Satellite images show massive models of US warships built in China desert

The Chinese military has reportedly built massive models of a United States Navy aircraft carrier and other warships in the middle of the desert. Why? Possibly for target practice, according to the United States Naval Institute. From CNN:

Satellite images from China's northwest Xinjiang region appear to show a full-scale outline of a "Ford-class" aircraft carrier currently being constructed for the US Navy, and the shapes of at least two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers at a new target range complex in the Taklamakan Desert, according to the USNI, a private, non-profit, professional military association.

The complex has repeatedly been used for ballistic missile testing, according to USNI and Maxar Technologies, a space technology company.

"This new range shows that China continues to focus on anti-carrier capabilities, with an emphasis on US Navy warships," USNI reported[…]

In a news briefing Monday, Pentagon press secretary John F. Kirby said the US Defense Department was aware of media reports about the mockups but was instead focused on its own preparedness to support a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

image: profile of Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (public domain)