Publisher's Note: This older, but yet to be published post is finally being presented now as an archivable history of the current events of these days that will become the real history of tomorrow.
Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Ryan Saavedra.
New satellite images released this week appear to show that communist China's military has constructed a second mockup of a U.S. aircraft carrier in a remote Chinese desert.
The news comes after a full-scale outline of a U.S. carrier and at least two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers were discovered several days ago at a target range.
The U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) reported:
The site consists of a single aircraft carrier target, miles from the nearest town in the Xinjiang region, according to photos provided to USNI News by satellite imagery company Maxar. The carrier target is about 300 miles away from a larger suspected missile range in the Taklamakan Desert, first reported by USNI News on Sunday. The two sites share similar characteristics and are aligned on a map with the carriers facing the same direction - as if in a convoy. Like the first, this new target shares the same dimensions as a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.
The outline of the second aircraft carrier does not appear to be a full-scale mockup, although it is still nearly 600 feet long. Construction on the second aircraft carrier mockup appears to have started over the summer.
The report added:
It's clear that the models displayed are meant to represent the enemy forces in Chinese exercises. In the Chinese military, the opposing forces are labeled "blue," while their own are red forces - the opposite of the U.S. and NATO.
Placing the targets in the interior allows the entire missile flight to take place over their own territory and gives China greater control of the airspace around the site. Keeping the tests away from the sea ensures that any debris cannot be recovered by other navies in the way it could from the ocean floor. Both factors will make it difficult to gather intelligence on the weapons tests.
The most recent Department of Defense report on China's military capabilities included some of the following tidbits on weapons systems that the Chinese possess that could be used to target U.S. warships:
- People's Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) conventionally armed CSS-5 Mod 5 (DF-21D) ASBM variant gives the PLA the capability to conduct longrange precision strikes against ships, including aircraft carriers, out to the Western Pacific from mainland China. The DF-21D has a range exceeding 1,500 km, is fitted with a maneuverable reentry vehicle (MaRV), and is reportedly capable of rapidly reloading in the field. The PLARF continues to grow its inventory of DF-26 IRBMs, which it first revealed in 2015 and fielded in 2016. The multi-role DF-26 is designed to rapidly swap conventional and nuclear warheads and is capable of conducting precision land-attack and anti-ship strikes in the Western Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea from mainland China. In 2020, the PRC fired anti-ship ballistic missiles against a moving target in the South China Sea , but has not acknowledged doing so.
- Since early 2018, PRC-occupied Spratly Island outposts have been equipped with advanced anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems and military jamming equipment, marking the most capable land-based weapons systems deployed by any claimant in the disputed South China Sea to date.
- The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and PLAN Aviation together constitute the largest aviation force in the region and the third largest in the world, with over 2,800 total aircraft (not including trainer variants or UAVs) of which approximately 2,250 are combat aircraft (including fighters, strategic bombers, tactical bombers, multi-mission tactical, and attack aircraft).In October 2019, the PRC signaled the return of the airborne leg of its nuclear triad after the PLAAF publicly revealed the H-6N as its first nuclear-capable air-to-air refuelable bomber.
When asked about the matter on Monday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that "it's been pretty, fairly obvious"
that the U.S. is concerned about what China is doing.
"I think makes it very clear what our understanding of their intentions are, and their capabilities are. And how they're developing those capabilities and to what ends,"
Kirby said. "And clearly, they have invested a lot and particularly air and maritime capabilities that are designed largely to try to prevent the United States from having access to certain areas in the Indo-Pacific."