Yuan Type 039A / B / C – Type 041 submarine Yuan Class

The Type 039A submarine (NATO reporting nameYuan-class) is a class of diesel-electric submarine in China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy. It is China’s first AIP powered submarine and presumed to be one of the quietest diesel-electric submarine classes in service. This class is the successor of the Type 039 submarine. The official Chinese designation is 039A as the ship is based on the 039 class, but as the 039A has very little resemblance to the 039 it is commonly referred to as the Type 041. The class is designed to replace the aging Type 033 Romeo and the older Type 035 submarines that previously formed the backbone of the conventional submarine force.

According to an early assessment by the US Naval Institute, the Yuan class was primarily designed as “an anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) platform capable of hiding submerged for long periods of time in difficult to access shallow littorals.”. However, another assessment by USNI includes an open-ocean capability which can be utilized beyond coastal waters. Also updated was its role within China’s naval fleet, and as of August 2015 it is considered to be a more traditional attack submarine, with a secondary ASCM role.

Type 39B


Type C

Thailand’s Cabinet has approved US$393 million for the first of three planned submarine purchases from China: Here


THAILAND’S Cabinet has approved the first of three planned submarine purchases from China worth US$393 million, a government spokesman said yesterday.


On May 5, 2017, the Thai Navy Chief of Staff and the Chairman of CSIC International Trading Co., Ltd. officially signed the contract for the first S26T submarine in Beijing, with a total value of 13.5 billion Taizhu (about 438 million US dollars), divided into 7 Payments, first payment of 700 million Taizhu (US$22 million) in 2017, and 2 billion baht (US$64.84 million) per year from 2018 to 2023; the contract includes the supply of torpedoes and missiles used by submarines, with a range of 290 km. The CM-708 anti-ship/ground-to-ground missile is provided free of charge by China. At the press conference, Thailand stated that the advantages of the Chinese S26T submarine include:

1. AIP aerobic propulsion system provides 5 times the underwater life of traditional battery propulsion

2. Equipped with torpedoes, mines, submarine anti-ship/ground missiles

3. Equipped with a rescue capsule and sufficient reserve buoyancy, the damage to any compartment on the ship can still be guaranteed

4. China has rich experience in using submarines and training facilities. The Thai Army can receive training in China.

5. China provides two-year warranty not provided by other manufacturers, guarantees the supply of logistics parts within 8 years, and provides 5 ship condition detection services.

According to the S26T submarine exhibited at CSIC’s 2017 Bangkok Defence Exhibition, its normal water displacement is 2,550 tons, 77.7m long, 8.6m wide, 9.2m high, 300m snorkeling depth, 17 knots, 80%. The snorkeling capacity is 260 nautical miles. When using AIP (heat engine), the submarine voyage is 768 nautical miles (20 days). The overall endurance (mixed diesel and AIP propulsion) is snorkeling for 2000 nautical miles, self-sustaining for about 65 days, and 38 personnel are compiled. The same as China’s own-use meta-class, the submarine is divided into six compartments, with a cross rudder, horizontal shell rudder, equipped with photoelectric masts, can launch anti-ship missiles. It can be seen that the basic size data and layout of the S-26T are similar to those of China’s own use. The normal displacement of the 039B is 2,570 tons, 77m long, 8.6m wide and 9.2m deep.

On September 4, 2018, the first S26T was started at the Wuchang Base of China Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co., Ltd. and is scheduled to be delivered to the Thai Navy in 2023. On September 5, 2019, the first S26T submarine was held at the Wuchang Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Shuangliu Base.

At the end of July 2019, Thailand’s Chiang Rai Times reported that the Royal Thai Navy plans to spend 12 billion baht (about 386 million US dollars) to purchase a second S-26T submarine from China, while planning to spend 40 Yitai baht (about 130 million US dollars) purchased a large dock landing ship from China, and the Royal Thai Navy has submitted the budget plan to the parliament. Source mdc.idv.tw

Essay: Inside the Design of China’s Yuan-class Submarine

By: Capt. Christopher P. Carlson, USN (Retired)

August 31, 2015 2:13 PM • Updated: August 31, 2015 5:39 PM



The Type 039A inherits the tail design of the Type 039 (NATO codename: Song class) with four diving planes and a single large shaft. A pair of foreplanes are positioned in the middle of the sail. The submarine is equipped with indigenously developed cabin-raft (shock absorbers) system that helped to reduce noise level by over 35 dB. Additionally, the submarine is covered with rubber anti-sonar protection tiles to reduce the risk of detection. A new improved “C” variant was also launched.




The Type 039A has six 533 mm torpedo tubes. These can be used to launch indigenous torpedoes such as Yu-6[6]as well as Russian-made torpedoes. It is speculated that it will be equipped with the supersonic YJ-18 currently in development.[6]

Yu-6 Heavyweight torpedo

General data:
Type: Torpedo Weight: 0 kg
Length: 7.8 m Span: 0.533 m
Diameter: 0.533 Generation: None
Properties: Search Pattern, Bearing-Only Launch (BOL)
Targets: Surface Vessel, Submarine
Sensors / EW:
Torpedo Seeker – (Yu-5, ASW & ASuW) Hull Sonar, Active/Passive
Torpedo Seeker, Active/Passive
Max Range: 2.8 km
Yu-6 – (2006, ASW & ASuW, Submarine) Torpedo
Surface Max: 11.1 km. Subsurface Max: 11.1 km.

Source cmano-db.com

Supersonic YJ-18


dafeng cao

The YJ-18 ASCM first cruises at approximately 600 mph right above the surface of the water, and then accelerates to up to Mach 3 (3X the speed of sound) at about 20 nautical miles out from the target ship, making it “harder to hit with on-board guns”, and a “faster target for radars”, according to one Larry Wortzel of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Even worse, the new missile has an operational/engagement range of roughly 290 nautical miles, or roughly 14 times that of its predecessor, the YJ-82. The commission therefore concluded that the YJ-18 missile “could have serious implications for the ability of U.S. Navy surface ships to operate freely in the Western Pacific” in the event of a naval confrontation. In other words, there’s serious concern right now that the YJ-18 can significantly upset the current balance of naval power, i.e., the US Navy’s firepower advantage in the region, and work as an anti-access/area-denial weapon. Source defensereview.com



General data:
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 2300.0 kg
Length: 8.22 m Span: 3.1 m
Diameter: 0.53 Generation: None
Properties: Home On Jam (HOJ), Terrain Following, Search Pattern, Bearing-Only Launch (BOL), Weapon – INS Navigation, Re-Attack Capability, Level Cruise Flight
Targets: Surface Vessel
YJ-18 [3M54E Klub Copy] – (2015, SS-N-27 Sizzler Copy) Guided Weapon
Surface Max: 537.1 km.
Sensors / EW:
Active Radar Seeker – (ASM MR, SS-N-27, ARGS-54) Radar
Weapon Seeker, Active Radar
Max Range: 9.3 km
Passive Radar Seeker – (SS-N-27) ESM
Weapon Seeker, Anti-Radiation
Max Range: 18.5 km

Source cmano-db.com

YJ-18 [3M54E Klub Copy, Rocket Boosted Penetrator] – (2015, SS-N-27 Sizzler Copy) Guided Weapon
Surface Max: 37 km.
YJ-18 ASCM data cmano-db.com

New China TV

The general designer of the torpedo and missile launching system is Mr. Sun Zhuguo (孙柱国, 1937-). The Type 039A is also believed to be capable of launching YJ-8X (C-80X) series anti-ship missiles. The missile uses inertial + terminal active radar guidance. It carries a 165 kg time-delayed semi-armour-piercing high-explosive warhead, with a maximum range of 80~120 km and speed of Mach 0.9. The Type 039A is also capable of firing the CY-1 ASW missile under water, but the status of the missile is in question because nothing is heard about its production. The CY-1 ASW missile has a maximum range of 18 km (10 nm), and when using ET-52 or Yu-7 torpedo as a payload.

C-802/YJ-82, CSS-N-8 Saccade

General data:
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 755 kg
Length: 5.3 m Span: 1.18 m
Diameter: 0.36 Generation: None
Properties: Home On Jam (HOJ), Terrain Following, Search Pattern, Bearing-Only Launch (BOL), Weapon – INS Navigation, Terminal Maneuver – Pop-up, Level Cruise Flight
Targets: Surface Vessel
Sensors / EW:
Passive Radar Seeker – (C-802) ESM
Weapon Seeker, Anti-Radiation
Max Range: 18.5 km
Active Radar Seeker – (ASM MR, C-802) Radar
Weapon Seeker, Active Radar
Max Range: 9.3 km
C-802 [YJ-82, CSS-N-8 Saccade] – (1995, Iranian Noor 2) Guided Weapon
Surface Max: 129.6 km.

Source cmano-db.com

CM-708UNB Sea Eagle ASM

chinese-cm-708una-submarine-launched-cruise-missile-slcm-export-pakistan-deal-missile-antishipPicture shows CM-708UNA which is the earlier version

The new missile, dubbed the CM-708 UNB, is purportedly a derivative of a longer-range version of the submarine-borne YJ-82 ASCM, a rocket-propelled missile launched in a buoyant capsule, with an estimated range of 30 to 40 kilometers (18–24 miles).

The CM-708 UNB, produced by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), allegedly has a range of about 290 kilometers (180 miles) — more than twice the range of a similar ASCM revealed in 2014, the so-called CM-708 UNA, which has a range of 128 kilometers (79 miles).

IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly outlines additional technical specifications of the new weapon:

A 1,200 kg ‘torpedo’ carrier launches the 5.05 m and 700 kg missile, which has a speed of Ma .08 to Ma .09 and uses integrated INS/Satellite and millimeter wave radar for guidance. It is armed with a 155 kg warhead and in its terminal phase flies 5-7 m above the water.

Like the CM-708 UNA, the CM-708 UNB is likely designed to target medium-to-large vessels and could pose a danger to U.S. carrier strike groups. “The CM-708, encased in a torpedo like case, is shot out from the submarine’s torpedo tube, through the water and into the air. The missile then breaks free of its casing, fires its booster and then engine, and flies out to hit its target ship,” Popular Science explains when describing the 128 kilometer variant of the ASCM in 2014.


If the new ASCM’s range proves accurate, it would put Chinese submarines at a safe distance from most anti-submarine warfare systems.  The domestic version of the missile is (or will) likely be deployed aboard China’s conventional submarine fleet, which consists of 13 Song-class (Type 039) diesel-electric attack submarines and 13 more advanced Yuan-class (Type 039A) submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems. Source thediplomat.com


China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASC) is offering the submarine-launched CM-708UNB Sea Eagle ASM. It provides not just People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) submarines, but now foreign buyers, with a stealthy capability to strike naval vessels and inshore targets within a 290km range.

The Sea Eagle has a launch depth of 60m within a 528mm launch tube. Source shephardmedia.com

CY-1 ASW missile

General data:
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 600.0 kg
Length: 4.5 m Span: 1.2 m
Diameter: 0.4 Generation: None
Properties: Bearing-Only Launch (BOL), Weapon – INS Navigation, Level Cruise Flight
Targets: Submarine
CY-1 ASROC [Yu-7] – (1998?) Guided Weapon
Subsurface Max: 18.5 km.

CY-1 data cmano-db.com

New China TV

Generic Acoustic Decoy (2000s, Noisemaker / Bubble Screen)

General data:
Type: Decoy (Expendable) Weight: 3 kg
Length: 0.2 m Span: 0.1 m
Diameter: 0.0 Generation: Early 2000s
Targets: Submarine
Generic Acoustic Decoy – (2000s, Noisemaker / Bubble Screen) Decoy (Expendable)
Subsurface Max: 1.9 km.

Source cmano-db.com

Combat Control Systems

China was known to have imported the Thales TSM 2233 ELEDONE / DSUV-22 and Thales TSM 2255 / DUUX-5 from France during the 1980s and early 1990s. It also has access to a wide range of modern Russian sonar systems (MG-519 MOUSE ROAR, MGK-500 SHARK GILL) through its purchase of the Kilo Class. Comparable systems are expected to be installed for the Type 039A. It is likely to be fitted with a comparable surface/air search radar similar to the MRK-50 SNOOP TRAY, a commercial navigation radar like a Furuno unit observed on a number of SONG class and ESM system is comparable to the Type 921A.

China SQG-2B Hull Sonar Passive-Only

General data:
Type: Hull Sonar, Passive-Only Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 74.1 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Late 1980s
Sensors / EW:
China SQG-2B [DUUX 5] – (Han) Hull Sonar, Passive-Only
Role: Hull Sonar, Passive-Only Ranging Flank Array Search & Track
Max Range: 74.1 km

Source cmano-db.com

China SQC-1 Hull Sonar

General data:
Type: Hull Sonar, Active/Passive Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 74.1 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Late 1970s
Sensors / EW:
China SQC-1 [DSUV 2H + DUUA 2D] – (DSUV 22 System, Han) Hull Sonar, Active/Passive
Role: Hull Sonar, Active/Passive Search & Track
Max Range: 74.1 km

Source cmano-db.com

China Type 921-A Golf Ball Radar Warning Receiver

General data:
Type: ESM Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 222.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Late 1960s
Sensors / EW:
China Type 921-A Golf Ball – (Submarine, Stop Light) ESM
Role: RWR, Radar Warning Receiver
Max Range: 222.2 km

Source cmano-db.com


Snoop Tray 2 Radar, Surface Search, Short-Range

General data:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 37 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.6 km Generation: Early 1970s
Properties: Pulse-only Radar
Sensors / EW:
Snoop Tray 2 [MRK-50E Kaskad] – (Export) Radar
Role: Radar, Surface Search, Short-Range
Max Range: 37 km

Source cmano-db.com


Generic Acoustic Intercept  (Active Sonar Warning)

General data:
Type: Acoustic Intercept (Active Sonar Warning) Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 27.8 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Late 1970s
Sensors / EW:
Generic Acoustic Intercept – Acoustic Intercept (Active Sonar Warning)
Role: Acoustic Intercept
Max Range: 27.8 km

Source cmano-db.com


According to the Chinese newspaper Science and Technology Daily (科技日报), this 039A class is equipped with an air-independent propulsion system developed by the 711th Research Institute of the China Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Group Corp.[7] Referred as a “specialized engine” in official Chinese sources. The 711th Institute was founded in April 1963, but it was not until more than a decade later, in 1975, that it ventured into the field of air-independent propulsion systems by establishing an office for a “specialized engine,” setting up a team of about a dozen researchers.



China is building a powerful submarine fleet, including domestically built Song and Yuan-class boats. The beating hearts of these subs are state-of-the-art diesel engines designed by MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH of Friedrichshafen, Germany. Alongside 12 advanced Kilo-class submarines imported from Russia, these German-powered boats are the workhorses of China’s modern conventional submarine force.

According to The Washington Times (July 16, 2004), American officials initially believed the submarine was diesel-powered. In March 2007 Jane’s Navy International reported that the Yuan class was fitted with an AIP system developed by the No.711 Research Institute. Yuan is using an AIP engine of 100 kw in power, and is probably equipped with 2 such AIP engine. The Gotland submarines use 2 V4-275R stirling AIP units (each rated 75 kw). The larger Yuan obviously needs more powerful AIP units. Source globalsecurity.org

China offers S-26 conventional submarine with Stirling engine AIP

p1699100An image released during IDEX 2017 clearly shows an oxygen tank (circled in red) for the Sterling cycle AIP system. (CSOC)

A CSOC brochure notes that its 2,660 ton displacement ‘Conventional Submarine’ has a length of 79.5 m, a beam of 8.6 m, maximum speed of 18 kt, a range of 8,000 n miles at 4 kt, and a maximum dive depth of 300 m.  Source janes.com

Currently the special engine research process, 711 Research Institute this as an opportunity to train a large number of technical backbone. From presiding at the beginning of the project, the team only if more than 10 people, which grew to more than 100 people. Emerging model of Shanghai, Shanghai Youth Science and technology and other advanced character of excellence, and that’s what this team, was recognized as the people’s Liberation Army General armament Department “researching advanced group”, has twice been awarded the “Shanghai model workers collective”.[8]

By June 1996 that team had developed into the “specialized engine engineering research center”; by 2008 there were more than a hundred researchers. In 1998, the first experimental sample was built and a decade later and after a dozen technological breakthroughs, a wide range of matured versions became commercially available and the newest diesel-electric submarine in Chinese navy became the first customer. Although the official Chinese source had not mentioned the exact class of the submarine, it is generally accepted that the class is no other than Type 039A Yuan class, since it is the newest conventional powered submarine in the Chinese navy. The engine is built by Shanghai Qiyao Propulsion Technology Ltd. (上海齐耀动力技术有限公司), a wholly owned subsidiary of the 711th Institute.[7]


The technical information on the Winston Battery WB-LYP10000AHA in large submarines gives some ideas about the size of the battery pack for the Yuan-class of diesel-electric submarines to be equipped with an air-independent propulsion system (AIP) powered from large battery banks. The battery pack consists of 960 pcs of the WB-LYP10000AHA cells making the total energy of 31MWh. The lithium battery is saving some 260 tons of weight against the original lead-acid pack. With this pack the Yuan-class (B-class) diesel-electric submarine can drive 3300 nautical miles or it can stay under water for 800 hours (33 days). This indicates the average onboard consumption of the submarine when not moving is some 38kW/h. Source globalsecurity.org

Winston Battery WB-LYP10000AHA


Source winston-battery.com


The Yuan class SSK is integrated with advanced noise reduction techniques including anechoic tiles, passive/active noise reduction, asymmetrical seven-blade skewed propeller, the 039A is expected to be as quiet as other modern diesel-electric submarines, which are very difficult to track.

Anechoic tiles

Anechoic tiles are used on the YuanAnechoic tiles are used on the YuanAnechoic tiles are used on the YuanAnechoic tiles are used on the Yuan


Ship name Yuan-class conventional power submarine

(Yuan class, Type-039A/B/C)

Country/shipyard China/ Wuchang Shipyard

Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing Factory

Size (meter) Length 77 width 8.6 type depth 9.2 draught 5.5
Displacement (ton) Floating displacement 2570
Submarine displacement is about 3600
Power system / shaft horsepower MTU 16V396 SE8 diesel engine*3/ 5000

Propulsion motor*1

Sterling aerated propulsion system

Single-axis seven-blade propeller

Speed ​​(section)
Endurance (Haicang)
Maximum depth (meter)
Surface detection / counter system Periscope group (possible photo-sensing equipment)

Electronic support system*1

I-band plane search radar*1

Underwater detection system Shipboard master/passive search/attack sonar
Passive ranging sonar205 side passive array sonar
Combat system Integrated command and weapon control system
Crew 58
Shipborne armed 533mm torpedo launcher* 6 (using fish-6 line torpedo, eagle-82 anti-ship missile, eagle hit 18 anti-ship/land attack missile, long raft type 1 anti-submarine missile, submarine shot land attack missile, mine, etc.)

Specification by captain Picard via mdc.idv.tw

Main material source wikiwand.com

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Main image by East Pendulum

Updated Sept, 2019

1 thought on “Yuan Type 039A / B / C – Type 041 submarine Yuan Class

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