SCMP – The Chinese military has refined its anti-ship missile training from striking large, carrier-sized targets to smaller ships and naval bases, according to recent satellite images.
They show a training base in Xinjiang’s remote Taklamakan desert with the layout of mock-up ship moored in a naval base that resembles one in northeast Taiwan and other targets in Guam, according to a Taipei-based naval analyst.
The US Naval Institute (USNI) news site said new satellite photos show China is building more large-scale target ranges along the rim of the desert, including model destroyers and piers.
One of the new targets, a mock-up of a destroyer and pier, was built in December and just eight miles southeast of an elaborate model aircraft carrier that was exposed by the Colorado-based satellite imagery company Maxar Technologies in November last year.
In February that target was destroyed by a test missile, according to HI Sutton, the writer of the USNI article.
Another similar naval base, built in 2018, about 190 miles southwest of the original aircraft carrier layout, was found by Damien Symons, an independent defence analyst, Sutton added.
In 2017, Google Earth images of missile test sites on the edge of the Gobi appeared to show models of US bases in Japan, the military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported.
Sutton said the nature, location and strikes on the mock-up layouts had suggested that the targets are meant for testing ballistic missiles. Read more on The South China Morning Post »