China launched three satellites for the Chuangxin-5 (CX-5) constellation under the name Yaogan Weixing-30 Group-6. The mission of these satellites is to “conduct electromagnetic probes and other experiments.”
However, analysts have a reason to believe that this class of satellites is the military class used for signal intelligence missions or imaging activities.
The Chuangxin-5 satellites were developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Small Satellite Center, and they were launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
The predecessor of the Yaogan Weixing-30 Group-6 satellites, the Yaogan Weixing-30 Group-5 was launched on July 26, 2019. The triple satellite mission mounted on a single rocket is not something that China has undertaken for the first time.
As for the nature of the satellites, they are believed to be the Jianbing-8 military satellites. It is being speculated that the launch took place either from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center or the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, along with the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
The rocket is a two-stage hypergolic launch vehicle with 35.15 meters in length and weighs 192,000 kg. The first stage, equipped with four YF-20A engines, has a length of 20.52 meters.
The launch vehicle itself has three configurations, the basic two-stage Long March-2C, the Long March-2C/SMA and the Long March-2C/SM, using upper stages.
The Xichang Satellite Launch Centre is situated in the Sichuan Province. The downrange tracking and Control stations of the launch center are located in Xichang city, and the Yibin City of Sichuan Province, and the Guiyang City of Guizhou Province.
The Xichang Satellite Launch Centre features the Launch Control Centre, propellant fuelling systems, communications systems for launch command, telephone and data communications for users, and support equipment for meteorological monitoring and forecasting.
This was possible after the launch site’s radical modernization in 1993-94, mostly because they had to meet commercial customer needs.