Saturday, December 1, 2012

China's Military Satellite Network List Detailed

The People's Republic of China operates an extensive network of military satellites. The list below includes satellites which are known to be dedicated to military use.

Their use includes secure communications, electronic / signals intelligence (ELINT / SIGINT), early warning, ground / earth mapping, data relay and optical / Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) reconnaissance.

Not included are dual-use satellites which may perform some military use, but are not strictly so in nature. Not included therefore are the Beidou navigation satellites.

While not strictly military in nature due to their role in civilian use, the Beidou satellites are a crucial asset to the military.

Shentong strategic communications satellites

Launch dateNameLauncherTypeNotes
11/14/2003Chinasat 20 or Shentong 1-1CZ-3AStrategic communications -
11/25/2010Chinasat 20A or Shentong 1-2CZ-3AStrategic communications -
05/26/2012Chinasat 2A or Shentong 2CZ-3B/EStrategic communications -

Fenghuo tactical communications satellites

Launch dateNameLauncherTypeNotes
01/26/2000Chinasat 22 or Fenghuo 1-1 CZ-3ATactical communications -
09/12/2009Chinasat 22A or Fenghuo 1-2 CZ-3ATactical communications -
09/19/2011Chinasat 1A or Fenghuo 2CZ-3BTactical communications -

Shijian 6 dual electronic / signals intelligence satellites

Launch dateNameLauncherTypeNotes
09/09/2004Shijian 6-01A / Shijian 6-01BCZ-4BELINT / SIGINT -
10/24/2006Shijian 6-02A / Shijian 6-02BCZ-4BELINT / SIGINT -
10/25/2008Shijian 6-03A / Shijian 6-03BCZ-4BELINT / SIGINT -
10/06/2010Shijian 6-04A / Shijian 6-04BCZ-4BELINT / SIGINT -

Shijian 16 electronic / signals intelligence satellites

Launch dateNameLauncherTypeNotes
10/25/2013Shijian 16-01CZ-4BELINT / SIGINT -

Shijian 11 surveillance satellites

Launch dateNameLauncherTypeNotes
11/12/2009Shijian 11-01CZ-2CInfrared surveillance -
07/06/2011Shijian 11-02CZ-2CInfrared surveillance -
07/29/2011Shijian 11-03CZ-2CInfrared surveillance -
08/29/2011Shijian 11-04CZ-2CInfrared surveillance Rocket launch failure
07/15/2013Shijian 11-05CZ-2CInfrared surveillance -
03/31/2014Shijian 11-06CZ-2CInfrared surveillance -
09/28/2014Shijian 11-07CZ-2CInfrared surveillance -
10/27/2014Shijian 11-08CZ-2CInfrared surveillance -

Tianhui earth mapping satellites

Launch dateNameLauncherTypeNotes
08/24/2010Tianhui 1-1CZ-2DEarth mapping -
05/26/2012Tianhui 1-2CZ-2DEarth mapping -

Tianlian data relay satellites

Launch dateNameLauncherTypeNotes
04/25/2008Tianlian 1-1CZ-3CData relay -
07/11/2011Tianlian 1-2CZ-3CData relay -
07/25/2012Tianlian 1-3CZ-3CData relay -

Yaogan / Jian Bing reconnaissance satellites

Launch dateNameLauncherTypeNotes
04/27/2006Yaogan 1CZ-4BSynthetic Aperture Radar reconnaissance Out of service
05/25/2007Yaogan 2CZ-2DOptical reconnaissance -
11/12/2007Yaogan 3CZ-4CSynthetic Aperture Radar reconnaissance -
12/01/2008Yaogan 4CZ-2DOptical reconnaissance -
12/15/2008Yaogan 5CZ-4BOptical reconnaissance Deorbited
04/29/2009Yaogan 6CZ-2CSynthetic Aperture Radar reconnaissance -
12/09/2009Yaogan 7CZ-2DOptical reconnaissance YG2+4
12/15/2009Yaogan 8CZ-4COptical reconnaissance(?) -
03/05/2010Yaogan 9A,
Yaogan 9B,
Yaogan 9C
CZ-4CELINT / SIGINT Used to locate and track objects by their electronic emissions
08/10/2010Yaogan 10CZ-4CSynthetic Aperture Radar reconnaissance YG1+3
09/22/2010Yaogan 11CZ-2DOptical reconnaissance YG2+4+7
11/09/2011Yaogan 12CZ-4BOptical reconnaissance -
11/30/2011Yaogan 13CZ-4CSynthetic Aperture Radar reconnaissance -
05/10/2012Yaogan 14CZ-2DOptical reconnaissance -
05/29/2012Yaogan 15CZ-4BOptical reconnaissance(?) -
11/25/2012Yaogan 16A, Yaogan 16B, Yaogan 16CCZ-4CELINT / SIGINT -
09/01/2013Yaogan 17A, Yaogan 17B, Yaogan 17CCZ-4CELINT / SIGINT YG9+16
10/29/2013Yaogan 18CZ-2CSynthetic Aperture Radar reconnaissance YG6+13
11/20/2013Yaogan 19CZ-4COptical reconnaissance(?) YG8+15
08/09/2014Yaogan 20A,
Yaogan 20B,
Yaogan 20C
09/08/2014Yaogan 21CZ-4BOptical reconnaissance YG5+12
10/20/2014Yaogan 22CZ-4COptical reconnaissance(?) YG8+15+19
11/14/2014Yaogan 23CZ-2CSynthetic Aperture Radar reconnaissance YG6+13+18
11/20/2014Yaogan 24CZ-2DOptical reconnaissance YG2+4+7+11
12/10/2014Yaogan 25A,
Yaogan 25B,
Yaogan 25C
CZ-4CELINT / SIGINT YG9+16+17+20
12/27/2014Yaogan 26CZ-4BOptical reconnaissance Succeeds YG5+12+21

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