Photographs have emerged on online forums showing that a new design of submarine has been built at China's Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard. Although the images do not allow accurate estimates of the size of the boat to be made, it appears that the submarine is about 50 m long with a pressure hull diameter of about 5 m.
The most significant feature evident from the photographs is the absence of a fin (sail). The images were taken looking upwards and show no detail of the casing and the fairing, which appears to be in the position where the fin would normally be constructed.
No official information has been released about the boat but online posts suggest that it is an experimental submarine. The images give no indication of how many torpedo or missile tubes it has, if any.
Satellite imagery of the Wuchang shipyard in Wuhan taken in October 2014 showed a small submarine alongside the fitting-out pontoon. It was estimated to be 35 m long with a beam of about 3.5 m. However, no further photographs have emerged either from satellites or from observers on the ground, notwithstanding that the vessel would have had a river transit of over 800 km to reach the sea.
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