China carried out a flight test of its new JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile last month, highlighting Beijing’s nuclear buildup of missile submarines. The JL-2 flight test took place Jan. 23, according to defense officials familiar with details of the test.
No details of the test were available. China in the past has conducted JL-2 flight tests from the Bohai Sea.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jeff Pool declined to comment on the test. But Lt. Col. Pool said the JL-2 was discussed in the Pentagon’s most recent annual report on the Chinese military as one part of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s “first credible long-range sea-based nuclear deterrent.”
The congressional U.S.-China Economic Security and Review Commission stated in its latest annual report that the JL-2 is part of China’s expanding strategic nuclear forces and appears to have reached initial operating capability.
“The JL-2’s range of approximately 4,598 miles gives China the ability to conduct nuclear strikes against Alaska if launched from waters near China; against Alaska and Hawaii if launched from waters south of Japan; against Alaska, Hawaii and the western portion of the continental United States if launched from waters west of Hawaii; and against all 50 U.S. states if launched from waters east of Hawaii,” the report said.
The commission report said that despite uncertainty surrounding the number of Chinese nuclear missiles and warheads, “it is clear China’s nuclear forces over the next three to five years will expand considerably and become more lethal and survivable with the fielding of additional road-mobile nuclear missiles; as many as five JIN [missile submarines], each of which can carry 12 JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles; and intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs).”
China’s nationalistic state-run newspaper Global Times in 2013 published a lengthy article that stated that nuclear JL-2 missile strikes on the western United States would kill 5 million to 12 million people through a combination of blasts and radioactive fallout.
Source : Washington Times