China tests DF-21D missile on mock US aircraft carrier in Gobi desert

GlobalPost
The USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier on Dec. 9, 2012 in the Atalntic Ocean.
Cristina Young

China reportedly "sunk" a mock US aircraft carrier, and in the Gobi desert of all places, according to Want China Times.

A satellite Google Earth photo (seen here) seems to show a rectangular white platform - a stand in a US aircraft carrier - with two large craters made by DF-21D "carrier killer" missiles.

The photo originally appeared in SAORBOATS, and Argentinean internet forum.

Want China Times explained:

"The People's Liberation Army has successfully sunk a US aircraft carrier, according to a satellite photo provided by Google Earth, reports our sister paper Want Daily — though the strike was a war game, the carrier a mock-up platform and the "sinking" occurred on dry land in a remote part of western China."

Business Insider says Want China Times is a Taiwanese paper "with a solid reputation and accurate reporting," though it's "slightly slanted toward unification," so their might be truth in the report. 

Roger Cliff, a defense analyst, put the missile text in context when interviewed by The Diplomat:

"The thing to keep in mind is that, in order for China to successfully attack a U.S. navy ship with a ballistic missile," Cliff said, "it must first detect the ship, identify it as a U.S. warship of a type that it wishes to attack ... [then] over-the-horizon radars used to detect ships can be jammed, spoofed, or destroyed; smoke and other obscurants can be deployed ... and when the missile locks on to the target its seeker can be jammed or spoofed."