China has been honing its ship-killing skills for potential future conflicts on new targets in a remote desert, according to new satellite photos reviewed by USNI News. New analysis shows the People’s Liberation Army is testing the ability to hit ships in port with long-range ballistic missiles.
Since USNI News reported China has been building aircraft carrier targets in the Takmalakan Desert, other target sites have emerged forming a string of large-scale target ranges running along the eastern edge of the desert, according to new satellite photos. Several of these are naval and two have layouts that appear to be modeled on ships in port.
Eight miles southwest of an elaborate aircraft carrier layout, a site with full-scale piers and a destroyer-sized ship-like target was constructed in December. A test missile hit a dead center on the ship replica in February and thent the target was then quickly disassembled and is now gone, according to more recent images.
This new target was discovered as part of the research into aircraft carrier targets, which had been found by All Source Analysis (ASA) with more details revealed by high-resolution satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies.
Another similar naval base target was found about 190 miles southwest by Damien Symons, an independent defense analyst. This location was built in December 2018, but had escaped notice until now. The pier layout is similar to the destroyer-like site, and it also includes ship targets, with one in the same place as the latest target.
The nature, location and strikes on these sites all suggest the targets are meant for testing ballistic missiles.These hypersonic anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs) are an increasingly significant threat to warships.
Great Wall of Naval Targets Discovered in Chinese Desert – USNI NewsGreat Wall of Naval Targets Discovered in Chinese Desert – USNI News