|Type 093/Shang-class SSN carrying a docking hangar for a special forces swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV)|
A computer-generated image of a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) has recently appeared on both news and social media websites. It illustrates a variant of the Type 093/Shang-class SSN carrying a docking hangar for a special forces swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV).
The accompanying text indicates the hangar can accommodate only about 2/3 of the length of the SDV (which it compares with the US Mk VIII SDV) and so remains flooded when the vehicle is docked. Consequently, as transfer of personnel to the SDV cannot easily be achieved with the submarine dived, the graphic shows SF personnel being transferred to the submarine by helicopter. The article refers to this as a wet-deck system and the SSN variant as a Type 093T.
The illustration also shows four panels on the side of the submarine that appear to represent sonar flank arrays and also a deployment tube above the upper rudder that would be used for streaming a towed array, as in Russian submarines.
The accompanying text also highlights that a six-bladed conventional propeller is illustrated rather than one with seven blades, which it states is fitted to the Type 093 and 093A, or the shrouded propulsor, which it claims is fitted to the Type 093B.
The explanation given is that the Type 093T is designed to operate in coastal waters where there is likely to be a high level of fishing vessel activity, and ingested trawl wires are easier to clear from a conventional propeller than a propulsor. It also states that the seven-bladed propellers were too thin and susceptible to damage.