Russia is to deliver the advanced 3M-54E1 (NATO codename: SS-N-27) anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) as part of its sale of eight Kilo class diesel-electric submarines to China, according to the U.S. intelligence.
China ordered eight improved Project 636 (NATO codename: Kilo class) submarines from Russia in 2002. As a part of the sale package, these submarines will be fitted with the 300km-range Klub-S submarine-launched ASCM system designed by Novator Design Bureau. The system consists of the 3M-54E1 (SS-N-27) missile and an advanced fire-control system. The Kilo class submarines will probably also be equipped with a Russian-made anti-submarine missile.
According to the report, Russia soon will deliver the first batch of the SS-N-27 missile to China for use on the Kilo class submarines. The same missile has also been sold to India.
U.S. officials believe China is purchasing the weapons in preparation for countering U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups in any future conflict over Taiwan.