After the US Navy aircraft carrier, China has also built models of four F-35 fighter aircraft and E-3 Sentry early warning aircraft in the Taklamakan desert for target practice.
Since the website, USNI News published the article “China Builds Missile Targets Shaped Like U.S. Aircraft Carrier, Destroyers in Remote Desert”, many media seems to have started the “treasure hunting in western China deserts. In just a few days, news about China’s newly-built more American aircraft carrier targets and F-35 stealth fighters published by SCMP. On November 11, image published by The Drive shows China’s apparent use of two E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) mockups on its impact range used for testing advanced missile technology.
The US “Dynamics” website stated on November 11 that using open source satellite photos, it was discovered that China had newly added a model of the US Air Force E-3 “Sentry” early warning aircraft in the range of testing advanced missile technology.
According to the report, satellite photos on August 28 showed that two full-size E-3 early warning aircraft models appeared on the main runway of the comprehensive weapons test site in the western desert of China. They are likely to simulate the targets of Chinese ballistic missiles. “It is logical to specifically include E-3 as China’s main imaginary target in the desert.” The best way to eliminate any aircraft during the conflict is to blow it up on the ground. Compared with the U.S. Navy’s smaller E-2 series of early warning aircraft, the E-3 has stronger air command capabilities, and the entire U.S. Air Force has only 31 E-3 early warning aircraft. This large-scale air command platform is a huge force multiplier, which supports the US military’s tactical air combat strategy, and serves as a key command, control, and surveillance node as well as a decision maker for tactical air power.