Google Maps and Google Earth users now have the ability to
see a new high-tech Chinese nuclear ballistic missile submarine which can reportedly
fire intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to Hans Kristensen, a
nuclear weapons analyst for the Federation of American Scientists.
Kristensen found the Jin-class, or Type 094, nuclear submarine's image after it
was taken by the Quickbird commercial satellite late last year. The
Jin-class is the successor to the Xia-class submarine, "the
unsuccessful Xia-class (Type 092) of a single boat built in the early
1980s," Kristensen wrote.
The Jin-class submarine was photographed while moored at the
Xiaopingdao Submarine Base.
Using an image of the Xia-class submarine -- taken in 2005 -- Kristensen was
able to point out some of the differences between the Xia- and Jin-class
submarines. The Jin-class submarine is at least 35 feet longer than the
Xia-class, mainly because of an "extended mid-section" responsible
for housing missile launch tubes. The images do not conclusively
determine whether the Jin-class mid-section has 12 or 16 tubes.
China expects to build as many as five Jin-class submarines in the next few
years. China currently relies on land-based nuclear missile technology,
but the new submarines add an additional tool to the military's arsenal.
Images and technical information about the submarine can be found on
This may cause the Chinese military to become the latest organization to show
concerns over what Google Earth can reveal to users. The U.S. government
and Indian military
are both worried about the high-level quality of satellite imagery which is
available to users. A spy chief also
predicted curbs on satellite photos may be needed for programs like Google
quote: Just curious, but how would you respond to spysat pics of you sunbathing nude in your backyard, even though you were shielded by a high fence around your property?
quote: we might invent a source of free unlimited energy
quote: continuing to sunbathe nude in my backyard and hope that society would slowly change from one that welcomes gross depictions of gore but cringes at the sight of a bare breast.
quote: Hughes, Loral, and Lockheed all later paid massive fines for illegal exports of advanced missile technology to China. Hughes paid the largest fine after being charged with 123 counts of national security violations. Loral eventually had to declare bankruptcy in part due to the China-gate scandal.
quote: Most of the tech is probably stolen from the U.S. (or almost given by companies too lameass to actually do security). Same as with their missles.
quote: You can only have a nuclear deterrent if the other guy knows you have it.
quote: As for satellite imagery being evil? Puhleese. If knowledge and information is evil, then yes, I suppose it is.
quote: props to Google for not backing down from any fight though,
quote: I suspect there will be government satellites pointed right at the sub very soon (if not already), trying to figure out what it's capabilities are.
quote: The Type 094 is the second-generation Chinese nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN). The first-of-class has reportedly been under construction at Huludao Shipyard since 1999 and was launched in July 2004. The submarine is armed with 16 JL-2 submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with a maximum range of 8,000km.
quote: Well spy satellites shouldn't have much better resolution (it should be somewhat better, yes). The biggest problem for improving spy satellites is the optical array weight and size. and commercially available missiles are probably not far behind military/government ones.
quote: What does a land power... Need with a sub?
quote: in the contests between France and England in the 18th century, domination of the sea via naval power was the deciding factor in the outcome, and therefore, that control of seaborne commerce was critical to domination in war. To a modern reader this may seem obvious and repeatedly demonstrated, ...
quote: While you're at it, stop shopping at Wal-Mart too.
quote: The Google Earth Jin-class submarine was photographed while moored at the Xiaopingdao Submarine Base.