Cam Rahn Airbase Expansion

Cam Rahn Airbase is part of the Cam Rahn Naval Base in Khanh Hoa Provice, Vietnam.  It was used by the US Air Force during the Vietnam War.  From 1979 to 2002, it was used by the Soviet/Russian Navy.  Russia resumed using the naval base in 2013 and the air base in 2014.  

Strategic Location

Note Cam Rahn’s location relative to the South China Sea conflict zone.

cam_rahn_location

The air base has been undergoing expansion and improvements which the following satellite images indicate.  While some of this is legitimate expansion for commercial use (the air base functions as a commercial airport), this can also be used for military applications.

Russian had been flying Tu-95 strategic bombers out of Cam Rahn as recently as 2015, under protest of the United States.

North Section

The north section of Cam Rahn expansion can mostly be explained by commercial expansion of the airport.  To the east (left) you can expansion of the airport terminal.

However, you can also get a view to the west (right) of an additional runway being constructed. This runway and improved taxiway connect directly to the southern expansion (see below) that is likely military in nature.

Move the slider below to compare satellite images from December 2012 and April 2016.

cam_rahn_north_section_12_7_2012cam_rahn_north_section_4_8_2016

South section

The expansion in the south section of Cam Rahn does appear to be military in nature.  While there are not visible military aircraft present, this entire section is completely opposite the location of the airport terminal and aircraft area to the north.

Additionally, as the photos show, there is significant building going on that could be military barracks.

Move the slider below to compare satellite images from December 2012 and April 2016.

cam_rahn_south_section_12_7_2012cam_rahn_south_section_4_8_2016

Further Reading