Spratly Islands. Before and after pictures: September 2015

Spratly Islands. Before and after pictures: September 2015

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Despite having said the building had stopped, the Chinese have been busy. The Spratly islands is surely the greatest reclamation project in the history of man.

Spratly before and after photos

These before and after pictures from the Spratly archipalego were taken from Australia’s ABC.
The original article can be found here.

Before and after: China builds artificial islands in South China Sea

The installations are not visible, as the photo’s are exclusively satellite.

I’d like to see the Chinese release pictures of the facilities at a more natural angle.

If I come across such pictures, I’ll be sure to post them in a later post.

For now, we are led to believe that the following facilities have been installed on the new islands –

  • Landing strips
  • Helipads
  • Cement plants
  • Air defense guns
  • Radar
  • Satellite masts
  • Lighthouses

Read more of the article below.

Subi Reef

Before: Subi Reef, Jul 27, 2012

Before: Subi Reef, Jul 27, 2012

After: Subi Reef, Jun 5, 2015 After: Subi Reef, Jun 5, 2015

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) says Subi Reef is China’s northern-most outpost in the Spratly Island group and is just 25 kilometres from civilian populations of the Philippines.

It says China has reclaimed almost 4 million square metres of land and is possibly preparing to build a landing strip. It has already built a helipad, and possibly satellite and security infrastructure.

In its natural state, the reef was submerged at high tide.

Fiery Cross Reef

Before: Fiery Cross Reef, Jan 22, 2006

Before: Fiery Cross Reef, Jan 22, 2006

After: Fiery Cross Reef, Jun 28, 2015 After: Fiery Cross Reef, Jun 28, 2015

AMTI estimates China has reclaimed nearly 3 million square meters at Fiery Cross Reef and its satellite imagery clearly shows the construction of an air strip is underway.

The landing strip is about 3,000 meters long, which would allow military aircraft to land, and AMTI says port facilities under construction may be large enough to dock military tankers.

It says development on the reef also includes cement plants, air defense guns, possible gun emplacements and radar towers, helipads and lighthouses.

Mischief Reef

Before: Mischief Reef, Jan 24, 2012

Before: Mischief Reef, Jan 24, 2012

After: Mischief Reef, Jun 10, 2015 After: Mischief Reef, Jun 10, 2015

China is believed to have begun land reclamation at Mischief Reef early this year, and has already reclaimed 5.5 million square meters.

China has military facilities and possible satellite communications antennas on the reef, and the access channel has been widened.

“Many have speculated that the by widening the entrance to the reef, China intends to create a naval base on the reclaimed reef,” AMTI reports.

Gaven Reef

Before: Gaven Reef, Sep 1, 2007

Before: Gaven Reef, Sep 1, 2007

After: Gaven Reef, Mar 17, 2015 After: Gaven Reef, Mar 17, 2015

China has built an artificial island measuring about 300 metres by 250 metres at Gaven Reef in the Tizard Banks.

A causeway links the island with a small facility that had long stood on the reef.

“China has had a troop and supply garrison on Gaven Reef as far back as 2003,” AMTI reports. “This has included a large supply platform where ships can dock, several gun emplacements, and radar and communications equipment.”

Hughes Reef

Before: Hughes Reef, Mar 12, 2008

Before: Hughes Reef, Mar 12, 2008

After: Hughes Reef, Mar 16, 2015 After: Hughes Reef, Mar 16, 2015

IHS Jane’s estimates China has built a landmass of 75,000 square metres in the Spratly Islands, and equipment on the site includes an anti-aircraft tower.

Johnson South Reef

Before: Johnson Reef, Nov 9, 2004

Before: Johnson Reef, Nov 9, 2004

After: Johnson Reef, Mar 04, 2015 After: Johnson Reef, Mar 04, 2015

Johnson South Reef is a submerged reef, and has been converted into an artificial island about 400 metres wide in parts.

The site houses a multi-level military facility, possible radar facility and a small port.

Cuarteron Reef

Before: Cuarteron Reef, Jan 14, 2012

Before: Cuarteron Reef, Jan 14, 2012

After: Cuarteron Reef, Sep 24, 2014 After: Cuarteron Reef, Sep 24, 2014

AMTI says this reef already hosted a concrete supply platform with radar and communications equipment, but China has now built an artificial island and other structures.

It estimates China has reclaimed 231,000 square meters, and built five possible communication antennas, a possible radar facility, two helipads, and five possible gun or missile emplacements.

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