Chinese Military Exploration of Key Points of Intelligent Warfare



  ● Accelerating the development of military intelligence is the choice of the times to seize the commanding heights of military strategic competition and win future wars.

  ●The extensive use of smart weapons has become the new protagonist on the battlefield, which will inevitably give rise to new combat styles, profoundly change the traditional combat power generation model, and subvert the traditional combat winning mechanism.

  ● To scientifically advance the development of military intelligence, the top priority is to explore the winning rules of intelligent warfare.

  The report of the 19th CPC National Congress clearly requires the acceleration of the development of military intelligence. At present, major countries in the world regard artificial intelligence as a disruptive technology that “changes the rules of the game” and accelerate the preparation for intelligent warfare. To seize the commanding heights of future military strategic competition and do a good job in intelligent warfare research, the first thing to do is to recognize and grasp the winning rules of intelligent warfare, and provide scientific needs and strong traction for promoting the development of military intelligence. Intelligent warfare is an autonomous warfare supported by a cloud environment. The winning of warfare follows both the general winning mechanism and its own new characteristics and laws.

  Deep understanding of the battlefield

  War activities are extremely complex, but they can generally be divided into two categories: cognitive domain and action domain. War cognition includes perception, understanding, judgment, decision-making, as well as beliefs and values. In cold weapon and hot weapon warfare, cognitive behavior is basically completed by humans. In information warfare, computer technology and network technology have expanded the ability of weapon systems to recognize and understand the battlefield, but have not changed the situation where the war cognitive system lags behind the action system.

  In intelligent warfare, smart weapons of various forms become the protagonists, and their common understanding of the battlefield becomes a prerequisite for the coordinated actions of combat elements and combat units. In wartime, relying on dispersed intelligent reconnaissance and early warning equipment, battlefield situation information can be obtained in real time, and massive information can be intelligently analyzed and processed. The situation information can be uniformly managed in a combat cloud mode, and situation information can be distributed and shared according to authority as needed. A joint battlefield situation map with unified time and space benchmarks and consistent standards and specifications can be constructed to provide a unified background for smart weapons to jointly understand and understand the battlefield situation. Moreover, smart weapons themselves are embedded with massive basic data. In wartime, they can accurately understand the enemy and battlefield conditions by comparing and analyzing the real-time battlefield situation with their own databases.

  The substantial improvement in war cognition has changed the situation where the war cognition system has long lagged behind the action system. It can be said that if we cannot deeply understand the battlefield, we cannot organize and implement intelligent warfare. The party that has an advantage in understanding the battlefield can usually take the initiative on the battlefield.

  Flexible and friendly human-computer interaction

  The organization and implementation of intelligent warfare relies on smart weapons to accurately understand the commander’s intentions and organize actions according to instructions. With the emergence and application of new concept computers such as neural network computers, optical computers, and biological computers, with the support of intelligent technologies such as voice recognition and text and graphic recognition, the human-computer interface of the command information system is highly intelligent, and the art of command and military strategy are deeply integrated into the human-computer interaction system, expert knowledge base system, and weapon intelligent guidance system. The expert system supported by the multidisciplinary knowledge base makes the human-computer exchange interface more convenient, flexible, and effective.

  In wartime, the intelligent human-computer interactive command platform uses key technologies such as intelligent algorithms, big data, and cloud computing to effectively break through the limitations of human analytical capabilities, ensure that commanders can quickly and accurately judge and predict the development of the war situation, and assist commanders in selecting combat plans and making combat decisions. Through friendly human-computer interaction, commands are automatically transmitted to the corresponding command objects, directly controlling the combat actions of smart weapons. Smart weapons understand the commander’s intentions through their own intelligent terminals, and efficiently execute human commands, achieving a good integration of humans and smart weapons.

  Swarm intelligence cross-domain collaboration

  The protagonists of intelligent warfare are smart weapons of various forms. The key to the coordination of combat operations and the effectiveness of the combat system lies in the coordination and linkage between smart weapons. Although today’s unmanned combat systems have a certain degree of intelligence, their coordination still mainly relies on human instructions to organize and implement, and it is difficult to implement self-organized coordination between platforms.

  In the future intelligent warfare, there will be a large number of smart weapons on land, sea, air and space. It is impossible to organize and coordinate efficiently by relying solely on rear personnel. It is necessary to rely on real-time sharing of battlefield situation information between weapon platforms and random self-organization and coordination according to the development and changes of battlefield situation. In order to ensure mutual understanding and linkage between smart weapons, unified combat rules are usually preset on the platform, such as unified rules for attack, maneuver and protection, and unified rules for communication and information distribution and sharing. With the further development of computer software and hardware technology, the expert system knowledge base of smart weapons contains tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of rules. In wartime, with the changes in enemy situation, our situation and battlefield environment, especially the development of enemy and our offensive and defensive actions, different combat scenarios will trigger corresponding combat rules. Smart weapons take corresponding reconnaissance, attack and protection actions according to unified rules to avoid mutual interference or even conflict. At the same time, through a highly accurate time system, a unified time benchmark is established to provide a unified benchmark for the combat operations of smart weapons in different spaces, support the optimization of smart weapons and autonomous coordination, and achieve intelligent group coordination.

  Human control for timely intervention

  Intelligent warfare is not completely autonomous warfare of smart weapons. People are always the planners, organizers and implementers of warfare. The selection of combat objectives and targets is judged and decided by people, and smart weapons carry out various actions based on the commander’s intentions. Because artificial intelligence can only partially think like humans, smart weapons lack human rational judgment and standards of right and wrong. As long as there are problems in the command and control link, it is possible to violate the commander’s intentions or even lose control, leading to a passive situation in the war. Similar incidents happen from time to time. In October 2007, three “Sword” robots of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Division of the US Army did not replace the software in time. During the mission, one robot actually aimed its gun at the operator. Because it was completely out of control, it had to be destroyed in the end.

  In future intelligent warfare, once the battlefield situation undergoes major changes, or the original combat objectives have been achieved, commanders must timely and accurately intervene in the reconnaissance, attack, and protection operations of smart weapons to ensure that smart weapons are always under human control and are controlled to achieve combat objectives according to the commander’s intentions.

  Distributed Autonomous Action

  Smart weapons are the main body of direct confrontation between the enemy and us, usually far away from the rear commanders and technicians. Moreover, the pace of intelligent warfare has accelerated unprecedentedly. The human brain cannot cope with the ever-changing battlefield situation, and some actions need to be handed over to smart weapons. In wartime, smart weapons embedded with artificial intelligence technology can accurately and continuously track targets in a rapidly changing battlefield environment, autonomously detect, autonomously process battlefield situation information, autonomously identify enemies and friends, and autonomously and flexibly use ammunition loads.

  At the same time, through unified standard protocols and sharing mechanisms, a cloud environment with multi-dimensional coverage, seamless network links, random user access, on-demand extraction of information resources, and flexible and fast organizational guarantees is formed to realize “data warehouse”, “cloud brain” and “digital staff”, providing full coverage of cloud environment support for smart weapons. Smart weapons in different spaces become a node of the information network under the connection of information technology, and are no longer isolated and helpless. Supported by a large system, smart weapons integrate reconnaissance, identification, positioning, control, and attack, and can “kill” in seconds when discovered. During combat, with the development of the battlefield situation and combat needs, smart weapons in different spaces act autonomously. Whoever is suitable, whoever is dominant, whoever is advantageous, whoever launches, dispersed firepower, information power, mobility, and protection power are accurately released at the most appropriate time and the most appropriate place. Focusing on unified combat objectives, a combat power generation link of “situation sharing-synchronous collaboration-focused energy release” is formed to organize combat operations autonomously.

  Remote Focused Technical Support

  Smart weapons rely on high-tech technologies such as artificial intelligence and information networks. Their combat effectiveness is inseparable from the stable operation of operating systems and software, as well as technical experts and support personnel in the rear. The organization and implementation of intelligent combat operations will greatly reduce the dependence on traditional support such as materials and transportation, and the focus of support will be on intelligence, knowledge, information, networks, software, etc.

  On the battlefield, the size of troops and weapons has decreased, while the technical support forces such as software design, network control, information resources, and equipment maintenance have increased unprecedentedly. In wartime, remote focused technical support should not only emphasize technical pre-storage and pre-positioning, but also rely on perception and response technology to integrate the perception system, control system, computer and user terminal of the entire battlefield space to form an interconnected and integrated technical support network. In particular, the artificial intelligence technology embedded in smart weapons and rear support facilities can be used to obtain the operating status of smart weapons in real time, discover their technical failures and support needs in a timely manner, update the support plan in real time, and distribute technical support needs to the support units; the rear technical support forces can “consult” the front-end smart weapons through the network to implement remote function recovery and technical information support.

(Editors: Huang Zijuan, Wang Jiquan)


















智能化作戰並非智慧兵器的完全自主作戰,人始終是作戰的籌劃者、組織者和實施者。作戰目的和目標的選擇,都由人來判斷和決策,智慧兵器圍繞著指揮意圖實施各種行動。因為,人工智慧只能部分像人類那樣思考,智慧兵器缺乏人的理性判斷和是非標準,只要指揮控制環節出現問題,就有可能違背指揮官意圖,甚至失控,導致戰局的被動。類似事件,當前就時有發生。 2007年10月,美軍第三機步師的3台「利劍」機器人,由於沒有及時更換軟體,執行任務中1台機器人竟把槍口瞄準操作員,因完全失去控制,最後只能將其摧毀。




同時,透過統一的標準協定、共享機制,形成多維覆蓋、網路無縫連結、使用者隨機存取、資訊資源按需提取、組織保障靈活快速的雲端環境,實現「資料倉儲」「雲端大腦」 “數位參謀”,為智慧兵器提供全覆蓋的雲環境支撐。不同空間的智慧兵器在資訊科技的連結下成為資訊網路的一個節點,不再孤立無援。在大體系支撐下,智慧兵器集偵察、辨識、定位、控制、攻擊於一身,發現就能「秒殺」。作戰過程中,隨著戰場態勢的發展及作戰需要,處於不同空間的智慧兵器自主行動,誰合適、誰主導,誰有利、誰發射,分散的火力、資訊力、機動力、防護力,在最恰當的時間、最恰當的地點精確釋放。圍繞統一作戰目標,形成「態勢共享-同步協作-聚焦釋能」的戰鬥力產生鏈路,自主組織作戰行動。






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