The Chinese military built full-scale targets of U.S.warships – including an aircraft carrier — in the middle of a desert in Northwest China known for ballistic missile testing , according to a report.The U.S.Naval Institute (USNI News) obtained photos of these targets scattered in the Taklamakan desert from Maxar, a satellite imagery company.The report said it appears that the structure was started sometime between March 2019 and April 2019 but “substantially complete by early October” 2021.The mock-ups are sophisticated and show China’s interest in honing technology to counter these strike groups.The Pentagon and China’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to after-hours emails from Fox News.The report said that the targets appeared to have an outline of a carrier and at least two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
The satellite images were released at a time that tension between the two countries remains high over Taiwan.The U.S.
frequently sails warships through Taiwan Strait that draw rebukes from Beijing.China’s insistence on flying sorties toward Taiwan has also increased the tension in the region.A satellite picture showing a mobile target in Ruoqiang, Xinjiang, China, on Oct.20.
(Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters) USNI News, citing the intelligence company All Source Analysis, reported that the complex in the desert has been used for ballistic missile testing in the past.There also appears to be an extensive rail system in the location so these structures can presumably move.The U.S.maintains 11 carrier strike groups, according to the Navy.Ten are based out of the U.S.
and one is deployed in Japan.These groups usually consist of the carrier, two guided-missile cruisers, two anti-aircraft warships, and one or two anti-submarine destroyers.Last year, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched missiles Tuesday targeting a mock aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a drill that included such a barrage of fire the U.S.military temporarily put two regional bases in the Mideast on alert amid tensions between the two countries.BIDEN’S VOW TO PROTECT TAIWAN, WALKED BACK BY WHITE HOUSE, COULD SIGNAL INTERNAL POLICY DEBATE, EXPERTS SAY These carrier groups are seen by adversaries as symbols of the U.S.
military’s strength and its ability to quickly respond to new threats.That same year, China conducted its first live-fire launch of its DF-21 anti-ship ballistic missiles near the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands, according to Reuters’ reporting.The mobile target in Ruoqiang, Xinjiang, China, Oct.20.
(Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters) U.S.Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen.Mark Milley said last week it is unlikely that China will make some kind of move on Taiwan within the next two years.ANTONY BLINKEN: US WILL SUPPORT TAIWAN AGAINST CHINESE AGGRESSION “Based on my analysis of China, I don’t think that it is likely in the next, near future being defined as the next six, 12, maybe 24 months … Having said that, though, the Chinese are clearly and unambiguously building a capability to provide those options to their national leadership if they so choose at some point in the future,” Milley said at the Aspen Security Forum.”But near future, probably not – but anything can happen.” Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report..