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.
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
- Cement plants
- Air defense guns
- Satellite masts
Read more of the article below.
Before: Subi Reef, Jul 27, 2012
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
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.
Before: Mischief Reef, Jan 24, 2012
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.
Before: Gaven Reef, Sep 1, 2007
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.”
Before: Hughes Reef, Mar 12, 2008
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
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.
Before: Cuarteron Reef, Jan 14, 2012
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.