China and Russia's nuclear submarine capabilities have been increasing rapidly in recent years and the U.S. Navy is already assessing how it will change its strategy based upon recent advancements in technology. A U.S. Navy Admiral is also warning that both the Chinese and Russian navy are becoming capable of striking American bases.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the Russian military successfully tested a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched from the Russian nuclear submarine the Vladimir Monomakh. The test nuclear missile flew from the White Sea near Russia's border with Finland and hit its target nearly 3,500 miles away on the Kamchatka peninsula north of Japan. This was considered significant since the Bulava ICBM has suffered repeated glitches in the past which lead to launch failures. Vladimir Putin also discussed a 2016-2025 Russian nuclear weapons modernization program focused on creating a "guaranteed nuclear deterrent."
Navy Vice Adm. Michael Connor made a comparison to the Cold War when discussing recent world events, but also seemed to indicate that China was a potential threat instead of just Russia.
"The Soviet Union devolved into Russia but they kept their nuclear capabilities," Connor said. "They are now re-growing those capabilities and others. As they re-grow, we find that modern Russia appears to have some aspirations both territory-wise and influence-wise that are reminiscent of the way they behaved when we had the Soviet Union. The world has become multi-polar and we have competition for global influence and power from a rising China -- which is also very much on our mind. The Chinese have had ballistic missile submarines in some form for a while. Their pace has accelerated and they have several nuclear ballistic missile submarines and are continuing to build more."
The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) believes the Chinese Navy is now "increasingly capable of striking targets hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland" and the deployment of the Jin SSBN "would mark China's first credible at-sea-second-strike nuclear capability." ONI even believes China's nuclear ICBM aboard the new submarine would "enable the Jin to strike Hawaii, Alaska and possibly western portions of CONUS [continental United States] from East Asian waters." According to Stars and Stripes, China's nuclear weapons capabilities have also been augmented by the HK-6 bomber, a nuclear-capable aircraft with a range of about 2,000 miles, and the Dong Feng-41 ICBM, capable of launching multiple nuclear warheads.
An article from China Daily Mail reports that the Chinese language news site Qianzhan is claiming that "China's reclamation in key areas in the South China Sea will enable China to set up naval and air bases for anti-submarine aircrafts and warships to contain US nuclear submarines." In addition, when "China's new nuclear submarines have been commissioned and communication technology improved, Chinese nuclear submarines will be able to operate near the U.S." The article does note that since China's nuclear weapons have long range capability some believe "it is not necessary for a Chinese strategic nuclear submarines to cruise near the U.S. to make American people nervous."