Naval Weapons

China conducts first JL-3 SLBM launch

08 January 2019

The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has carried out a first flight test of the new JL-3 submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile (SLBM).

During the test, which was conducted on 24 November 2018, a JL-3 missile was launched from the sole Type 032 Qing-class auxiliary submarine in Bohai Bay. Reports suggest that the missile did not fly to its maximum range during the test, which was most likely focused on proving the launch tube ejection, broach, and ignition stages.

The JL-3 SLBM is intended to arm the next-generation Type 096 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) class, the first of which is expected to enter service in the late 2020s.

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