1st Edition

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

By Amit Ray Copyright 2022
    208 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    208 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    208 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    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.

    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


    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 and naval architecture) from IIT Kharagpur, M.Phil. (defence and 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).