China blew up the world’s largest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, with hypersonic missiles in a menacing simulation — which Chinese researchers say proves the US Navy warship could be “destroyed with certainty.”
Using a war game simulation system, China’s military forces sank the carrier fleet using a volley of 24 hypersonic anti-ship missiles over the course of 20 intense battles.
The results of the simulations were made public in a May paper published by the Chinese-language Journal of Test and Management Technology, according to the South China Morning Post.
In the scenario, the US vessels are attacked after continuing to approach an island claimed by China in the disputed South China Sea despite repeated warnings.
The researchers said that some of the missiles in the three-wave attack were fired from as far away as the Gobi Desert — and that nearly every US surface vessel was shattered by the attack and eventually sank in the simulation.
Researchers claim it proves that the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier fleet, which has been thought of as being unsinkable by conventional weapons, could be “destroyed with certainty,” by a relatively small number of hypersonic strikes.
Still, researchers warned leaders and the public to approach these simulations with caution as the real-world performance of the missiles may differ from what was predicted.
The report could not be independently verified and analysts have questioned the motivation for its release.
“Anyone who discusses publicly the outcome of a war game or simulation has a political objective, especially if they frame the result as a win or a loss,” Drew Thompson, a former senior US defense official, told the Telegraph.
“Effective war games are ones that test an assumption, a function, or variable to inform the sponsor of the game about the complex interaction of elements,” he said.
“War games are not about winning or losing. They are about learning.”
The study was released not long after top-secret documents were leaked online revealing China has deployed an intermediate-range hypersonic missile that can hit targets thousands of miles away — and also has a “high probability” of penetrating US defenses.
The chilling assessment of the enhanced strike capabilities of Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army is in one of a slew of confidential Pentagon papers uploaded to online message boards since late last year, federal investigators said last month.
The documents have also revealed US intelligence about the strength of Russia’s military, indicated plans for Ukraine’s spring counterattack, and detailed intelligence gathered about US allies.