Tag Archives: Chinese Navy

Danish pacifist Hans Kristensen understates the Chinese threat again

Hans M. Kristensen, a lifelong Danish pacifist and advocate of the West’s unilateral disarmament since his earliest youth days, now an anti-nuclear hack at the FAS, seems to be bored these days. He has just penned another blogpost where he stubbornly denies and understates the Chinese nuclear threat, despite all the evidence that the threat is very grave and much more serious than he admits.

He says he has just spotted another Jin class ballistic missile submarine at the Huludao shipyard in commercial satellite imagery, and then repeats his old lies (popular among the advocates of America’s unilateral disarmament) that:

  • China has only 3-4 Jin class ballistic missile subs;
  • that they’re so noisy they’d be easy for the US Navy to detect; and
  • that their JL-2 missiles only have a 7,400 km range and cannot target the US West Coast (let alone the rest of the CONUS) unless they sail “deep into the Pacific Ocean.

All of his claims are utterly false, and have already been disproven two times here at CDN. For those who were not following CDN at the time, though, I’ll show the evidence disproving those claims once again.

Firstly, the number. According to the DOD and private websites, China already has five Jin class submarines, with a sixth one under construction. Also, despite Kristensen’s claim, the next generation of Chinese ballistic missile subs (SSBNs), the Type 096, is not merely in development, it’s already undergoing sea trials and could begin sea patrols as early as this year, according to DOD officials.

Secondly, regarding the JL-2 missile’s range, it is at least 8,000 kilometers, NOT the mere 7,400 kms that Kristensen falsely claims. The 8,000 km figure is confirmed by a wide range of sources, from GlobalSecurity to SinoDefence. As late as 2008, the DOD itself was saying the JL-2’s range was 8,000 kms, and giving maps showing it could reach half of the Continental US. See this map from the DOD’s 2008 report on the Chinese military:

PLA_ballistic_missiles_range-590x362

GlobalSecurity, in fact, says the JL-2’s range may be as much as 9,000 kms or more. Specifically, it says (emphasis mine):

“The missile is apparently roughly comparable in size and performance to the American TRIDENT C-4 long-range multiple-warhead three-stage solid fuel missile missile that is launched from submerged submarines.

The missile will reportedly carry either 3 or 4 MIRV (90kT each) or a single warhead with a yield of 250-1000 kT. Other reports suggest that each missile might be loaded with as many as six warheads.

 Most reports agree that the JL-2 will have a range of about 8,000 km, while some reports suggest that the missile will have an estimated range at least 9,000 kilometers.

But even assuming it’s a mere 7,800 kms, it could still hit Seattle and San Francisco if launched from the Sea of Japan or the Tsugaru Strait (between the Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Honshu), or from a position just east of Honshu Island, west of the 150E meridian.

There go two major US urban areas.

Los Angeles could be hit from launch positions just slightly east of the 150E meridian.

There goes America’s second-largest urban area.

easia_oceania_92_2

Note that 8,000 kms is just the range of the BASIC JL-2 variant. China is now developing, and has repeatedly tested, two newer JL-2 variants: the Jia and the Yi. The former has a range of 12,000, and the latter a range of 14,000, kilometers. This will allow Chinese submarines to strike targets anywhere in the Continental US while being in their homeports.

Thirdly, Kristensen falsely claims that the Jin class is so noisy it would easily be sunk in any war.

This is also patently false. While the Jin class is not nearly as quiet as China’s diesel-electric attack submarines, it is still quiet enough to evade detection by the USN. Why?

Because the USN sucks – especially at anti-submarine warfare, which was always been its Achilles Heel.

During WW2, the waters off the East Coast were safe hunting grounds for the German Navy’s U-boats, so much so that American leaders complained that “the Battle of the Atlantic is being lost” and had to ask the UK and Canada to provide escorts for US ships. During WW2, the USN sunk fewer than 200 German U-boats, while the British and Canadian navies sunk a total of 491.

During the Cold War, the US Navy again showed its utter incompetence and inability to seriously perform ASW missions, with American and allied submarines – even old ones, such as HMCS Okanagan – repeatedly “sinking” US surface warships in exercises, and with Soviet submarines also routinely pinging USN warships.

Matters have only gotten worse since the end of the Cold War. The SOSUS detection system is gone, the S-3 Viking carrier-based ASW aircraft has been retired without replacement, and the fleet of P-3 Orion ASW aircraft has been cut by more than half. Deliveries of the P-8 Poseidon aircraft are very slow, and very few of them are on order. Nor has the USN practiced ASW seriously since the Cold War’s end.

In fact, in the last 3 decades, everyone and their dog has been able to avoid detection by the USN. That includes the Chinese, whose Song-class diesel-electric sub secretly stalked the USS Kitty Hawk in 2006 before suddenly surfacing just 5 miles away from that carrier, in a perfect position to sink it.

For more on the USN’s total incompetence at ASW (and at naval warfare in general), see Roger Thompson, Lessons Not Learned: The Status Quo Culture of the US Navy, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2007, pp. 15-62.

And as the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote in his Art of War treatise:

“To secure ourselves against defeat lies within our ability, but the opportunity for victory is always provided by the enemy himself.”

Now, the Jin class is nuclear-powered, and somewhat noisier than the Song class, but the waters around Japan –  especially in the Sea of Japan – are quite congested and noisy and are a perfect environment in which Jin class SSBNs could hide.

Hiding in the open ocean – in the vast swathes of the Pacific – would, if anything, be even easier, since the area in which to look for a Jin class sub would be even larger.

And in any case, the Chinese – as stated above – are already testing their new SSBN class, the Type 096, which is much quieter than the Jin class and can carry twice as many ballistic missiles (24 vs the Jin’s 12). It is due to begin sea patrols this year, as DOD officials have stated.

On top of that, China has a new, diesel-electric ballistic missile submarine (the Type 041), which is even quieter than the Song class. It’s virtually undetectable – especially to such a second-rate navy as the USN.

Kristensen also claims – with no evidence to base his claims on – that the DOD’s assessment that the Jin class and the JL-2 will give China “its first credible and survivable at=-sea nuclear deterrent” is overoptimistic from the Chinese perspective. But it’s not, and the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission reached a similar conclusion last year:

“China’s Julang-2 (JL–2) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) is expected to reach initial operational capability by late 2013. The JL–2, when mated with the PLA Navy’s JIN-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), will give China its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent. The JIN SSBN/JL–2 weapon system will have a range of approximately 4,000 nautical miles (nm), allowing the PLA Navy to target the continental United States from China’s littoral waters. China has deployed three JIN SSBNs and probably will field two additional units by 2020. China also is developing its next generation SSBN, the Type 096, which likely will improve the range, mobility, stealth, and lethality of the PLA Navy’s nuclear deterrent.”

Now, why does Kristensen and other anti-nuclear hacks dramatically understate the Chinese nuclear threat, you may ask?

The reason is simple: to mislead the public and policymakers into accepting deep unilateral defense cuts, so that America becomes militarily inferior to and defenseless against China and Russia. This has always been Western pacifists’ goal, and many of them, including Kristensen, have been paid by the Kremlin to advocate the West’s unilateral disarmament.

Lulling the opponent into a false sense of security, and thus causing him to lower his guard, is an old military concept well understood by Sun Tzu, who taught his acolytes (in the Art of War, Chapter I, verses 18-19 and 22):

 “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. (…) If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.”

America’s top military brass and political class have indeed grown arrogant, so cocksure of their imaginary superiority, not realizing China and Russia have already caught up with the US military in most respects and are now working hard on closing the few remaining gaps.

So all of Kristensen’s claims are utterly false. Jin class submarines can easily avoid detection by the USN; there are currently five of them, with a sixth under construction; they will soon be joined by newer, and much quieter, subs; and their JL-2 missiles, even in their basic variant, have more than enough range to strike the Continental US from the Sea of Japan.

Rebuttal of Robert Gates and his BS book

Eagle- America Deserves Better

Today,  a book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates will hit the stores. Already some parts of it have been released to the media, which, depending on their political preferences, have focused on the parts favorable or unfavorable to Obama and the Democrats.

But equally (if not more) important is Robert Gates’ disastrous tenure as Defense Secretary under both Presidents Bush and Obama, which, even before Obama’s arrival at the White House, began to sow the seeds of America’s military and thus geopolitical decline.

Crucial Platforms Killed On False Pretexts

Gates calls himself “a Defense Secretary at War”, even though he has never seen one day of combat, has never been deployed to a war zone, and spent his entire “career in the national security arena” as a bureaucrat in Washington, DC. Most of his book is about how he ran the disastrous and useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I’ll get to that later.

But first, let me tell you how Gates tried to pay for these utterly useless wars that he was singularly obsessed with: by killing the very weapons systems America needs now and will need in the future to deter and if necessary defeat China, Russia, Iran, and other potential aggressors.

Based on his singular obssession with Afghanistan and Iraq, his myopic shortsightedness, and his naive view of China and Russia, Gates killed over 50 crucial weapon programs based on the most idiotic of pretexts.

For example, he stopped the production of the F-22 fighter – the best jet fighter ever built – at a mere 187 copies, whereas the USAF had long said that at least 337 would be needed to maintain US air superiority and defeat advanced Russian and Chinese fighters, and despite clear evidence from experts such as those at the Air Force Association and Air Power Australia that ONLY the F-22 Raptor could meet that requirement.

Gates thus participated in the smear propaganda against the F-22, fired Air Force Secretary Mike Wynne and Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley (who advocated continuing its production), forced other Air Force F-22 advocates to retire, and advised Obama to veto any defense bill containing funding for F-22 production – a veto threat that sufficed to scare Congress into deleting that funding after it had already been authorized by the House Armed Services Committee, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and the full House.

Gates also refused to buy the F-15 Silent Eagle – the newest version of the venerable and combat-proven F-15 Eagle equipped with the newest radar and IRST system, conformal (internal) weapon bays, and stealthy from the front. He put all of America’s airpower eggs into one basket – the utterly failed F-35 program – and killed virtually every alternative to it.

That decision has proven itself to be the most idiotic any defense secretary has ever made, for the F-35 is so well-known for its cost-overruns, delays, bugs, and giant weaknesses that there wouldn’t be enough space even in a dedicated article to list them all, or even to list all references to sources narrating them.

But those cost overruns, delays, bugs, and weaknesses were already well-known in 2009, when Gates killed the F-22 Raptor. Since then, of course, the F-35 Junk Strike Fighter program’s performance has dramatically deteriorated further: the cost overruns and delays have mounted, critical systems have been deleted from the F-35 to reduce cost, and allies are now balking at buying it and looking for alternatives. Which competitors like Dassault, EADS, Saab, and others are all too happy to provide.

(What is the difference between the F-22 and the F-35? The former was designed from the start to do one thing: achieve absolute air superiority. To that end, it is has a tiny radar signature to evade radar detection, is very fast and high-flying, is very agile and maneuverable, has the most powerful fighter radar in the world, and can carry 8 missiles in its stealthy mode – or 12 when enemy air defenses are down. By contrast, the F-35 is not truly stealthy, can carry only 4 missiles, is slow and low-flying, and is so heavy and unmaneuverable that jets from the 1960s could easily defeat it. It is useful neither for air to air nor air to ground combat. It’s not capable or survivable enough for high-tech environments, and is too expensive and overbuilt for counter-insurgency operations.)

The F-22 was but one of the many crucial weapon systems Bob Gates killed, thus leaving the US military unprepared for the current military competition with China and Russia. He killed the stealthy Zumwalt class of destroyers at just 3 ships, supposedly on cost grounds, but ignoring the fact that it was precisely the reduction of planned orders from 32 to 3 ships that caused the price to spike – because economies of scale were lost. He killed the AC-X gunship, a badly-needed replacement for the USAF’s Vietnam-era AC-130 gunships, and the EP-X electronic intelligence plane, a sorely needed replacement for the EP-3. He terminated C-17 production at 221 aircraft, claiming the USAF had ordered enough of these, when the USAF was actually so short on airlifters it had to rent Russian aircraft – at higher prices than what it would pay for BUYING more C-17s.

Most worryingly of all, Gates terminated the Multiple Kill Vehicle, Kinetic Energy Interceptor, and Airborne Laser programs in 2009. The MKV would’ve been a kinetic metal “warhead” designed to shoot down enemy missiles. It was to be kind of a defensive MIRV bus which would’ve released dozens of small “kill vehicles” that would’ve shot down lots of enemy ballistic missiles all at once. (Currently, a single kill vehicle from a single interceptor can kill only one enemy missile.) This would’ve solved the target discrimination problem missile defense critics often complain about – which among the missiles or warheads are real ones and which ones are duds would’ve been irrelevant, because ALL of them would be shot down.

The KEI and the Airborne Laser, for their part, would’ve enabled the US to shoot down enemy missiles in the earliest phase of their flight, when their countermeasures have NOT been deployed yet and their deadly payloads have not yet been released. In other words, when enemy missiles are the most vulnerable. This would’ve come in handy when countering any missiles, especially the hypersonic, high-speed global range missile recently tested by China (as reported by Bill Gertz in the WFB).

But America no longer has that option – because Secretary Gates terminated both of these programs in 2009, even though the ABL program, despite its infancy, was progressing well, having passed 3 out of its 5 tests before being terminated.

So when you read Bill Gertz’s articles in the WFB, the Washington Times, on Fox News, or elsewhere about China’s global range hypersonic missiles, remember America does NOT have defenses capable of stopping those missiles, and that is thanks to Obama and Gates.

Russian and Chinese threats on the horizon

But China’s development as a huge threat to US and allied security, and as a contender to replace the US as the world’s top military power, is nothing new. It was already evident during Gates’ tenure as SECDEF.

Already during Gates’ time, there already was strong evidence that China was closing most gaps with the US military and working to create its own unique advantages. There already was solid evidence China was working to overtake the US militarily and would achieve that objective absent US efforts to maintain an edge over Beijing. Yet, Gates harbored a desire to appease Beijing as well as to drive America deeper into useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So he ignored all that evidence, surpressed the truth and professional advice, lied to the American public, appeased Beijing with word and deed, and killed the very programs needed to counter the People’s Republic’s military buildup.

By 2009, China already had more attack submarines, and almost as many subs in total, as the US – and was steadily replacing old ones with new, ultra-quiet ones. It already had a large nuclear arsenal. It already had two stealth fighters under development. It already had almost as many ships in total as the US Navy, had deployed a dense and modern air defense network, already wielded thousands of missiles capable of targeting all US bases in the Western Pacific, already possessed anti-satellite kinetic and laser weapons, and already had hundreds of advanced fighter aircraft.

Russia was also busy building up its military, increasing its nuclear arsenal, and developing new, cutting edge weapons.

In 2010, Russia’s first stealth fighter, the PAK FA, first flew. This aircraft, when it enters service, will render EVERY fighter in the world except the F-22 Raptor impotent, irrelevant, obsolete, and useless. It will essentially be Russia’s response to the Raptor.

In January 2011, China’s first stealth fighter, the J-20, took to the air – at exactly the time Gates was visiting China. The Gates Pentagon was caught completely by surprise by this development, even though those of us who were clear-eyed about the Chinese threat had been warning for years that the J-20 (J-XX) would soon perform its maiden flight.

At the same time, China and Russia were also protecting America’s enemies North Korea and Iran and shielding them from any consequences of their provocations and illegal nuclear programs.

Also, advanced Chinese and Russian weapons, including the forementioned fighters, will be available to anyone able to pay for them.

But whenever someone dared to call on the US to prepare itself for possible confrontations with China, Gates derided that person as ill with “next-war-itis”, and he ordered the DOD to limit itself to fighting useless “counter-insurgency” wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Under Gates, tens of billions of dollars were thrown away buying mine-resistant vehicles and nonstealthy, short-ranged, poorly armed drones like the Predator and the Reaper – which are useful only for fighting terrorists, but utterly useless against any nation state wielding any advanced weaponry.

Now that the Iraq war is long over, and the Afghan war is coming to an end, all those mine-resistant (MRAP) vehicles and drones will have to be sold to allies, stored, or scrapped.

Thanks to Gates, who stubbornly advocated staying in Afghanistan and Iraq almost indefinitely and throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at them, the US is now dramatically worse off: well over a trillion dollars has been spent fighting those wars, billions more will be spent on caring for veterans of these wars, and over 5,400 brave US troops have died for no good reason.

While Gates attempts to portray himself as a man who stood by military uniformed leaders during crisis times, his tenure in the Pentagon was actually marked by an unrestrained use of political power to surpress the truth and professional military advice in order to fund Gates’ pet projects like the F-35, MRAP vehicles, drones, and, of course, the useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Enabling Obama’s unilateral disarmament of the US

As Defense Secretary, Gates has greatly helped Obama gut the US military – and not just through the program killings listed above, but also through his advocacy of arms control agreements that obligate only the US to disarm itself.

Gates supported the treasonous New START treaty, which obligates the US (but not Russia) to cut its deployed strategic nuclear arsenal to just 1,550 warheads and 700 deployed delivery systems – and Obama envisions even more cuts, down to just 1,000 warheads. That will necessitate, among other things, cutting at least 30 ICBMs. Gates lied to the Congress that the treaty would’ve allowed the US to maintain a sufficient nuclear arsenal and, ridiculously, claimed it would “protect” US nuclear modernization programs, which it actually threatens. He and Hillary Clinton also lied to the Congress that the treaty does not constrain US missile defenses, which it actually does.

Gates also supported the Law of the Sea Treaty, which the Reagan Administration rightly rejected and which would’ve cost America its sovereignty, subordinating it to the corrupt UN and its kangaroo maritime dispute courts, and would’ve cost US taxpayers billions of dollars in new contributions to the wasteful, corrupt UN.

Final verdict: an Obama yes-boy and a traitor

Therefore, based on the above facts about Gates’ tenure as SECDEF, an honest person cannot assess him as anything else as an Obama yes-boy, a traitor, and an utter failure as Defense Secretary. No honest person, and especially no Republican, should give him credit for anything – he does not deserve it. Gates deserves, in fact, to be tried, convicted, and executed as a traitor.

Dismissing China’s Jin SSBN class is wrong

Nuclear disarmament advocates like Hans Kristensen (a lifelong anti-nuclear activist) and Jeffrey Lewis both dismiss China’s Jin class of ballistic missile submarines as obsolete and comparable only to the Soviet Delta III class, with Lewis wrongly calling the Jin class “a good deterrent – for the 1960s”.

But they are wrong. And as advocates of America’s unilateral disarmament, they have an incentive to lie, specifically, to minimize and downplay the Chinese threat.

And the Jin class is hardly an obsolete deterrent fit only for the 1960s.

Kristensen and Lewis base their false claims on two false arguments: that the Jin class is noisy, and that the range of its SLBMs is sufficient only to reach Alaska and Hawaii. Lewis has even said that he’s willing to sacrifice Anchorage (where two of my friends live) for Taipei.

But they are wrong.

While the first Jin class boat was indeed noisy, as depicted by the Office of Naval Intelligence, this is not a problem for the Chinese Navy. If the Jin class patrols in constrained, congested waters like the Sea of Japan or the Philippine Sea, it’s quiet enough to avoid detection in these noisy, congested waters where it’s hard to distinguish it from other naval vessels or from civilian ships.

And if it patrols in the vast swathes of the open Pacific Ocean, as I suspect it does, the vast size of that ocean – the largest body of water on Earth – makes it extremely hard to find a Jin class boat, because you don’t know where to look for it. To find it, you’d have to search the entire ocean, and no navy will ever have the resources to do that.

Moreover, in the last 11 years, the USN’s anti-submarine warfare skills have atrophied disastrously as a result of the DOD’s previous, obsessive singular focus on COIN wars. The Navy’s P-3 Orion crews, for example, have spent little time training for ASW, and almost all of their time conducting ISR missions over Afghanistan and Iraq. The P-3 Orion fleet has also shrank disastrously in numbers, its replacement (the P-8 Poseidon plane) has been delayed and orders are insufficient, and the S-3 Viking carrier-borne ASW plane has been retired. The Chief of Naval Operations himself has admitted that the Navy’s ASW skills have atrophied.

Such skills and capabilities will take many years, if not decades, to regain.

As for the JL-2, multiple sources confirm that the JL-2 has a range of 8,000 kilometers. That gives the Jin class the capability to target all of America’s West Coast – from Alaska all the way south to San Diego, and all cities and military facilities there – while staying west of 160 degrees east, far from the CONUS and not far from their homeport. To be within range of the entire West Coast of the CONUS, including San Diego, they’d have to sail just slightly east of Japan, to slightly more than 150E. To be within range of Seattle, they can actually stay west of Japan, in the Sea of Japan. To hit targets as far as Houston, they’d have to sail just slightly east of Hawaii.

This is far better than “a deterrent suitable for the 1960s”. China’s navy already has submarines and missiles that can target America’s West Coast while being relatively close to their homeport, west of 160E, thanks to the JL-2′s 8,000 km range. This is a feat that the Soviet Navy did not achieve until the 1980s.

When the first Soviet ballistic missile submarines wre commissioned and went on patrol, they had to patrol relatively close to America’s coasts – just 300 kms away from them. This was due to their missiles’ short range.

But as the range of Soviet ballistic missiles significantly increased, their subs became capable of launching these SLBMs far away from America and close to their homeports, north of the GIUK gap. These areas far away from the US, close to their homeports, were considered “bastions” by the Russians.

The deployment of Typhoon class SSBNs armed with long-ranged SLBMs gave the Soviet Navy the capability to hit the US while being in their homeports.

Look at the maps here.

In the 1980s, the Delta I class, armed with the new SS-N-20 SLBMs, was able to target the CONUS while being far away from it and patrolling nearby Greenland and Alaska.

The deployment of even longer-ranged SLBMs gave Soviet submarines the ability to target the CONUS while being between Scotland and Greenland (the Yankee class) or north of Scotland behind the GIUK gap, as well as around Kamchatka and nearby Vladivostok in the Sea of Japan (the Delta II/III class). In other words, the Delta II/III class, with newer SLBMs, could stay close to its own homeports in the Pacific Ocean (Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky), in home waters around Kamchatka and Vladivostok, and still hit the West Coast; or stay safely behind the GIUK gap and still hit the East Coast. The following map illustrates this.

But the Soviets didn’t achieve that feat until the late 1980s.

China has already achieved that feat. It has already achieved what the Soviet Union needed four decades to accomplish. As I stated earlier, the JL-2 SLBM’s range, 8000 kms, allows Jin class SSBNs to hit the entire West Coast of the US while still being relatively close to home, west of 160E. Here’s a map illustrating this. The area marked in red is the approximate area closest to China from where a Jin class boat could launch its SLBMs at any point on the West Coast. It’s just slightly east of 150E longitude.

In the 1980s, in the Soviet Union, newer, longer-ranged SLBMs such as the SS-N-23 and the R-29 Sinyeva gave the Russians even greater capability. By the late 1980s, their SSBNs could stay in homeport, or around it in home waters near the Kola Peninsula, and still hit the CONUS.

Of course, the Russian Navy’s even newer and longer-ranged SLBMs, the R-29M Sinyeva and the SS-NX-30 Bulava, have an even longer range. But the Russian Navy’s SSBNs can already hit most of the US while being in homeport or in Russian territorial waters.

In conclusion, the Jin class, which consists of 5 boats soon to be joined by a sixth one, is a very formidable deterrent, with the ability to hide in the congested, noisy waters nearby the Asian landmass and the vast swathes of the Pacific Ocean where the Navy wouldn’t know where to find it. Making the job even easier for China, the USN’s anti-submarine-warfare skills have atrophied and will take many years, if not decades, to regain. Moreover, the JL-2 SLBM’s long range (8000 kms) allows the Jin to target all of America’s West Coast while still being relatively close to home, west of 160E, just east of Japan.

And the further east, the further out to the Pacific Ocean the Jin class ventures, the more targets in the US its missiles can hit.

Furthermore, contrary to Hans Kristensen’s lie, the JL-2 can carry 3-4 warheads (or up to 8, according to MissileThreat.com), not just one. Each Jin class boat can carry 12-24 missiles, thus carrying up to 96 of them; so China’s 5-boat Jin class (soon to be joined by a sixth Jin) can carry at minimum 240, and up to 480, warheads.

In other words, Kristensen and Lewis have been proven dead wrong yet again. This is no surprise, because both of these anti-defense, anti-nuclear hacks have an agenda to lie (in this case, to minimize and downplay the Chinese nuclear threat), because any evidence that China is a greater threat than they admit would be a threat to their agenda of unilaterally disarming the US. Given that the Chinese nuclear threat is far greater than they admit, though, such an agenda would be downright suicidal and disastrous for the US.