Since a video was leaked of a new Chinese submarine on February 8, analysts have been trying to make sense of it. While the Chinese Navy’s (PLAN) overall submarine expansion has been towards larger submarines, notably nuclear-powered ones, this new boat does not fit the expected trend. It may be sophisticated, but it is also small. It does not neatly fit into the array of types currently fielded by other major navies. China is, it appears, doing its own thing.
The submarine was visible in a short video clip uploaded on Chinese social media. The video was later deleted from some of the initial accounts, after it attracted attention, but not before we had gathered the key information. Naval News has been able to provisionally geolocate the video to a particular spot along the Yangtze River in China.