China conducted a test of its next-generation JL-3 submarine-launched missile, The Washington Times (WT) reported, citing Pentagon officials who spoke on condition of anonymity on 22nd December. The outlet claimed that the new submarine-launched missile is potentially capable of reaching the entire territory of the United States with a nuclear warhead.
The test was reportedly carried out from a submerged Jin-class ballistic missile submarine in the Bohai Sea, off the coast of northern China and monitored by US intelligence satellites, as well as from its platforms at sea. Pentagon spokesman for Asia Lieutenant Colonel David W. Eastburn, however, could not verify the reports when approached by the media.
The missile firing was monitored by U.S. intelligence satellites and other platforms from a position in the same sea and was monitored on a flight path westward.
No other details of the launch were disclosed, including whether the missile test was successful, WT added.
China’s next-generation JL-3-class missiles are specifically designed for China’s nuclear-powered submarines, with its full operational range believed to extend from 9,000 km to 14,000 km, according to various media reports.