For the first time, a satellite image of a Xinjiang desert has revealed an object that looked like a Japanese Self-Defense Force plane, fueling concerns that Chinese military threats to invade Taiwan could also have consequences for Japan.
In a desolate area of Xinjiang, China has erected a structure that appears to be modeled after a Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) airborne warning and control jet (AWACS), Asia Nikkei has reported. .
This comes after the discovery a few days ago of a structural model of a US aircraft carrier, indicating that the Chinese military is testing weapons there.
The dummy aircraft is believed to be modeled after the JASDF’s E-767 aircraft. Boeing manufactures the E-767, and the four aircraft positioned at Hamamatsu Air Base are the only ones in the world. The captured area is supposed to be a special area controlled by the Chinese army.
EXCLUSIVE | AWACS CHINA MODEL REVEALED
China has what appears to be a model of an AWACS aircraft used by Japan in a remote desert, Nikkei has learned after analyzing satellite photographs with experts. It could be used for target practice.https://t.co/i1zVSTw6cO
— Nikkei Asia (@NikkeiAsia) May 19, 2022
The JASDF’s four AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft are referred to as “flying command posts”. These are essential as they help detect enemy military movement in airspace away from conflict zones.
It appears that China is conducting these simulations to sketch out potential invasion plans on Taiwan. To that end, Beijing must restrict the movements and capabilities of the United States and its allies, including Japan.
Kiyofumi Iwata, a former chief of staff of the Ground Self-Defense Force, stressed the importance of this type of aircraft in such circumstances, saying that if Tokyo lost the E-767s in a contingency Taiwan, Japan would lose its ability to monitor the Nansei Islands.
The E-767 is difficult to shoot down in the air due to its excellent abilities. However, it is considered most vulnerable to attack when parked on the ground.
Yoji Koda, former commander-in-chief of Japan’s Self-Defense Force, told the Asia Nikkei that the object “probably was built to verify missile impact error” to simulate the E attack. -767.
Iwata said of the plane spotted in satellite images: “The Japanese and US governments are probably aware of it. China is deliberately showing it to us as a threat in case something happens.
Matt Korda, senior research associate and project manager for the Nuclear Information Project of the Federation of American Scientists, an organization specializing in denuclearization and disarmament, helped determine the precise location.
Crippling Japan’s ground bases?
Structures like this are not new to the Chinese military. Eurasian time reported in November 2021 on objects built like a US aircraft carrier and at least two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in Xinjiang’s remote Taklamakan desert.
All of this would be part of China’s plot to annex Taiwan. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, Beijing has made reunification with Taiwan a priority.
While this goal rests on peaceful reunification, China has repeatedly stated that it “will not renounce the use of force against outside interference or pro-independence forces”, a statement that does not rule out a military intervention.
Thomas Shugart, deputy senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), told the Asia Nikkei that “the PLA’s stated wartime goal is to wage ‘war of system destruction’. where they focus on destroying the information nodes that provide their enemy’s army with the information it needs to fight effectively.
“The E-767 represents a key information node for the JSDF – one that provides in-flight early warning information to other aircraft. By destroying E-767s on the ground early in a conflict, perhaps being part of pre-emptive missile strikes on JSDF bases, the PLA’s objective would be to seize air dominance and information through known PLA doctrine,” he said. added.
The E-767 type was spotted positioned at an airfield, implying that Japanese ground bases could be targeted in the event of an invasion. In November 2021, the US Naval Institute (USNI) discovered life-size models of a US aircraft carrier and destroyer in the region. Considering AWACS aircraft are so important in modern combat, they are tempting targets among SDF assets.
SDF and United States soldiers are working to increase interoperability between forces and data exchange. Additionally, on May 11, the USNI discovered a port facility that strongly resembles the Su’ao Naval Base in northeast Taiwan in the same area. The station is expected to play a key role in blocking any attempted Chinese invasion from the sea.
Experts believe the mock-up indicates that PLA warships are practicing missile attacks with its YJ-21 anti-ship missile against targets both in Guam Naval Base and Suao Military Port.