In July 2004 China launched the first of several planned Ballistic missle submarines which is a major step forward in Beijings strategic weapons program.
When fully operational it will represent a more odern capable missile platform. This boat which is a Type 094 will be China's truly intercontinental strategic nuclear delivery system. The submarine was spotted by US intelligence agencies at the Huludao Shipyards located on the coast of Bohai Bay some 250 miles northwest of Beijing.
The submarine is in the early stages of being equipped with JL-2 submarine launched nuclear missles. US intelligence stated a year ago that the submarine would not be deplyed until around 2010. The CIA made public last week that Russia was a major supplier of technology to China's naval nuclear propulsion programs. The US National Security and Military concerns stated the new missile system will likely benefit from stolen US nuclear warhead designs. The range of the new JL-s ICBM will have a range of 7,500 miles enogh to strike targets throughout the US. With that range the submarine can stay in China's protected waters and still be in range of the US. This submarine and the Type 093 submarines that were launched would present a problem to the US if it were to take part in defense of Tawian because of the threat of nuclear retaliation.