China has launched the mysterious TJS-3 satellite from the Xichangh launch centre using a Long March 3B-G2 rocket. The launch took place from the Xichang launch site at 1653 GMT on 24 December 2018.

Called the Tongxin Jishu Shiyan Weixing-3 (TJS-3), the satellite is officially described as a communications engineering test satellite by China.  Western analysts however suspect that the TJS-3 has military function. Carrying a large unfurlable antenna like TJS-1, it would be usable for communications relay but also for a military signals intelligence function. There are also reports that the satellite may be an Early Warning satellite for China’s Ballistic Missile Defence Organisation that will work in a similar fashion the US Space Based Infra-Red Sensor (SBIRS) system.