02:24 GMT21 June 2021
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    As China’s navy continues to expand, it’s pushing existing shipyards to the limit. Recent satellite images show the country’s only facility for building nuclear submarines is undergoing considerable expansion.

    Photos taken by the South Korean reconnaissance satellite Arirang-2 on September 19 show the Bohai Shipyard at Huludao, in China’s Liaoning Province, is in the midst of a major expansion project.

    According to USNI News, which first obtained the image via ShadowBreak Intl, Bohai is building a second construction hall, allowing it to build two submarines simultaneously. At present, the shipyard can only build one large nuclear-powered submarine at a time, meaning that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) can only receive one new submarine at a time.

    Asia Times reported in June that Bohai had been expanding its facilities since 2014, but with the dawn of the new Type 095 nuclear-powered attack submarine and the upcoming Type 096 ballistic missile submarine, the existing facilities likely cannot fit more than one sub at once. However, USNI News claimed each hall could still hold two submarines at once.

    For a navy that hopes to get at least six new nuclear-powered attack submarines in the next decade, that’s a troublesome bottleneck.

    China’s other shipyards are expanding, too, such as the massive project outside Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, where the PLAN’s two new Type 002 aircraft carriers are being built.

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    Tags:
    expansion, shipyard, submarines, China, Dalian
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