Intelligence: Chinese Air Force Goes Underground

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December 22, 2008: New Google Earth images of China, show underground hangers for aircraft at an airport outside the city of Le Dong, on the southern island of Hainan (near Vietnam). For over two years now, commercial satellite photos have been revealing details of a military buildup on Hainan. The most obvious example of this is the submarine base that China was building at Yulin, near Sanya. The base has underground docking facilities for nuclear and diesel-electric subs, created by tunneling into coastal hills.

Rumors of such a base have been circulating for the past six years, apparently since locals began noticing all the construction activity, and the tight security around the site. The underground facilities not only protect the boats from air or sea based attack, but enable maintenance and modifications to be done in secret. Same deal with the airport tunnels, which are also visible to anyone passing by on the ground. But there's nothing as compelling as pictures.

 


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