China builds US warship models as training targets

BEIJING – China has built shapes in the middle of the desert of what appear to be replicas of American warships deployed in the Pacific that will likely serve as training targets for missile launches, according to satellite images from American sources.

According to these images taken by the American satellite company Maxar Technologies last month and transmitted to the AFP on Sunday 7 November, these life-size structures, of which at least one in the shape of an aircraft carrier and another that follows the contours of a destroyer, were spotted in the Taklamakan Desert in the Xinjiang region of western China.

One of these models was mounted on rails, and while some looked two-dimensional, others looked more sophisticated, according to the United States Naval Institute (USNI). “Analysis of the history of satellite imagery shows that the aircraft carrier-like structure was the first to be built between March and April 2019,” the institute said in a report.

«The site has undergone numerous reconstructions and was partially dismantled in December 2019 and then brought back to life at the end of September this year; the facility was basically complete in early October, ”says this report citing intelligence company AllSource Analysis for which the area has been used in the past to test ballistic missiles. When asked about these images, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin replied on Monday that he was “not aware of the situation.”

According to a Pentagon report on the Chinese military released last week, Beijing is currently working on a major effort to modernize its weapons, with devices capable of neutralizing US warships in the event of a regional conflict. The Pentagon cites the DF-21D missile with a range of more than 1,500 kilometers, “capable of carrying out long-range precision attacks against ships, including aircraft carriers in the western Pacific, from mainland China.” The Chinese military deployed these missiles during the exercises, “an unequivocal message sent to world and regional opinion,” according to US Admiral Philip Davidson.

(with source Askanews)

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