By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
Photo(s) Credit: Wendell Minnick at Defense News and People’s Daily, China
December 02, 2014
The Chinese Military is apparently going futuristic in its UAS/UAV/UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle)/drone aircraft ops with the new AVIC Holographic GCS (Ground Control Station), or HGCS. Just chalk it up to one more technological development that was first portrayed in either a Star Trek or Star Wars movie. In this case it’s a holographic display of the entire battlespace and all the unmanned flying vehicles in it. One would think that if you display all the drone aircraft holographically, you should be able to do the same thing for all the manned aircraft, ground vehicles and ground troops, as well–at least in theory.
If the drone pilots themselves have either virtual-reality-type head/helment-mounted displays or 360-degree immersive cockpits to give them a realistic flying experience, then the Chinese will have the whole shebang, especially if they can integrate it with aircraft carrier operations.
This technology is of course heading toward entire immersive rooms that military commanders can walk into and walk around inside of as they look at a battle happening all around them in real time, as it actually happens. Hopefully, the U.S. and its NATO allies with get there first. Every visual aspect of the battle will eventually be recordable and capable of being played back for review and AAR. Once all manned aircraft, ground vehicles and mobile infantry, including both Special Operations Forces (SOF) and general infantry, also all have cameras and positioning sensors on them, you can have a truly complete and dynamic battlefield picture.
Anyway, the Chinese will most likely apply the HGCS to both the WJ-1 Pterodactyl UCAV and Lijian low-observable stealth UAS.
We’ll (US) probably have to fight a Sino-Russian (Chinese-Russian) force at some point in a conventional nation-state war, so China’s and Russia’s respective economic, technological and military development are concerning, to say the least. Our first real test against China will most likely be over Taiwan.
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