In an era where space has become a pivotal arena for global military strategies, China’s extensive satellite network meticulously monitors military activities in Australia. Commercial space data recently obtained by ABC News reveals a comprehensive surveillance operation targeting major military exercises, shedding light on the evolving dynamics of international security.

The scope of China’s satellite surveillance has come to the forefront with the revelation that hundreds of Chinese satellites are currently sweeping across Australian skies, focusing on military training operations involving the United States and other regional partners. The intercepted commercial space data provides a detailed account of China’s extensive intelligence-gathering efforts during the “Exercise Talisman Sabre,” which ran earlier this month, and the ongoing “Exercise Malabar” naval drills, underscoring the pivotal role that space has assumed in contemporary warfare strategies.

Gathering Intelligence from Above

In a significant display of its technological prowess, China’s satellites have diligently tracked military exercises in the region. In a development that underscores China’s capability, EOS Space Systems, a Canberra-based defense company, tracked several Chinese satellites as they maneuvered into strategic positions to observe the war games. Specifically, the Shiyan 12-01 satellite and the Shijian-17 and Shijian-23 satellites were detected surveying various locations where the exercises were being conducted. The exhaustive coverage provided by these satellites underscores their ability to glean insights into military capabilities, equipment, and operational processes.

Exercise Malabar, a joint naval exercise involving Australia, the United States, India, and Japan, has seen hundreds of smaller low-orbit satellites (LEOs) observing warships near Sydney Harbour. This concerted effort by China to scrutinize the activities of allied forces reveals the increasing significance of space in contemporary military operations.