Reports are swirling around that the People's Liberation Army Navy has successfully tested Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles. If so, this achievement would represent an important advance in China's strategic capabilities.
Norman Polmar, the respected naval and intelligence author. mentioned this at a presentation Wednesday evening while discussing his new book, Project Azorian. Since then, we've been trying to get more details. Polmar says in an email that the missile test submarine is a Soviet-built Project 629/Golf diesel-electric submarine. The only public mention of this so far (in English) comes in a South Korean newspaper, the Chosun Ibo. This is what the South Korean paper says the Chinese daily said: "The Changcheng 200 smoothly accomplished scores of test-launch missions of ballistic missiles over the past 46 years. It received the title 'vanguard submarine of underwater test launches' from Hu Jintao, the chairman of the Central Military Commission, last August," the daily said. (We can't find any mentions in English.)
This week: The Pentagon is gearing up for the budget presentations on Feb 14. The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment previews the budget during its authoritative briefing on Thursday. The Air Force is developing its game plan on the tanker contract award. Congress is pretty quiet this week, though the House Armed Services emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee holds a Friday hearing at 11:30 a.m. on cyber issues. Tomorrow morning, we'll run our commentary by Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation about just what was accomplished during the recent Washington visit of President Jun Jintao. And we've got breakfast on Wednesday with Paul Kaminski, head of the Defense Science Board, one of the best brains operating in the U.S. defense world.