or distant missions. More space for SEALs (for
Taiwan and Philippines operations) needed.
3. longer ranges needed. More diesel for extended voyages to protect approaches to China's South
China Sea, and for missions in Indian, Arctic and Western-Central Pacific Oceans.
4. only 6 torpedo tubes with probably only 18 heavyweight shots. Maybe more torpedo tubes or a
Vertical Multi-Purpose Lock needed for quicker-easier deployment of UUVs, torpedos, missiles
5. improved combat system with better sonars (adds weight for electronics and more operators).
6. upgrade from MTU 386 diesels to more efficient, more powerful MTU 4000 diesels (built in
Would you agree a Chinese weight gain is likely or might LIBs-in with AIP-out make weight the same or less than a Yuan?