BEIJING, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. has developed a new manned submersible capable of deep dives.
The state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. is one of the two largest shipbuilding conglomerates in China, the other being the China State Shipbuilding Corp.
The submersible, named the "Jiaolong," is part of a greater plan for China to build a deep-sea station where submersibles can dock and "oceanauts" can work, The China Daily reported.
During a recent Pacific 44-day test mission the Jiaolong made record dives of more than 4.3 miles in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.
The Jiaolong tests represent another first for China Shipbuilding Industry Corp., the Chinese navy's major supplier.
China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. has an annual shipbuilding capacity of 15 million tons and its products are sold in more than 60 nations. Despite the global recession that began in 2008, at the news conference debuting the Jiaolong, China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. announced that in 2011 its revenues grew 14 percent and profits 10 percent.
China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. consists of 96 enterprises in northern China, including shipbuilding and industrial enterprises in Dalian, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xi'an, Chongqing and Kunming, as well as 30 research institutes and 10 laboratories developing naval and civil vessels, employing more than 300,000 people.
The State Council, a state institution combining investment with industry, industry with trade, research and production, undertaking naval scientific and technological research and design, oversees the activities of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp.
"CSIC has a very clear strategic objective to achieve," the company states on its website. "It intends to be China's leading provider of naval ships and related equipment and systems as well as becoming the leading force in the Chinese shipbuilding industry and to be a world-class global shipbuilder."
Emphasizing the conglomerate's dual use military-civilian functions the website continues, "In addition to having the largest shipbuilding and ship repair facilities in China, CSIC is also the leading player in the research and design of naval and merchant ships. The group's 28 R&D institutes employ more than 30,000 engineers. CSIC has eight state-level laboratory centers, seven state-level enterprise technological centers and 150 large-scale laboratories."
As for the company's expertise with naval vessels the website notes, "CSIC is China's largest manufacturer of naval products. The group is able to design and build many different types of naval ships including submarines, missile destroyers and fleet replenishment vessels."
The company's submarine expertise extends to building nuclear powered submarines.
In a draft report presented to Congress last November, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said that China is "on the cusp of attaining a credible nuclear triad of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and air-dropped nuclear bombs."
The report continued that while China has had a largely symbolic ballistic missile submarine capability for decades, it is only now set to establish a "near-continuous at-sea strategic deterrent."
Chinese President Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China from 2002-12 and chairman of the Central Military Commission of the CPC from 2004-12, has made it a priority to modernize the country's navy.