China successfully tested the JL-3 SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile) near Bohai Bay in the early hours of the morning on June 2 – stated an official report from Beijing.
The JL-3 is the latest generation of SLBMs developed by China. It has an expected intercontinental target range of 12-14 thousand km. The JL-3 SLBM can carry up to ten independent nuclear warheads and can hit targets with greater frequency.
The JL-3 SLBM scheduled test was conducted as per normal standards of “scientific research and tests according to plan” commented China’s Ministry of Defence.
The ministry had previously refused to testify the test launch while speculations of a UFO surfaced around the provinces of Shandong, Shanxi, Hebei, and Henan. This speculation spurred the global media to wring out information of the new JL-3 SLBM development and test launch.
The PLA and the Navy too had toyed with the Chinese media and the public by posting pictures of the launch with the comment reading “Do you believe in UFOs?” on Weibo (Chinese microblogging site). The Chinese authorities had hoodwinked the media by deflecting to answer the question regarding the possibility of the JL-3 test launch.
Many sources linked to the military suggested that the Chinese would not think of a launch at this juncture. With the US-China trade relations turning sour and the Chinese generals being in Singapore for meetings with their counterparts. The sources even rejected the possibility of the JL-3 by stating that the object’s flight path was different and lower than that of the JL-3.
Yet the spokesperson for China’s defence ministry, Ren Guogiang this week confirmed, “These tests are not targeted against any country or a specific entity. China follows a defence policy which is defensive in nature and an active defence military strategy, and our development of weapons and equipment is to meet the basic demand of protecting China’s national security,”
The JL-3 SLBM is intended to arm the next-generation Type 096 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) class, the first of which is expected to enter service in the late 2020s. The first JL-3 flight test had also been conducted from Bohai Bay in November 2018. At completion, JL-3 SLBM, with an estimated 5,600-mile range, will enable Chinese submarines in the Western Pacific to hit the continental United States.