JL-2 (Ju Lang-2/CSS-NX-14)

The JL-2 (CSS-NX-14), also known as the Ju Lang-2 or Giant Wave-2, is a Chinese intercontinental-range, submarine-launched, three-stage solid propellant ballistic missile. It is believed to have been developed jointly with the DF-31 land-based ICBM beginning in 1970. As of 2016, China deploys four Jin-class nuclear ballistic missile submarines each armed with 12 JL-2 ICBMs. Chinese plans call for the production of a total of 12 Jin-class submarines.1 These systems have replaced the aging JL-1 (CSS-N-3) missiles aboard the Xia-class Type 092 submarine, which is now likely out of service completely.

JL-2 At a Glance

Originated From: People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Possessed By: People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Class: Sea Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM)
Basing: Submarine-launched
Length: 13.0 m
Diameter: 2 m
Launch Weight: 42,000 kg
Payload: 1,050-2,800 kg
Warhead: Nuclear, 1 MT, or 3-8 MIRV with 20/90/150 kT warheads
Propulsion: Three-stage solid propellant
Range: 8,000-9,000 km
Status: Operational

JL-2The JL-2 has a minimum range of 2,000 km, a maximum range greater than 8,000 km, and carries a payload of 1,050 to 2,800 kg. The missiles are believed to be armed a single 1 MT yield nuclear warhead, but may also be capable of delivering 3-8 lower yield MIRVed warheads.2 The missile may be equipped with penetration aids and decoys to complicate missile defenses. The missile uses an inertial guidance system with stellar updates and a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system. It may also employ the Bei Dou navigational satellite system. These missiles will likely have an accuracy of 150 or 300 m CEP.3

The JL-2 underwent testing in 1983, but both the JL-2 and DF-23 were redesigned in 1985 following a change in program requirements to account for advancements in PRC warhead miniaturization technology.4 The JL-2 was installed on the Golf-class Type 031 submarine for testing and the first test launch occurred in 2002, with subsequent launches reported in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, and 2015. The JL-2 reportedly entered service in 2015. As of 2016, the PLA has 48 launchers and warheads.5

    1. Department of Defense, “Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2016,” April 2016, http://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2016%20China%20Military%20Power%20Report.pdf
    2. “JL-2 (CSS-NX-14),” Global Security, http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/china/jl-2.htm.
    3. “JL-2,” in IHS Jane’s Weapons: Strategic 2015-2016, ed. James C. O’Halloran (United Kingdom: IHS, 2015), 25-26.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, “Chinese Nuclear Forces, 2016,” Bulletin of American Scientists, Vol. 72, Issue 4, 2016, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00963402.2016.1194054.