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Eyes in the Sky: India’s Space Espionage Rattles China, Deploys 300 Satellites for Surveillance

China Deploys Spy Satellites to Monitor Military Exercises

China has reportedly deployed a fleet of surveillance satellites to keep an eye on two significant military exercises involving the United States and Australia. It is said that during the recent naval exercise “Talisman Sabre,” China had stationed a substantial number of its satellites in Australia to gather covert information. Additionally, China is also closely monitoring the Malabar naval exercise, in which India is also participating.

According to a report by an Australian newspaper ABC, the Australian defense company EOS Space Systems revealed that China had deployed three of its JL-1 satellites to monitor the Talisman Sabre naval exercise. China had placed the Shijian-12-01, Shijian-17, and Shijian-23 satellites to track this exercise.

More Than 300 Satellites

Apart from monitoring the Talisman Sabre exercise, China’s surveillance satellites are also tracking the Malabar naval exercise. Allegedly, more than 300 satellites are engaged in tracking these activities, which have witnessed over 3,000 sorties since the commencement of the Malabar exercise on August 10.

James Bennett, an officer of EOS Space Systems, stated that China is conducting a significant terrestrial survey activity.

The Malabar naval exercise is taking place from August 11 to 21 in Sydney, Australia. All four Quad countries – India, the United States, Australia, and Japan – are participating. Indian Navy’s frontline warships INS Sahyadri and INS Kolkata are part of the exercise. This annual exercise includes both sea and harbor phases.

China’s Growing Space Presence

China’s recent surge in satellite-based espionage signals its increasing influence in space. This month, China successfully launched its first geosynchronous orbit synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite, strengthening its position in space technology.

James Brown, CEO of the Space Industry Association, stated, “It’s about dominance in space.” He added, “Space is often seen as the next frontier of conflict, and China is claiming that.”

Richard McGregor of the Lowy Institute referred to the project as “astounding.” He noted, “It’s remarkable that China is spying on us. China is using whatever means it has at its disposal. And it’s happening.”