The People’s Liberation Army Navy conducted another test flight of its JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile again last month, Bill Gertz, senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon writes in an article published Feb. 18.
US military sources said that the JL-2 test was carried out on the same day North Korea tested its KN-11 submarine-launched ballistic missile. No direct link between the two tests has been established, nor have any further details regarding the test of the JL-2 been revealed. Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Pool refused to comment on the JL-2 test, though he said the SLBM was discussed in the Pentagon’s most recent annual report.
Pool said the JL-2 was described in the report as a weapons system which enables the PLA Navy its “first credible long-range sea-based nuclear deterrent.” The congressional US-China Economic Security and Review Commission in its own annual report also said the SLBM has reached initial operating capability as part of the PLA’s expanding strategic nuclear forces. With an attack range of approximately 4,600 miles (7,400 kilometers), the JL-2 gives China the ability to conduct nuclear strikes against the US.
Both Alaska and Hawaii would be in range if the missile were fired from waters south of Japan. From waters west of Hawaii, the missile could reach the west of the continental United States. From waters east of Hawaii, all 50 US states would be in range, according to the report.
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