Description: The Type 091, NATO codename: Han, is the first generation of Chinese nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) deployed by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Five boast were built between the late 1960s and 1990 by Huludao Shipyard and delivered to the PLAN North Sea Fleet. These ships feature design flaws and overall low reliability that have plagued their availability throughout their operational life. These submarines were upgraded in the 1990s introducing improved weapon systems and reduced acoustic signature through the add-on of acoustic tiles. Overall, Type 091 boats are intended to engage both submarine and surface ships.
The Type 091-class submarines are provided with six 533mm torpedo tubes that can launch alternatively wire-guided torpedoes and YJ-8Q anti-ship missiles. The submarine's weapons capacity is 20 torpedoes and/or missiles or 36 mines. Type 091 boats are powered by a single pressurized water reactor with one shaft. Overall, Type 091 boats performance falls far behind Russian and Western submarines built in the 1970s and 1980s. The last three boats belong to the improved variant Type 091-II with lower noise emissions and stretched hull (8 meters) and were upgraded in the late 1990s.