In a move likely to stoke tensions in the region, China has built new structures to potentially house surface-to-air missiles on three of its artificial islands in the South China Sea.

FOX's Lucas Tomlinson has more from the Pentagon:

So far no missiles have been sent to China's man-made islands in the South China Sea, but U.S. officials say that could change soon.

This comes as the U.S. Navy deployed an aircraft carrier over the weekend to the region for the first time since President Trump took office.

China has built runways on Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross islands, atop former reefs.

In the past few months, China built 24 new buildings on the artificial islands to potentially house missiles, concealing them and protecting them from the salt air.

U.S. officials say if and when China sends surface-to-air missiles to islands in the South China Sea, it will change U.S. military flight paths going forward.

At the Pentagon, Lucas Tomlinson, FOX News.

Follow Lucas Tomlinson on Twitter: @LucasFOXNews