Satellite images show Chinese mock-ups of US ships

US satellite images show what appear to be full-scale mock-ups of US military vessels in a desert in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Reuters news agency said on Monday that the images taken in October showed objects shaped like a US aircraft carrier and two guided missile destroyers in the Taklamakan Desert.

The images were taken by US space technology company Maxar Technologies. The structures are at a site believed to be used for ballistic missile testing.

The images also show what appears to be a ship-sized object mounted on a railroad.

A former intelligence analyst at Japan's Defense Ministry says the object is designed for target practice. Military analyst Nishimura Kinichi says the object can simulate a moving aircraft carrier, and be fired at with ballistic missiles.

Nishimura says this kind of object has never been seen before, and is an indication of China's concern over increasing US involvement with Taiwan.

Nishimura added that China doesn't appear to be trying to hide the site from satellite surveillance. He says the country may be demonstrating its advanced capabilities to attack vessels at sea.