1st Edition

Tracing the Undersea Dragon
Chinese SSBN Programme and the Indo-Pacific

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after August 6, 2021
ISBN 9780367612641
August 6, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge India
230 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book is a comprehensive study of the development of China’s Nuclear-powered Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs).  It offers insights into the secretive world of nuclear submarines and ballistic missiles of the Chinese (PLA) Navy, and studies how these are likely to grow in the next two decades.


The volume examines the technological origins of the design and development of Chinese nuclear submarines, ballistic missiles, and their naval construction capabilities. It provides an analysis of the underlying Chinese nuclear doctrine, China’s maritime geographical constraints for submarine operations, and the credibility of its sea-based deterrence. It draws upon strategy, nuclear policy, technology, geography and operational considerations to holistically predict the likely SSBN force levels of the PLA Navy for various scenarios. The book also assesses the spectrum of threats likely from the undersea domain for India and other nations in the Indo-Pacific region.


A key text on an obscure but vital facet of Chinese defence studies, this book will be useful for scholars and researchers of strategic affairs, international relations and disarmament studies, peace and conflict studies, geopolitics, foreign policy, Indo-Pacific studies, and diplomacy.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. China’s Nuclear Doctrine and Role of SSBNs  3. Chinese SSBN Development  4. SSBN Readiness and Deployment  5. Future Outlook  6. Ramifications for the Indo-Pacific  7. Conclusion

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Amit Ray is a Captain serving in the Indian Navy, and a naval architect by specialisation. He has been involved in repairs, construction, design and trials of a variety of submarines for over two decades. His academic qualifications include M.Tech.(Ocean Engineering & Naval Architecture) from IIT Kharagpur, M.Phil. (Defence & Strategic Studies) from Mumbai University and Ph.D (Submarine Hydrodynamics) from IIT Delhi, India. He has authored more than 30 technical papers. His awards include the Director’s Gold Medal of IIT Kharagpur, India (2006) and Medal of Distinction from the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, UK (2010).