China’s latest nuclear submarine design appear to include a shelter capable of holding a miniature submarine for special operations forces (SOF) not unlike vehicles used to deliver Navy SEALs to shore from U.S. nuclear attack boats, according to an image in wide circulation in Chinese online networks. The Chinese boat — a Type-93T or Shang-class nuclear attack submarine — features a hangar for the SOF submersible that would allow People’s Liberation Army troops to discrete deployment much like U.S. forces, according to a translation of a March 17 story in the state-run Reference News. The image was first reported in English by Jane’s Defence Weekly….
The Chinese report on the delivery vehicle follow a consistent trend in Chinese ship design, according U.S. Naval Institute’s Combat Fleets of the World author Eric Wertheim. “It shows that they are really looking at Western designs and take lessons learned and look at how we use our subs and incorporate some those features into their own,” he told USNI [U.S. Naval Institute] News…In a wider context, China’s submarine abilities improve and their operations expand beyond their home waters it is making neighbors nervous. Recenty the Indian Navy expressed concern over a Shang SSN that patrolled near its coastline from December 2014 to February 2015, according to a report in The Telegraph
Excerpt from Sam LaGrone, Chinese Nuclear Sub Design Includes Special Operations Mini-Sub, U.S. Naval Institute News, Mar. 25, 2015