China expands submarine base on Hainan island

China is building two more piers at the Dulin naval base on Hainan Island to serve the operation of strategic submarines.

Satellite photos taken at the end of July and released on September 21 show two new piers about 240 meters long under construction at the Dulin naval base on China’s Hainan island. The photo also shows three Type-094-class submarines and one Type-093-class submarine moored next to three old piers.

The project to expand the Du Lam submarine base is said to have started in March with accretion activities around the area for the construction of new piers. One of the two piers is located to the north of 4 old buildings, the other is located to the south.

China has been expanding the Yulin naval base for many years, including building a floating dock for the Shandong aircraft carrier of the Type-002 class.





The jetty is under construction at the Dulin naval base on Hainan Island, China in this photo taken on July 31.  Photo: Maxar.

The jetty is under construction at the Dulin naval base on Hainan Island, China in this photo taken on July 31. Image: Max.

Beijing-based military expert Zhou Chenming said the expanding area could replace the old facility on the west side of Yalong Bay near Sanya city, where many resorts for Chinese tourists are located. and international.

Zhou said the old facility will be used to train submarine crews, while the expanding facility will house strategic submarines of the Type-093 and Type-094 classes. China is replacing its older Type-091-class submarines with a more capable Type-093-class battleship.

Expert Song Zhongping assessed that China expanded the capacity of its nuclear warfare force at sea to enhance its ability to respond to a nuclear attack.

According to Song, being based on Hainan island does not necessarily mean that submarines will operate mainly in the South China Sea, since nuclear countermeasures can only be effectively used in the Pacific.





Location of Dulin naval base on Hainan island (green mark).  Graphics: CSIS.

Location of Dulin naval base on Hainan island (green mark). Graphics: CSIS.

Nguyen Tien (Theo SCMP)

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