Recent satellite images, released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), unveil ongoing construction at the Jiangnan Shipyard, indicating the development of an advanced special-purpose vessel.
Official Chinese sources describe the new vessel as part of the Yuan Wang class, touting it as an integrated maritime platform serving dual roles, significantly enhancing China’s maritime information support capabilities.
A report from the United States’ Center for Strategic and International Studies delves into the details of this latest addition to the Yuan Wang series of research vessels. This cutting-edge ship is equipped with state-of-the-art electronic equipment, sensors, and antennas, enabling it to track satellites, carrier rockets, and missile launches.
“Equipped with advanced electronic equipment, sensors and antennae, these ships enable the PLA Strategic Support Force to track satellites as well as rocket and missile launches,” their report said.
Measuring approximately 224 meters in length, this vessel aligns with the functionality of a third-generation telescopic observational ship. It boasts three bases for installing large antennas. Notably, satellite imagery also reveals segments of superstructure onshore, suggesting future elevation using lifting equipment.
The new vessel integrates the latest technology in shipbuilding, aerospace tracking and control, navigation meteorology, and ship power.
The development of this colossal spy ship marks a significant stride in China’s pursuit of advanced maritime surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, amplifying its potential to monitor and analyze various space and missile-related activities.