Secret Sub found on Google Earth
July 8, 2007
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A shiny new ballistic-missile submarine docked at a naval base in China has been spied publicly for the first time using Google Earth.
The new class of nuclear sub, called the Jin-class, had been rumoured to exist for some time, but the image recently uploaded to Google Earth is the first public glimpse of the vessel.
For the past 20 years, China has maintained one ballistic-missile submarine, the Xia-class. However, it has suffered from technical problems and has never been deployed on a deterrent patrol, which involves arming the sub and sending it out to hide for long periods in the oceans.
Kristensen, who routinely monitors satellite images of nuclear facilities, discovered the image on Google Earth on 5 July 2007, though the picture was taken in late 2006.