June 28, 2017 · Shāyú SCS Istina Eminent Shadow

Eminent Shadow Underway in the SCS

As tensions in the Spratly Islands continue to intensify, we are observing a marked increase micronaval activity in the region. Operation Eminent Shadow commenced on 1 April 2017 to provide persistent monitoring of naval activities in the South China Sea.

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  • We reported in March of this year that China's Shāyú-class microsubmarine had completed sea trials and officially joined the PLAN, and that as many as a dozen were observed deploying from Yulin Naval Base on Hainan Island.
  • Following that report, on or about 1 April 2017, six 5-vessel Strikepods were airlifted to the region and deployed to areas near Fiery Cross, Subi, and Mischief Reefs.
  • In order to preserve OPSEC, Strikepods were ordered to maintain strict radio silence, transmitting only in the event of incapacitation, capture, or imminent threat to U.S. assets.
  • On 15 June 2017, Strikepods (Delta) 1-3 were ordered to surface for manual data transfer and immediate redeployment. They provided the following intelligence:

Strikepods were on station for approximately 48 hours when contact was made with twelve Shāyú-class submarines.

Strikepods also detected the presence of several Russian vessels, including an Akula-class submarine, and eight Istina-class microsubmarines.

Strikepods were redeployed on 20 June and will remain on station with standing orders to maintain radio silence. Strikepods (Delta) 4-6 are scheduled to surface between 28 June and 5 July for data transfer.

[End]
Strikepod Command

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