Why is China Using AMERICAN AIRCRAFT CARRIERS for Target Practice?

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by Jeff Thompson

In yet another surprising and disturbing discovery from China, we now find that their military is practicing  destroying American aircraft carriers. This discovery comes about after recent satellite imagery revealed that China had constructed massive targets in the middle of the desert – shaped just like American aircraft carriers.

The targets have been found in the Ruoquiang region of the Taklamaken desert in central China after being picked up by the satellite imagery company Maxar. [source]

At first, a single full-size aircraft carrier shaped target was found. Then, a few days later, a smaller scale aircraft carrier (only 568 feet long) was found roughly 300 miles away outside of a small town in the Xinjian region. [source]

But how do we know these aren’t just generic aircraft carrier targets? 

For starters, the dimensions.

The discovered full-size target is 1092 feet long. Would you like to take a guess at the approximate size of an American aircraft carrier? If you guessed 1092 feet long, you’d be correct.

Other distinguishing characteristics of American aircraft carriers are that they feature angled flight decks. Coincidentally, the targets in the middle of the Chinese desert also have angled flight decks.

As OSINT analyst H.I. Sutton stated, “the dimensions, layouts, and markings leave no room for discussion. These targets are designed to represent US Navy vessels. Other potential adversaries with carriers – the Royal Navy, Indian Navy, and Japanese – all appear to get a pass.” [source]

It’s not just our American aircraft carriers that are being simulated here either though. We also have satellite imagery of at least two other Arleigh Burke-class destroyer targets having been built out in the Chinese sand. [source]

But what about the destroyers? 

While many news sources out there have (rightfully) focused on the aircraft carrier aspect of this story, all too few have spared but a dozen words for the destroyer targets.

Just what is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer? What is it built for? What is the significance here? I believe that once you understand this, the story begins to make even more sense.

Arleigh-Burke class destroyers were first built in 1991 for the US Navy. So once more, we find that the Chinese are building targets specifically with practicing against Americans in mind.

These ships are built to be able to engage anti-ship defenses, being fitted out with anti-missile missile technology (amongst other things). So if you were to have some type of missile specifically designed with US aircraft carriers in mind in the works, this style of warship would help to nullify that threat.

Remember this.

Perhaps even more ominously, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the first US Navy ships to include anti-NBC warfare protection. So, whether we’re talking about nuclear, biological, or chemical attacks, the Arleigh Burke is shielded. [source]

What is likely being tested on these targets? 

From what we can tell, it appears as if modifications to the Chinese DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) are being tested here. This missile (affectionately referred to as the “carrier killer” by the Chinese ) has a test range not too far from where the aircraft carrier target has been staged. [source]

This type of missile is key to China’s gaining and holding control over the Pacific. The presence of an American aircraft carrier has the potential to pose a serious threat to any Chinese naval involvement in the region. Particularly in the case of an invasion of Taiwan.

A well-equipped DF-21D however, presents a neat and packaged means of ensuring the Chinese don’t have to worry about such a threat.

These types of missiles fly on a ballistic trajectory – first launching high up into the upper atmosphere before acquiring a target on the descent back down to earth. And it truly does “acquire” a target. These types of missiles look for aircraft carrier-sized objects during their descent and then adjust their flight plan accordingly.

It appears as if this happens with the DF-21D via radar seekers. The half-sized carrier target in the desert is fitted with radar reflectors. Meaning radar is going to be involved with the Chinese ASBM target-acquisition process. This makes sense considering that some of these targets are set up on 35-mile-long railway systems, in what appears to be a stage for practicing hitting moving targets. [source]

From past Pentagon reports, we find that this particular missile has the capacity to hit American ships deep out into the Pacific Ocean from the comfort of the Chinese mainland. [source]

What’s the “why”? 

It seems as if there is zero doubt this isn’t orchestrated. Some analysts have even pointed out that this was a clear and deliberate message. If one knows that the US is going to be engaged in satellite reconnaissance of their country, how is one expected to hide what one is doing? To build such a target in a clearly visible location does seem to be hard to interpret otherwise.

Other researchers seem to disagree on this point though, pointing out that “the best way to test it [the DF-21D] and keep it out of the prying eyes of the US military and intelligence assets is to do it inland.” [source]

Either way you look at this though, it doesn’t bode well. They seemingly moved into Afghanistan after we left, they’re practicing against copies of our ships, and Taiwan is seeing heightened aggression.

As Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby has stated, we know that China is building up its military capabilities with the very specific goal of keeping the US out of certain parts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. [source]

So if we have China using US aircraft carriers (copies of them, rather) for targets, the creation of targets for the ships that protect those aircraft carriers, and the creation of weapons specifically designed to take out both, what comes next? What do you think about this information? Share your thoughts in the comments.

About Jeff

Jeff Thompson is an avid fisherman who likes to spend time sailing on his boat and reading while at sea.

Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson is an avid fisherman who likes to spend time sailing on his boat and reading while at sea.

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36 Responses

      1. One of the things that we in the West in general and the US in particular is the shear size and depth of the Chinese manpower pool; labor, intellectual and military. The CCP needs must take Taiwan intact for economic,military and political reasons. The only way that can be done is to take away the US Navy’s Pacific pond. To put this in perspective and for your consideration.

        In the early 2000’s the head of the Chinese Military their equivalent to our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs stated that “war with the US is planned and inevitable however this action must happen before 2025 if we are to have any hope of success. After 2025 the US will be able to put a dome of protection that no one will penetrate.”

        In the same time period another Senior General stated that they had the manpower to be able to “bleed off 50,000,000 men and not cause problems. It is also interesting to note that Chinese demographics show that there are between 50-75 million men that can’t have wives because of a generations of abortion and the 1 child policy.

        Just a couple of years ago in a CCP Party meeting one of the most senior party officials stated “our water is polluted our land is polluted our air is polluted, to survive we must colonize and the place to colonize is North America. That’s Canada and the US boys and girls.

        Again, in the early 2000’s a war game was conducted where a US Marine General and his Staff were the Chinese against the Entire US Military. The Marine using VERY “out of the box” thinking cleaned 90%+ of the US navy and capability from the board in the first 36 hours. The US navy and military was loosing so badly so quickly that the generals stopped the war game and changed the rules.

        With these facts and others, I believe that war is not only possible but imminent, maybe not tomorrow but soon, very soon. The Chinese were never a serious threat until now because they never had the logistical “lift” capability for war outside Asia until now. Currently the CCP has hundreds of Panamax and Super Container Ships at their disposal. People don’t plan for war unless they expect it.

        1. Greg Overbay,

          Great observation about China’s sea lift/container capability.

          Some think China does not know or understand logistics.
          They own some of the largest shipping companies in the world.
          They have truck, rail and ports, to include a few ports here in the US/Long Beach.

          Out of the box thinking.

      2. On 8 November the story was reported by other sources like NBC, WSJ, Reuters, and The Independent from the UK, even CNN reported it on 11 November.

  1. China is our enemy. Of course they’ll use our equipment or copies just like we do.
    That’s how you condition the military mind. I’ve shot up plywood cutouts of BMPs and T72s etc.
    I’m not even sure why this is a thing to talk about. They are the enemy and we are theirs.

    1. We were taught decades ago at an unspecified location in CONUS on how to shoot down a MI8 and Hind helicopter by using some that had been “acquired”. Flash cards are used to train on with foreign countries equipment. OPFOR at MOUNT sites wear uniforms and carry gear of foreign nations. The MOUNT site themselves are constructed of particular locations usually outside CONUS. I’ve taken my own personal AK and SKS into guard drill, with permission, and train my soldiers how to recognize them and operate them.
      The list goes on
      This is what we do as professional military. We train to fight the enemy, possible enemy and any threats we can think of.

      The fact that they are taking us seriously as the threat is a good thing. It means we own real estate in their head rent free. We are a threat as they are to us. We can live together or not.

    1. I was fine, just sitting here with my laptop minding my own business reading the comments and then I saw this one from FLA Prepper1 and I started laughing. OMG sooo funny. Thanks for the laugh…He has under control ONLY what he reads off of the teleprompter and sometimes he messes that up too! OH geeeee, tell me that someone that knows what is going on has things under control….I beg you pleaseeeeee…IF we only had a hint of what kind of trouble this country is in, we would ALL go find a cave and hide in it or bury our heads in the sand…Seriously how much worse can it get? GOD help us!

  2. I assume you are pushing a US – China conflict, as a basis for a SHTF scenario.
    China has set it’s sights on taking over Asia. just like pre WW2 Japan.
    To which the US was and still is the biggest obstacle to doing that.
    So it is not unusual that they would practice fighting our forces.

    However China has big problems: Economic ones,( like Evergrande, etc.) and Civil unrest.
    Most of which is being covered up or deflected as normal events.

    The take over of Hong Kong has been a major thorn in their side. It provides positive proof that Capitalism is far superior to Communism and is far more profitable ( both in Taxes and profits).
    It is apparent to many upper level Communist Military and businesspeople as they are heavily investing in the US.
    On top of all of that China imports a lot of food from the US. Starting a war with the US would create a famine in China, making them ripe for a revolution. The without selling goods to our
    consumer market, would collapse their industrial economy.

    None of this bodes well for China trying to attack the US. If they wanted to see the collapse of their country then, attacking the US would accomplish that.

    So I would rate this as a low probability.

    1. Military bureaucrats, like their civilian counterparts, have to justify their employment. Nobody wants a war, but the threat is useful for manipulating the people.

      1. “Nobody wants a war…”
        When you have PREPARED for war for 20 years, it takes little or nothing to nudge over from cold war and trade diplomacy to take advantage of otherwise dead money in 2 decades of munitions investment.
        Lots of elites on several sides believe that they will be survivors and beneficiaries of a hot war with 80% population losses in the G7.
        Suddenly, oil is available and cheap, wages are up, plenty of rebuilding and reorganizing needed. So sad…funerals memorials pensions, elite psychopaths win.

    2. China having internal issues is IMHO a more of a bad omen than potential deterrent. When things are bad, they (TPTB) pull a distraction. It´s the peak crisis of the 4th Turning so it´s ripe for conflicts. Doesn´t mean it will happen, only it can.

      Besides, a lot of stuff consumed in US is also made in China. It would be bad for both, and for the rest of the world too I assume.

      Maybe that´s why US and China are still trading. While there´s business, no one will want to fight. Let´s hope it stays that way.

  3. The Iranians have done it.
    The NK.
    The Russians.
    Heck, we have a mock up of a Middle Eastern village to train our troops.

    Now, if I were developing a weapon system to target a high value target, like a aircraft carrier, I might try to stuff another sensor package differing from the radar to increase % of first round hit. Electro-optical recognition (like facial recognition but for military hardware), IR, whatever that would/could be used in concert with radar to guarantee success or evade any counter measures we have (e.g. radar jamming).

    Been reading more and more articles about how China military advances are equal, or have surpassed the US.

    1. We can thank Clinton for transferring the sale of missile technology to China. The transfer of this tech should have been handled by the State Dept. but was changed for the approval to come from the Commerce Dept. headed by Ron Brown.
      Ron Brown had been under investigation by the Independent Counsel Daniel Pearson. Pearson was investigating the selling of seats on trade missions if a donation was made to the Democratic National Committee.
      Brown’s plane crashed in Croatia.
      Lots of dead.
      Investigation was terminated.

  4. Just basic war preparedness. Same as the US does, with the possibility of every country, current friends and adversaries. Politicians constantly rattling sabers to convince the people that we need them. Bunch of psychopaths, every one of them.

  5. China has done this before and will probably do this again. One time was with a replica aircraft carrier that was in the sea. These are in the desert. It’s a lot different simulating attacks against unarmed ships in the desert and actually attacking fully armed U.S. ships that are at sea.

  6. Interesting article. Lately,just in the past week, I’ve heard conservative radio hosts mention war is coming. And no, I don’t believe they are war mongers or have a financial interest in wars. This radio host is a clear thinking,facts only person
    I’m not ashamed to say I’m afraid either. I’m afraid because as a veteran who knows people still in, we are not ready. Morale sucks, leadership is almost non existent, and a President who thinks critical race theory,climate change, and white supremacy,whatever the hell that is, is more important for our troops than training,training, training is. Yes, Daisy, I am afraid

  7. So, I do have my own ideas, but I’m very aware of my ability to hyper focus on tunnel vision.
    What would all out war with China look like for us? As preppers, how would we best be prepared for this event and how long of an event would you predict?

    1. Well, what do we know about China?

      In modern history, they have had a few instances where millions of their own country men have died (The Great Leap Forward, The Cultural Revolution) and then there was that one incident that on that day in 1989, nothing happened.
      So, civil unrest or putting it down, is nothing new to them.

      They tend to think long term whereas we think short term. Long standing goal for them is reunification with Taiwan. They will do the cost/risk to benefit analysis, and determine the short term cost is worth the long term benefits.
      In the late 90s, their military wrote a paper on asymmetrical warfare and adopted it into part of their military strategy.

      They have large holdings of our debt (T-Bills).

      A few years ago, journalist Ted Koppel wrote a book called Lights Out. It was about the possibility of a cyber attack/grid down situation. He interviewed a number of former NSA agents and cyberwarfare experts. They were of the opinion there were other state actors inside our grid looking for exploits.

      So, if I were China looking to reunify with Taiwan, how would I go about it?
      The Winter Olympics are coming up, so not FEB2022.
      The 2024 election cycle. Especially if Trump is running again.
      Use troll farms to really stir up the civil division on social media. Start some insane rumors like unvaxx FEMA camp round ups, gun confiscation, voter ID laws, kick the FUD up to 11.

      Meanwhile, while China does import food from the US, past year reporting of them making deals/contracts with other food producing countries (South America) to off set their dependence on the US. This past years abnormal weather, crops losses may have them diversify more. The energy crisis they are currently experiencing may also factor into the plan making/timeline.

      As it is expected for inflation to continue (varying reports from till the end of 2022 to 2024), China could dump our debt, crashing the dollar, and giving way from inflation to hyper inflation putting the hurt on the entire US economy.

      Then, crash the US grid.

      Then launch an invasion on Taiwan.

      With the economy crushed, the grid/internet down, hyper inflation rampant, Americans are not going to care about Taiwan. Those kind of domestic crisis, current WH admin, senior leadership in Congress, senior leadership in the military (DC) as weak and inept as they are, might not want or even have the option of attempting to defend Taiwan with military force.
      If I were China, that would be my goal: Cripple America so badly, we cannot even mount a military response.

      In the mean time China reunified with Taiwan, establishes itself as the new global super power. They would suffer a short term (to them) economic pain. But in the long term, come out on top.

      It would take the US a decade if not longer to recover.
      Maybe sooner if we got credit from the all new China global banking system, with the yuan as the dominate reserve currency.

      So, civil divide or social/civil unrest fighting in the streets, rampant inflation to hyper inflation and then the grid goes bye-bye.

      That is what I would do.
      That is how I would prep, or as I think most of us call it, Monday.

  8. The point of all this preparing by China is to get the measurements correct. How high the flight is to what the target looks like on the ground. Where to hit, how to instinctively know where, when, & how fast. They want their pilots well trained. Very frightening indeed.

  9. I read this on PJ Media at least a month ago. Ticked me off then, too.

    I hope we’re doing the same for their brownwater navy.

  10. Simple, the Chinese are preparing for war.

    Years ago already, I read that the Chinese are looking for Lebensraum. My use of the Nazi term is deliberate, as the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has largely adopted the fascist form of Marxist socialism.

    Taiwan is a small, mountainous island with little room for Lebensraum. It would not be worth it to stage a major war just to take over Taiwan.

    But there’s another country that presently has the third largest population for any country in the world. Yet in spite of that, it is probably the number one country in food exports. That country is prime territory for Lebensraum. General Xi Hautian of the CCP said some years back in a leaked speech that that country should be the target for Lebensraum. Invade, then kill off all who presently live there—genocide. Then bring in Chinese to settle there. I give you three guesses as to the name of that country, and the first two don’t count. After that country has been captured, then Taiwan can be blockaded then captured.

    China is in trouble, and the CCP knows it. They have a food crisis due to global cooling. In China’s history, regime change often came with global cooling. We’re at the beginning of global cooling. In regime change with Chinese characteristics, the regime that leaves office is not allowed a comfortable retirement. The CCP also knows that. Therefore they are desperate to stay in power. The way they can do it is to give the people Lebensraum.

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