Chinese Space War Simulator Unveiled19th Dec 2023
Recently, military scientists in China revealed a previously confidential space war-gaming system. According to the developers, the system features a user-friendly design and can simulate and predict the complex process of space combat. This Chinese space war simulator intended not only for the country’s military operations but also for training and enhancing space commanders and warriors on a much more substantial scale.
The Future of Military Training
The National University of Defence Technology in Changsha developed the system, as per a paper published in National Defence Technology in October. The paper, authored by a team led by associate professor Zhang Jin, had a section stating that the system has already demonstrated its effectiveness in a secret space mission.
Moreover, the Chinese space war simulator played a crucial role in choosing and preparing the space warfare elite earlier in the year. Over 400 military cadets created over 70 teams in September for a rigorous, two-month competition. Many participating members claimed that these simulated space battles prepared them for combat and offered them a first-hand experience of operating weapons that they had only studied in technical documents or textbooks.
China’s Stance Against Space Warfare
The Chinese government’s official stance is consistent with that of most nations worldwide, which is a strong opposition to any type of space warfare. China and Russia jointly submitted a resolution to the UN on 31st October, declaring their commitment to refrain from deploying space weapons and urging measures to prevent the possibility of an arms race in outer space.
Zhang’s team warned of the catastrophic consequences of space war for the entire world. A space conflict would significantly impact the infrastructure orbiting the Earth, including ground systems that support them, such as large radar stations and rocket launch pads. Other devastating consequences addressed in the paper included planes being blinded, ships lost at sea, chaos in cities, and remote communities disconnected from the world. The services we rely on daily, such as live international sports broadcasts and weather forecasts, could also be interrupted.
The team also noted that some view direct attacks on satellites as equivalent to starting and fuelling a nuclear war.
During a space war, the Earth would be in chaos, and space would become strewn with debris from the conflict. These fragments could collide with each other at high speeds, resulting in an explosion of debris in the Earth’s orbit. This would threaten operational space facilities and humanity as a whole.
The Features of the Space War Game
The space war game developed by Zhang’s team is unlike any other war-gaming system used by the PLA (People’s Liberation Army). One of the system’s most prominent features is that it can make the Earth transparent in the operation interface, thus allowing users in the Eastern Hemisphere to view situations in the Western Hemisphere.
In traditional war-gaming, military units usually target neighboring enemy units. However, according to Zhang’s team, in space warfare, a satellite can orbit the Earth multiple times briefly, rendering some traditional tactics ineffective or counterproductive.
Despite the introduction of these features and more, Zhang’s team warned that the game is still in its infancy and will require functional expansions and performance optimizations in the future to address the PLA’s concerns regarding space threats.