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False: Pakistan Buys Qing-class Submarines

July 4, 2011

Chinese Song-class submarine

In April 2011 a contract was signed by Pakistani representatives with the China State Shipbuilding Industrial Corporation (CSIC) for six Qing-class submarines. Pictured above is actually a Song-class diesel electric as no current photographs of the Qing are available at the moment.

Among the Qing-class’ specifications readily available through cursory research are a double hull, 3,600 ton surface displacement, and CJ-10K nuclear capable torpedoes. It’s believed that the Qing, which was introduced as recently as last year, has an electric propulsion system, making it quieter beneath the waves.

On top of this acquisition is a 10-year lease of two JiangkaiII Type 054A missile frigates. The Type 054A are among the PLAN’s newest vessels and were introduced in 2005. The JiangkaiII is equipped with YJ-83 anti ship cruise missiles together with a complement of a missile air defense system, two CIWS cannon, and a 76mm main gun.

Chinese Type 054A Missile Frigate

The JiangkaiII also possesses anti-submarine rocket launchers, extensive counter measures, a helicopter hangar and several radars. A more detailed summary of the JiangkaiII’s specifications are available here.

Via Asian Defence News

Update (2015): Five years later and it’s now apparent the deal between Pakistan and CSIC was fictitious. While it isn’t a a stretch to believe Pakistan is determined to build a world-class submarine force, assuming that it can acquire half a dozen Qing-class hulls in x-number of years is unrealistic.

Not only is the Qing-class diesel electric submarine not yet ready for deployment with the PLAN, but it isn’t available for export. The Qing-class is a 300-foot long behemoth–the largest of its kind in the world–capable of launching ballistic missiles.

The PLAN’s current submarine force is divided between numerous older Ming-class submarines, the advanced Song-class developed in the 1990s, an estimated 12 Russian Kilo-class diesel electrics, another dozen Yuan-class submarines (Chinese Kilos), and an estimated four Jin-class nuclear submarines plus five older SSBNs.

The Qing-class itself is not yet in service. If China is already exporting its submarine technology, it makes sense to sell its older and proven models, like the Ming-class or even its own variant of the Russian Kilo, the Yuan-class. But a Qing? Nope.

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