Yuan Type 039A / 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.[4] It is China’s first AIP powered submarine and presumed to be one of the quietest diesel-electric submarine classes in service.[5] 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.”.[6] 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.


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.

The plan to buy the three Chinese-built submarines worth 36 billion baht (US$1.05 billion) was confirmed in July, signaling warming ties since relations with the United States cooled after a May 2014 military coup.

“The Cabinet approved one submarine purchase on April 18,” spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd told reporters, adding that a budget of 13.5 billion baht (US$393 million) has been earmarked for the Yuan Class S26T submarine over a six-year period.

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

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

Type Anti-ship cruise missile
land attack cruise missile[1]
Place of origin People’s Republic of China
Service history
In service 2015-present[2]
Used by People’s Liberation Army Navy
Warhead 140–300 kg (310–660 lb) warhead[2]

Anti-ship variants 300–400 km (190–250 mi; 160–220 nmi) est

Land-attack variants 1,400–1,500 km (870–930 mi; 760–810 nmi) est

Speed Mach 0.8 (cruising)
Mach 2.5-3.0 (terminal)
BeiDou Navigation Satellite System
onboard radar seeker

YJ-18 ASCM data wikiwand.com

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

 CY-1 ASW missile

Type ASW weapon
Place of origin  China
Service history
In service late 1980s – present
Used by China
Production history
Produced late 1980s
Weight ≈0.6 ton
Length ≈1.2 meter
Diameter ≈0.4 meter
Warhead light torpedo

Engine rocket motor
Wingspan 1.2 meter
Propellant solid fuel
≈20 km
Speed supersonic
inertial in flight, passive / active sonar in water
Air, surface & submerged

CY-1 data wikiwand.com

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 [DUUX 5] (Han)

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 [DSUV 2H + DUUA 2D] (DSUV 22 System, Han)

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 (Submarine, Stop Light)

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 [MRK-50E Kaskad] (Export)

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

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]

 photo zztype041.jpg

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
Class overview
Name: Yuan-class
Builders: Wuchang Shipbuilding, Wuhan
Operators:  People’s Liberation Army Navy
Preceded by: Type 039 (Song-class)
Succeeded by: Type 039C
In commission: 2006-present
Building: 5[1][2]
Planned: 20[1]
Completed: 15[1][2]
Active: 15[1][2]
General characteristics
Type: SSK
Displacement: 3,600 t (3,500 long tons) (submerged)
Length: 77.6 m (254 ft 7 in)[3]
Beam: 8.4 meters[3]
Draft: 6.7 meter square.[3]
Propulsion: Diesel-electric, 1 shaft, AIP
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Test depth: 400 m
Complement: 38
Armament: 6 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes, Anti-Ship missiles

Main material source wikiwand.com

Updated Apr 26, 2017


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