Several people in northeastern Australia’s Queensland state may have had an unlikely encounter with a spy ship from China while out on a yacht last Saturday (July 10).
According to a video taken by the Australian tourists on their yacht and recently uploaded to the Internet, the strange-looking, Chinese-flagged vessel, equipped with several large spherical antennae, is likely to be the Chinese navy vessel that was on its way to spy on the joint U.S.-Australian “Saber 2021” exercise. “The USS Uranus electronic surveillance vessel.
The biennial U.S.-Australia “Saber 2021” large-scale military exercise kicked off on Wednesday (July 14) in Australia’s domestic and surrounding waters. In addition to troops from the United States and Australia, there are also soldiers from New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom participating in the exercise. The total number of troops participating in the exercise is about 17,000.
The exercise is valued by China, and in addition to more countries participating and sending observers, the U.S. will test fire Patriot air defense missiles on Australian territory for the first time, while the targets will be two drones. In addition, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces are sending troops to the exercise for the first time, making the Chinese military eager to understand the level of professionalism of the U.S.-Australian military coordination and Japan’s role in it.
The Voice of America has previously reported that the Chinese Navy’s electronic reconnaissance vessel Uranus is heading for the exercise off Queensland, Australia, and that the Australian military is closely tracking and following the movements of the Chinese vessel.
Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton also confirmed that the Australian military has been monitoring the Chinese reconnaissance vessel for “several days. “We know that the Uranus is approaching Australia’s east coast through the Torres Strait,” Dutton said. “We’ve been monitoring its movements against Australia for several days as part of our surveillance operations.”
Another Australian military source, speaking to the media on condition of anonymity, said the Chinese reconnaissance vessel is now deliberately keeping a “low profile” and that “the ship is currently in a state of total electromagnetic silence, only sending out the signals it must, such as responding to inquiries and insisting it is acting in accordance with international maritime law. “
However, the Chinese spy ship, which was deliberately kept “low profile”, “showed its face” in front of the cameras of Australian tourists. A brief video circulating online, apparently shot by amateurs, shows the Chinese ship, flying the Chinese flag and bearing the number 835, heading south along the Queensland coastline, at one point in the same frame as another yacht passing through the waters at the same time.
“The Uranus spy ship is a Chinese 815-class electronic reconnaissance ship, equipped with advanced communication systems, with accurate collection and interception of radio signals, and its high degree of electromagnetic compatibility and automation, electromagnetic wave signal listening data collection, analysis and processing capabilities, but also has the ability to satellite reconnaissance.
“The Uranus electronic reconnaissance vessel entered service at the end of 2010 and is part of the South China Sea Fleet of the Chinese Navy.
Two years ago, the “Bodyguard Saber 2019” exercise, “Uranus” reconnaissance ship also once uninvited.