Subi Reef, Spratly Islands
This island is shaped as a "C" around a 3.82 mile diameter coral atoll. The island is 3.45 miles in diameter, with an extensive lagoon. It extends approximately 60% around the outside. It has a significant airport and aircraft facilities. When photographed from Thitu, it reminds me of Atlantic City, Macao, or even the area around O'Hare Airport. Dense, modern buildings, lots of construction activity, and airport technologies are visible (we refer to various open source, social media posts).
The single island is in the shape of a C or an open mouth, with an overbite. This is different than the development of other atolls, where they are often shaped as a rectangle or oval, or remain separate islands. This is a contiguous shape.
There is a well defined channel carved into the Reef below and in the satellite photo allowing access to the lagoon. We see four boats in the lagoon and one boat along the port dock. Location: 0°54'23"N 114°07’51”E.
At the tip of the bottom of the "C", we see a significant AA Cannon emplacement with at least two cannons, and possibly more. We also a different structure. Missile launchers with retractable covers. These are elevated, and look to be the height of a one to two story building. They have the 'tell-tale' sliding roof that takes up half the space, this time in a uniform standard white, and they are located at the very tip of the bottom "C" at the furthest point on the island. Eight missile launch pods on the bottom of Subi Reef Island.
I am also amazed with the number of hangars connected to the runway that seem to be made of concrete, and could store aircraft. That are at least 24 at the southern end of the runway. I wonder how many aircraft can be stored, in protected hangers, on Subi Reef Island?
From a distance, this is a well laid out island fortress, with living quarters to the North, and aircraft hangers and other military equipment to the south.
Satellite Imagery for the center of the island, ending at the tip of the bottom of the "C", is 5/10/2022. The Western portion of the island is 5/16/2022.
Subi Reef is located 14 miles west of Thitu, which is the Philippine strategic island in the Spratly Islands,
At the bottom of the C, at the entrance to the bay, we see a pair of white radomes on towers, a common white / gray building structure we have seen before on many islands with at least one cannon on the roof (the cannon building - image on left). The structure of the building below, what we call the cannon building, is similar and we have seen it on other islands in the South China Sea.
We see a strange formation set into the ground, with a rectangle etched with concentric circles, a small rectangular box in the center, and one to the left. This is the first time I have seen this and it looks important. Image on right.
Distance from Land (miles)
Location (latitude & longitude)
Date of Satellite Imagery
Port / Dock Facility Present?
Defensive Infrastructure Present?
Athletic Facilities Present?
Sand Only Island?
Dredging Infrastructure Only?
Philippines and Vietnam
314 and 318
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