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After Warships, China Creates Mockups of American Warplanes

China has created replicas of some of America’s most sophisticated warplanes in what appears to be a strategic attempt to rival its closest adversary.

Recent satellite images show mock-ups of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and F-22 fighter jets sitting in a desert area in northwest China.

Scorch marks and craters around the location suggest that the replicas are being used for target practice by Chinese warplanes rehearsing air strikes.

The apparent attack rehearsals have completely destroyed some models, while others show partial damage.

Apart from the fifth-generation aircraft, other satellite images revealed that Beijing has also built mock-ups of P-8A Poseidon and U-2 reconnaissance planes.

Most Common Strategy?

Creating mock-ups of enemy assets appears to be one of China’s most common strategies in determining how to neutralize them.

The Asian military superpower previously built replicas of American warships to serve as missile targets.

These replicas were also believed to have allowed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to further refine its missile seekers with image-recognition capabilities to accurately target specific parts of a ship.

Earlier this year, China was also found to have built a mock-up of a key area in Taiwan’s capital city where the presidential office and other government facilities are located.

Though the use of the mock-ups is still uncertain, the move fueled concerns that the PLA is preparing for a full-scale invasion of the island nation.

Tensions between the two countries are high, as Beijing has significantly increased its military activity around Taiwan to pressure it into reunification.

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