Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), designed and conceived by Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in an analysis released February 16 said that Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef might serve as intelligence/communications hub for Chinese forces in West Philippine Sea.
Among the important facilities AMTI noticed in Kagitingan Reef was a large communications/sensor array completed in 2017.
“None of the other bases in the Spratlys so far has a comparable array, though smaller ones have been built on Subi and Mischief, suggesting that Fiery Cross might be serving as a signals intelligence/communications hub for Chinese forces in the area,” AMTI said.
AMTI also noted that Kagitingan Reef houses 3,000-meter runway, hangars, and defense facilities.
Former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez said Kagitingan Reef is too close for comfort.
“Why are we not protesting China’s militarization of Fiery Cross Reef? It is outside our exclusive economic zone but too close for comfort. Combat planes to be deployed there can reach Palawan and parts of Mindanao within minutes. Like Mischief Reef, it is also a threat to our national security. This is not a good faith act, but a hostile act,” Golez said.
Sources: https://amti.csis.org/comparing-aerial-satellite-images-chinas-spratly-outposts/; https://www.facebook.com/roilo.golez/posts/10156198523114939