China launches a fresh Yaogan 30 satellite triplet believed to have an SIGINT role

by | May 7, 2021 | China, Launches, Military space, Satellites, Seradata News

On 6 May at 1811 GMT, China successfully launched a Long March 2C (CZ-2C) vehicle from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, China. The primary payload on the mission was the Yaogan 30-8-A, B, C triplet, these were joined by Tianqi-12 which also hitched a ride to LEO. The three Yaogan 30 satellites are the eighth cluster to be launched under this designation and are assessed to be used for Ocean Surveillance using SIGINT techniques – or “electromagnetic environmental detection” purposes.

The co-payload on the mission, Tianqi-12 satellite will join the Tianqi (known as “Apocalypse” in English) constellation to provide M2M communications services for IoT devices.

The Long March 2C rocket lifting off from XSLC. Courtesy of Xinhua


Comment by Matt Wilson: It has been reported that the launch time for this mission is similar to that of the Yaogan 30-01 triplet orbited in 2017. This suggests that this mission is possibly intended to replace these older units in orbit.

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