China Installed Military Jamming Equipment on Spratly Islands, U.S. Says

Hmmm…one trusts no one is planning a DXpedition to this one in the near future…from The Wall Street Journal

By Michael R. Gordon in Washington and Jeremy Page in Beijing

April 9, 2018 5:32 a.m. ET

 

China has installed equipment on two of its fortified outposts in the Spratly Islands capable of jamming communications and radar systems, a significant step in its creeping militarization of the South China Sea, U.S. officials say.

 

The move strengthens China’s ability to assert its extensive territorial claims and hinder U.S. military operations in a contested region that includes some of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

 

The disclosure comes as the Chinese military is conducting what U.S. officials describe as its largest military exercise to date in the South China Sea, maneuvers that include China’s first aircraft carrier as well as air force and ground units.

 

A U.S. Defense Department official, describing the finding, said: “China has deployed military jamming equipment to its Spratly Island outposts.”

 

The U.S. assessment is supported by a photo taken last month by the commercial satellite company DigitalGlobe and provided to The Wall Street Journal. It shows a suspected jammer system with its antenna extended on Mischief Reef, one of seven Spratly outcrops where China has built fortified artificial islands since 2014, moving sand onto rocks and reefs and paving them over with concrete.

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