New satellite imagery shows Chinese “unsinkable aircraft carriers” built on Spratly Island reefs

by | Aug 9, 2016 | China, Military space | 0 comments

War in the oceans of the Far East is becoming more likely. Having decided to ignore the international arbitration ruling that their sovereignty claims over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea were inferior compared to those of the Philippines, China is continuing with its “island building” or rather “air strip” building on several of the reefs there.

Digitalglobe satellite imagery released by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative clearly shows full length runways, armoured aircraft hangars and new unknown structures which are thought to be the beginnings of surface-to-air and satellite-targeted anti-shipping missile emplacements.

Apart from reinforcing China’s territorial claims which could give them access to mineral wealth, and access to 10 per cent of the world’s fish stocks, China is thought to be building these “unsinkable aircraft carriers” on the reclaimed reefs in order to control the ocean and its trade. Aircraft and missiles flown from these air strip bases could be used to ward off the formidable US Navy aircraft carrier groups should China ever wish to invade the islands in the South China Sea including Taiwan.

China makes disputed claims over several island groups in the South and East China Seas which are also variously claimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei and Japan. China also claims sovereignty over the island of Taiwan (Formosa) itself, it having broken away after the communist revolution in China.

While China’s claims over Taiwan may have more merit than its other territorial claims, Taiwan’s citizens want to stay independent of China and remain in a democracy. The apparently increasingly belligerent China may yet decide to force the issue. China has invaded nations before, most notably Tibet in 1950, which it continues to occupy.


About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles




nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochinaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 525virgin galacticULAfalcon 9RoscosmosevaDGAspacewalkaviation weekInternational Space StationaressoyuzIGTRocket LabBeidouBlue OriginawardsStarlinkspaceSatellite broadcastingrussiaAirbus DSboeingmoonISROOneWebCargo Return VehiclemarsblogresearchspaceshiptwojaxaorionmarsimpactdelayhyperbolaEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegaSESbarack obamaconstellationtourismnorthfiguresthales alenia spacespaceflightIntelsatnode 2fundedRaymond Lygo2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiosuborbitaltestmissiledocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbitinternetLong March 2D/2sts-122SLSNorthrop GrummanChina Manned Space EngineeringAriane 5missile defensenewspapercotsgalileospace tourismflight2010ElectronLong March 4CspaceportExpress AMU 1buildspace stationaltairsoyuz 2-1aProton Minternational astronautical congressshuttlespace shuttlescaled compositesIntelsat 23European Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosnew yorkrulesAriane 6hanleybudgetatvVietnamshenzhoucongressMojaveboldennew shepardLong March 2CInmarsatOrbital ATKcnesiaclunar landerGuiana Space CenterkscApollolawsUS Air ForceSpace Systems/LoralUK Space AgencyLong March 4BKuaizhou 1AILSprotondarpaTalulah RileyElectron KSFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Vega CNorth KoreaeuAstriumSkylonpicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatSSLAprilSNC50thinterviewLong MarchSea LaunchfalconWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor

Stay Informed with Seradata

Stay informed on the latest news, insights, and more from Seradata by signing up for our newsletter.