Pictures of Chinese submarine using an underground base on Hainan Island on the South China Sea have gone viral.
Satellite images from Planet Labs shows what appears to be a Type 093 nuclear-powered attack submarine entering a tunnel to an underground berth on Yulin Naval Base.
Drew Thompson, a former United States Defense Department official now at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, says the shot of the submarine is a rare occurrence.
“That’s unusual that a commercial satellite would be overhead at just the right time” on a cloudless day, he said.
What’s not unusual is the Chinese underground base. It’s how Beijing conceals a lot of its military hardware, from submarines to missile systems based far inland, Thompson said.
“The Chinese have tremendous experience building underground facilities,” Thompson said. “It’s in keeping with their strategic culture.”
The Yulin base, on the southern end of Hainan Island almost 300 miles southwest of Hong Kong, is one of China’s key facilities to protect its naval assets.