China builds life-size mock-ups of US warships to test missiles – report
The Chinese military has been building life-size mock-ups of US warships in a missile testing area, a report says, citing satellite images. The same types of vessels regularly sail close to Chinese waters and around Taiwan.
The United States Naval Institute (USNI), a Maryland-based think tank, published what it said were satellite images of full-scale targets in the shape of a US Ford-class aircraft carrier and at least two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. The photos were provided by satellite imagery company Maxar.
According to USNI, the carrier-shaped target was first built in a remote desert in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region between March and April of 2019, then largely dismantled in December of that year. The construction resumed in late September of this year and was completed by early October, the think tank said.
Apart from the main carrier-shaped target, the report said there were two other target areas resembling an aircraft due to their outline. In an email to Bloomberg News, Maxar said the site contained two rectangular targets about 75 meters (246 feet) long that were mounted on rails.
Aircraft carriers and Arleigh Burke-class ships are part of the US 7th Fleet, whose vessels have sailed close to Chinese maritime borders, including waters around Taiwan, and participated in naval drills with Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.
According to Bloomberg, by placing targets in an area clear to foreign satellites Beijing was apparently “trying to show Washington what its missile forces can do.”
When asked about the matter on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said he was unaware of reports about the satellite images.
In August 2020, China test-fired DF-26 and DF-21D long-range anti-ship missiles, dubbed “carrier killers” by some analysts.
US-Chinese relations have deteriorated significantly in recent years over issues ranging from trade and espionage to Hong Kong and Taiwan. The two countries accuse each other of raising tensions in the South China Sea.Also on rt.com ‘Those who betray the motherland will never end up well’: China’s stark message to Taiwan
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!