From NavalNews by H.I. Sutton
Chinese government ships have been carrying out a systematic survey in the eastern Indian ocean.
A Chinese Survey ship, the Xiang Yang Hong 03, is currently operating in the Indian Ocean.
The survey activity covers a massive area, around 500,000 square km, and is getting larger.
Hydrographic data is civilian-defense agnostic.
Open Source intelligence (OSINT) analysts gave been tracking Chinese government survey ships for some time.
Four of China’s Xiang Yang Hong (‘Facing the Red Sun’) research ships have been particularly active over the past two years.
Two of the ships, the Xiang Yang Hong-01 and -16 have been conducting a very thorough search pattern over the Ninetyeast Ridge, an underwater mountain range with cuts across the Indian Ocean. Their disciplined racetrack patterns are indicative of mapping the seabed.
The reason for focusing on the Ninetyeast Ridge is unconfirmed, but it may particularly significant for submarine operations.
Some of the survey activities, nearer to Indonesia and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, may relate to finding the US Navy’s reputed ‘fish hook’ sensor networks.
#Breaking #OSINT Data found by research with @AuroraIntel & experts in their network shows the #China vessel SHI YAN 1 as reported by media in #India 460Kms east of #portblair on 31/08/2019 as a part of its mission in the #bayofbengal before being expelled by the #Indiannavy https://t.co/RI5Mlh94sG pic.twitter.com/xRlst6hxsR— d-atis☠️ (@detresfa_) December 3, 2019
In December 2019 one of the ships, the Xiang Yang Hong 06, deployed at least 12 underwater gliders in the Indian Ocean.
The gliders deployed were Sea Wing (Haiyi) type.
The Xiang Yang Hong 03’s current voyage will be watched closely.
- ThePrint : Satellite catches Chines survey ship mapping seabed in Eastern Indian ocean
- HiSutton : Chinese Seismic Survey Ship Off North America
- ABC news : Chinese research vessel Xiang Yang Hong 01 tracked in waters near Christmas Island off Western Australia
- AMTI/CSIS : A survey of marine research vessels in the Indo-Pacific