Would Beijing begin the deployment of an anti-missile detection system using captive balloons?

In 2015, information circulated that China to test anti-missile detection system carried by a captive helium balloon , and capable of operating at altitudes ranging from 20 to almost 100 km. Now it looks like this technology is ready to be deployed, if we are to believe Japanese defense analyst Saburo Tanaka, quoted by Kyodonews.net. The latter is in fact based on a satellite image of a new air base with an equally new runway of approximately 2000 meters, and displaying on its tarmac a reconnaissance balloon having all the characteristics of the 2015 project. A similar observation was made by satellite in 2019 on the island of Mischief Reef, one of the new Chinese military bases built in the China Sea in the Spratley's islands.

The position of the air base is also an indication in itself. Close to the port infrastructure of Dalian, a stone's throw from the border with North Korea, the location is ideal for obtaining optimum detection capacity vis-à-vis any drone, aircraft or cruise missile over the Yellow sea that separates the Korean peninsula from the Chinese mainland, as well as the East China Sea, an issue of so much tension in recent years.

Satellite photo showing the Chinese captive balloon over Mischief Reef atoll in 2019 (ISI Photo / The drive)

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