China: Dummy US warships used as targets in missile exercises

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The Chinese military has built models in the shape of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and other U.S. warships, possibly using them as training targets in the Xinjiang Desert, as satellite images of Maxar showed on Sunday.

This development reflects China’s efforts to develop its ability to strike aircraft carriers, particularly the US Navy, as tensions remain with Washington over Taiwan and the South China Sea.

According to Reuters, satellite images showed that a full contour of an American aircraft carrier and at least two Arleigh Burke-class guided missiles had been built on what appears to be a new target range complex in the Taklamakan Desert.

The images also showed a 6-meter-wide rail system with a ship-sized target mounted on it, which experts say could be used to simulate a moving boat.

The group has been used to test ballistic missiles, the US Naval Institute said, citing geopolitical intelligence company All Source Analysis.

China: Dummy US warships used as targets in missile exercises

China’s anti-ship missile programs are overseen by the People’s Liberation Army (PLARF) Missile Force.

According to the Pentagon’s latest annual report on the Chinese military, PLARF carried out the first confirmed live-fire launch in the South China Sea in July 2020, launching six DF-21 ballistic missiles against ships in the waters north of the Spratly Islands. where China has territorial disputes with Taiwan and four Southeast Asian countries.

Experiments at sea may have shown in China that they are “still a long way from creating an expensive ASBM,” said Collin Koh, a researcher at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “I do not think the targets in the desert will be the final stage. It is intended for further refinement.”

A test of ballistic missiles against ships in the desert would not reflect the realistic conditions of a marine environment, which could affect the sensors and targeting, but would allow China to conduct the tests more safely, Koh said.

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Source From: Capital

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