Sinpo South Shipyard Update: Continued Activity
- The telescoping crane that appeared in the secure boat basin sometime between January 5 and 8, 2022, is still present.
- It is unclear if the telescoping crane – located adjacent to the infiltration mothership and aft of the 8.24 Yongung (August 24th Hero) experimental ballistic missile submarine (SSBA) – is an indicator of continued work on 8.24 Yongung SSBA, new work being undertaken on the infiltration mothership, an ongoing deception program, or a combination of these and other reasons.
- It is important to note that the 8.24 Yongung SSBA suffered damages during its October 19, 2021 test launch of a “new type” SLBM.
- The 8.24 Yongung plays a critical role in the underway development of submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), ballistic missile submarine technology, and operational procedures. It is also an indispensable tool for the hands-on training of new submariners.
Satellite imagery acquired on February 16, 2022, shows continued presence of a telescoping crane adjacent to the infiltration mothership located aft of the 8.24 Yongung (August 24th Hero) SSBA—presumed to be under the canopy.
As described in our January report, the 8.24 Yongung suffered a malfunction resulting in damage during its October 19, 2021 test launch of a “new type” SLBM. It first underwent repair and maintenance work within the secure boat basin between October and November 2021. Further repairs were made within the Sinpo shipyard’s graving dock in early December before the 8.24 Yongung returned to the secure boat basin around December 16.
As noted in last week’s report, the submersible test stand barge and the infiltration mothership swapped positions sometime between January 5 and 8, 2022. The continued presence of the crane remains unusual despite the uncertainty surrounding whether it is part of a strategic deception plan or being used to work on the infiltration mothership or submarine.
No other significant activity was observed in the unobstructed portions of the Sinpo South Shipyard in the February 16 image.