China conducted the first known flight-test of its JL-3 solid-fuel, submarine-launched ballistic missile last month, according to The Diplomat, citing US government sources with knowledge of the test. The test took place in the Bohai Sea from a modified conventional submarine, according to the Washington Free Beacon, which first reported the test this week.
The JL-3 will include advanced precision guidance technology as well as anti-jamming capabilities, utilizing a "photonic-crystal optic-fiber gyroscope" as well as other guidance systems described as "terminal boost, stellar guidance and scene matching guidance." According to the Beacon, the JL-3 will include missile-defense penetrating features such as variable trajectory, a stealth warhead which evades radar, and motors which burn quickly and early in order to reduce the heat signature detected by US warning satellites. Furthermore, the JL-3 will feature "water-exit" technology that will optimize underwater ejections from launch tubes.
The test on November 24 did not see the JL-3 fly to its full range. The first flight test likely verified the system’s proper cold ejection from the submarine-based launch tube. The missile’s full range is likely to be in excess of 9,000 kilometers, according to U.S. intelligence estimates.
The range of the JL-3, meanwhile, would allow Chinese submarines to strike at continental U.S. targets from further away, increasing their survivability by reducing the need to navigate into contested waters in the Western Pacific in a conflict, for example. -The Diplomat
According to China military analyst Rick FIsher, "China is headed for a period of rapid buildup in its intercontinental nuclear warhead numbers."