The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has received an unspecified nuclear submarine from the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).
The handing over could have taken place anytime in the last five years since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012.
CSIC, which also manufactures China's aircraft carrier, posted the information on its WeChat account Tuesday in an article reviewing its achievements since CPC-18.
"The past five years since the 18th National Congress of the CPC has been an extraordinary period for the CSIC, with the handover of China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning to the PLA Navy, the launch of the first homegrown aircraft carrier, the completion of the new nuclear submarine and the deep-sea-exploration submersible Jiaolon," the article said.
The article did not reveal the submarine's name and type setting off speculation that the submarine could be the Type 096, China's most advanced nuclear submarine, and the successor of the current Type 094.
However, experts opined that the submarine the CSIC mentioned could be Type 094 or Type 093, but not the next generation nuclear-powered ballistic submarine Type 096, since Type 096 is too advanced and not to be completed soon, Song Zhongping, a military expert who served in the PLA Rocket Force, told the Global Times.
The Type 096, will likely begin construction in the early 2020s, and will reportedly be armed with the JL-3, a submarine-based ballistic missile which can be armed with a nuclear warhead.