Sunday, June 16, 2024

China’s Secret Satellites Spying on Mega Naval Malabar Drills! What Are They Really Watching?

China has stationed a large number of satellites over Australia to gather information regarding the Malabar military drills that the US, India, and Japan are participating in.
The recent “Exercise Talisman Sabre” and ongoing “Malabar Exercise” naval drills off Sydney were under close surveillance by Beijing, according to commercial space data ABC News obtained.

Along Sydney, Australia’s coast, the 26th Malabar naval exercise is currently taking place. The naval forces of India, the US, Japan, and Australia all take part in the exercise, which is hosted by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Malabar has changed over time after beginning in 1992 as an Indian-American bilateral maritime exercise.

Numerous smaller low-orbit satellites (LEOs) have flown thousands of times over Australia at significantly lower altitudes since Exercise Malabar began on August 10th.
The ABC report emphasizes their emphasis on keeping an eye on warship maneuvers close to Sydney Harbour.

According to James Bennett of the Canberra-based defense company EOS Space Systems, who was quoted by the Australian broadcaster,
“We’ve collected optical surveillance data on Chinese satellites observing Earth during the Talisman Sabre and Malabar exercises,showing significant ground activity.”

Since the start of the Malabar exercise, which is centered around Sydney Harbour, “over 300 satellites have surveyed ground-based activities, with over 3,000 flights,” added Dr. Bennett.

In response to China’s satellite presence over the nation, the Australian Defense Department has chosen not to provide specifics about its monitoring and risk mitigation strategies.

The Australian Defense Force (ADF) diligently implements measures to safeguard the information security of Australian and participating forces, according to a defense spokesperson. The spokesperson added that as part of broader initiatives to increase public awareness of activities taking place in the space domain, the Defense Department tracks satellite movements.

The Malabar Exercise has historically been watched over by China. According to reports, China sent a spy ship to monitor activities in the Indian Ocean in 2007 and the same thing happened in the Bay of Bengal in 2014.

Despite the fact that Beijing hasn’t made an official statement regarding these reports, experts believe China sees the Malabar Exercise as a threat to its Indo-Pacific interests. The exercise is seen as a way for the participating nations to improve interoperability and coordination, potentially reducing Chinese assertiveness in the area.

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