Saturday, December 30, 2023

China unveils space war-gaming system for military operations and training

China unveils space war-gaming system for military operations and training

  • Beijing says it does not want a space war, but new tech, previously shrouded in secrecy, helps prepare troops for futuristic battles – just in case
  • More than 400 military cadets take part in two-month-long competition, giving them a chance to fight in mock skirmishes and wield advanced weapons
  • 16 Dec, 2023

  • China is researching and developing spacewar-game simulators. As indeed are other countries, but this one has a transparent Earth and 400 gamers trained in its use.

    Some history

    The reality of this was started off many years ago by US President Ronald Reagan. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), commonly known as “Star Wars,” involved deploying ground and space-based systems, including lasers and kinetic kill vehicles, to intercept and destroy incoming ballistic missiles.

    Although aimed specifically at providing a shield against Soviet ICBMs, the anticipated cost of this new arms race forced the Soviet Union into the START talks, reducing nuclear missile inventories. Ultimately, it has been argued, it contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union. Russia has recently suspended its ‘membership’ of the START treaty.

    Elements of the SDI program reemerged in 2019 with the Space Development Agency (SDA).

    Under SDI, a wide array of advanced weapon concepts, including lasers, particle beam weapons and ground- and space-based missile systems were studied, along with various sensor, command and control, and high-performance computer systems that would be needed to control a system consisting of hundreds of combat centers and satellites spanning the entire globe and involved in a very short battle. The United States holds a significant advantage in the field of comprehensive advanced missile defense systems through decades of extensive research and testing; a number of these concepts and obtained technologies and insights were transferred to subsequent programs. 

    Since then, Israel has developed and proven ‘Iron Dome’ with kinetic interceptors, and is believed to have directed energy weapons (DEWs , i.e. lasers) close to deployment.

    Meanwhile, China is attempting to catch up and maybe leapfrog the US.

    Space assets

    As technology advances and nations become increasingly reliant on satellites for communication, navigation, and reconnaissance.

    With a “user-friendly” design, the system has the power to simulate and foresee the intricate process of space combat, according to its developers.

    It was not just a tool for China’s military operations, but also for shaping and sharpening the finest space warriors and commanders on a large scale, they said.

    Developed by the National University of Defence Technology in Changsha, the system has already proved its worth in a covert space mission, the team led by associate professor Zhang Jin wrote in a paper published in domestic journal National Defence Technology in October.

    It also played a pivotal role in selecting and moulding the space warfare elite earlier this year. From September, more than 400 military cadets formed more than 70 teams for a fierce, two-month competition. Many participants agreed that these mock space skirmishes not only got them combat-ready but also gave them a first-hand taste of wielding weapons they had only read about in textbooks or technical documents.

    “We were all thrilled,” one trainee said in Zhang’s paper.

    Alleged satellite debris falls to earth in a village of northern China

    The official stance of the Chinese government aligns with that of most countries worldwide, which is a firm opposition to any form of space warfare.

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