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U.S. Says China Has Deployed Long-Range ICBMs on Nuclear Submarines

Representation. File picture of a Chinese 094A Jin-class nuclear submarine. POOL / MARK SCHIEFELBEIN
Representation. File picture of a Chinese 094A Jin-class nuclear submarine. POOL / MARK SCHIEFELBEIN

The U.S. has for the first time acknowledged that China has deployed its new JL-3 long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles on six PLA Navy’s Type 094 (Jin-class) nuclear submarines, allowing it to target the U.S. continent from closer to its own shores.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Admiral Sam Paparo, the head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told military reporters at a conference in Washington on Friday that China’s six Jin-class nuclear-powered submarines are now “equipped with JL-3 intercontinental ballistic missiles.”

“They were built to threaten the U.S.,” he said, adding that the U.S. will “keep close track of those submarines.”

While the Type 094 (Jin-class) submarines were known to be equipped with JL-2 ballistic missiles, this is the first acknowledgment from the U.S. that China has deployed its latest JL-3 missiles, which it has been testing since 2018. Like the JL-2, the JL-3 is designed to deliver multiple warheads, including nuclear warheads.

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