Images posted on Chinese online forums in December show three new Yuan-class (Type 039B) patrol submarines being fitted out in the water at the Wuchang Shipyard in Wuhan, central China: a clear indication that China has resumed production of these diesel-electric boats after a near-three-year hiatus.
The latest of the three submarines appears to have been launched around 12 December, according to online forums.
The initial variant of the Yuan class (Type 039A) entered service in 2006. Overall length is 77 m with a beam of 8.4 m, displacing around 2,700 tonnes when on the surface and 3,600 tonnes when dived, according to IHS Jane's Fighting Ships.
Equipped with six 533 mm (21 inch) torpedo tubes, weapon loads are likely to be a mix of anti-ship missiles, such as the YJ-82, and heavyweight torpedoes, such as the Yu-6.