Fiery Cross Reef, or Yongshu Reef
Hong Kong, Oct. 18 (CNA) China is building Fiery Cross Reef, or Yongshu Reef in the Spratly Islands, into its largest joint military base for its navy and air force in the South China Sea, according to the latest issue of Kanwa Defense Review.
The monthly magazine reported that satellite images of the military facilities on the islet show a 3,000-meter runway and four large hangars measuring 34 meters by 25 meters — the same size as the ones on Yongxing Island, also known as Woody Island, the largest island in the Paracel group.
Kanwa said these hangars will have been built to house China’s high-tech anti-submarine and early warning aircraft.
Two ramps — measuring 535 meters and 626 meters, respectively — are very likely designed to accommodate fighter planes, according to the magazine, which noted that up to 24 fighters can stay on the ramps and that hangars will likely be constructed nearby.
Kanwa further said that ground-to-air missile launch sites could be added around the airport.
On the outskirts of the runway are located HF/DF antennae that are 30 meters in radius, and look like the U.S. military’s AN/FLR-9 array for searching for targets in the air and at sea.
In addition, a landing ship has been docked at the military port, which is being expanded, Kanwa noted.
(By Stanley Cheung and S.C. Chang)