Question of the Day: Why is China building hundreds of mines in the desert to launch ballistic missiles?

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Question of the Day: Why is China building hundreds of mines in the desert to launch ballistic missiles?
Question of the Day: Why is China building hundreds of mines in the desert to launch ballistic missiles?
3 November 2021, 18:47In the worldPhoto: CNN
Researchers from the American Federation of Scientists analyzed satellite images taken over the Xinjiang Desert and counted hundreds of new objects that could be silos for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Over the summer, it was reported that satellite images taken over the Xinjiang Desert showed that China was likely building two new missile silos. Then the experts counted 229 underground mines - usually in these are placed intercontinental ballistic missiles. Now researchers from the American Federation of Scientists (AFS) have released a report with updated data, according to CNN.

After analyzing hundreds of satellite images, AFS employees have already counted 300 bunkers. In their opinion, with such a number of missile silos and about 100 mobile missile launchers, in the foreseeable future, China may overshadow the intercontinental ballistic power of Russia and America.

Experts cite four main areas in the desert where signs of bunker construction have been seen: rounded wall and hatch structures, and activity that could represent rocket loading operations. In addition, analysts have uncovered dozens of domed shelters that could be used to mask construction marks. “Based on the details that can be observed in new satellite images, we are increasingly convinced that the objects are indeed missile silos and ancillary facilities under construction”, - the study said.

“For China, this is an unprecedented nuclear build-up”, - analysts continue. "What's especially remarkable is the scale and speed of construction, which far surpasses anything the Chinese have ever done before". However, analysts stipulate that many more years will pass before the bunkers can be put into operation, and besides, it is not yet known for certain what exactly is planned to be done with them and how many mines will accept weapons.

The Chinese authorities have not officially confirmed that the facilities under construction are missile silos. Beijing also denied last month a report by the Financial Times that it was testing a hypersonic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

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