Unmanned operations will change the shape of future warfare

At present, with the rapid development of artificial intelligence technology, a large number of intelligent unmanned equipment such as “unmanned vehicles”, “unmanned ships” and “drones” have emerged as the times require and continue to expand their applications in actual combat, especially in battlefield perception. New features and changes have emerged in the area of ​​operation, operational space, combat mode, command and control, and logistics support, which have promoted drastic changes in the form of warfare.

Battlefield perception is more accurate and transparent
The development of unmanned equipment enhances battlefield perception. The battlefield perception system plays an important role similar to “eyes and ears” in the combat system. The attack and protection of the battlefield perception system by the two opponents has become one of the important tasks of modern warfare. The survivability of the battlefield perception system is facing severe tests. In the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, and the Iraq War, the ground and underwater sensors of the US military were often subject to artificial interference and damage by the opponent, and even misjudgment was caused by receiving the opponent’s deliberately misleading information. Unmanned reconnaissance and early warning equipment gives full play to the advantages of anti-electronic interference, flexibility, and resistance to nuclear radiation, greatly improving the survivability of the battlefield sensing system.

New technology applications provide a battlefield awareness technology engine. Since the 21st century, new-generation information technologies such as artificial intelligence, information grids, mobile networks, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things have developed rapidly, providing technical support for improving the ability of battlefield information perception. For example, the U.S. military has successively carried out research on a series of sensor systems such as the intelligent dust system to collect battlefield information, the Lombard system to remotely monitor the battlefield environment, the sand linear system to listen to the movement of weapon platforms, and the wolf pack system to specifically detect electromagnetic signals. Integrate the command and control system, strategic early warning system, battlefield sensing system, combat readiness and duty monitoring system, equipment and material management visualization system and other resources to build a centralized and unified battlefield sensor network system to realize the physical infrastructure and information foundation of the battlefield. The goal of facility interconnection. This will bring a new revolution to information acquisition: on the one hand, it can eliminate blind spots in reconnaissance, realize “seamless” perception of the battlefield, and improve battlefield transparency; on the other hand, it can integrate all personnel, weapons, equipment, and support materials on the battlefield into the network. Among them, any sensor on the network node can be connected to various reconnaissance and surveillance systems set up on satellites and airplanes to obtain the spatial positioning ability of the target that it does not possess, so as to realize the sensing and positioning.

Action space boundaries are more blurred
The battlefield space tends to be multidimensional. Combat space is the range of space involved in combat operations. From a macro perspective, the new technological space is closely integrated with the traditional physical space. War confrontation has expanded from the traditional space to the multidimensional integration of “land, sea, air, space, electricity, network, and heart”; the combat domain has changed from a single physical domain to a “physical domain, In-depth integration of information domain, cognitive domain, and social domain; the focus of the struggle for power has shifted from “information, ocean, and sky” to “intelligence, space, and network”, forming a “closely coupled, interconnected and interactive” integrated multi-dimensional battlefield . From a microscopic point of view, intelligent unmanned equipment can enable humans to break through the limits of brain power, physiological limits, and physical limits. It can adapt to harsh environments such as high temperature, extreme cold, high pressure, hypoxia, toxic, and radiation. Combat missions such as micro, extremely deep, and extremely difficult. Moreover, intelligent unmanned equipment can freely penetrate into the enemy’s combat space to monitor and destroy the enemy. Therefore, any time and space may become the time and space for intelligent unmanned equipment to fight.

The attack and protection of the hostile parties against the battlefield perception system has become one of the important tasks of modern warfare.

Confrontation space tends to blur. In the process of unmanned operations in the future, the various combat forces of the opposing parties will carry out combat operations in multi-domain spaces such as land, sea, air, space, network, and electricity. All fields support and rely on each other, forming multiple levels, large depth, A multidimensional battlefield space. Due to the diverse forces participating in the war, various forces may launch different types of combat operations successively or at the same time, and various combat types and styles are closely integrated, and the diversity of combat operations and cross-domain joint characteristics are more obvious, including “soft kill”. , There are also “hard destruction”; there are both aerial and maritime operations, as well as adjacent space and underground space operations; both focus on psychology, unmanned, intelligent and other fields, and develop multi-dimensional confrontation of information cognitive domains, and The confrontation of the physical domain, etc., the boundaries of the confrontation between the hostile parties tend to be blurred.

Combat modes are more tightly coupled
The traditional combat model was broken. Intelligent unmanned combat battlefield space has greatly expanded, combat time has been greatly reduced, combat rhythm has been significantly accelerated, confrontation methods are intricate, and battlefield situations are changing rapidly. Wars are full of variability, complexity, and suddenness, and speed has become a key factor in victory. In traditional warfare, the “process-based” combat method of established plans, fixed models, and formulated steps has been broken. With the support of a powerful battlefield network, intelligent unmanned equipment can randomly change tactical tactics based on the actual combat situation, rely on changes in the battlefield situation, and rely on intelligent network platforms to adopt flexible, mobile, and changeable combat methods to implement precision strikes and electromagnetic Destroy, cyber attacks and other combat methods, so as to achieve full time and space, full frequency domain, multi-dimensional, multi-modal combat.

The new main battle mode is closely coordinated. Integrated surveillance and combat operations and coordinated operations will be the main battle mode for the development of unmanned operations. The basic method is to combine manned and unmanned platforms. UAVs will take the lead in battlefield reconnaissance, target locking, and attack guidance. Responsible for firepower strikes and elimination of targets, the two coordinate with each other to achieve complementary advantages. The U.S. military used a Predator drone for the first time in the war in Afghanistan to kill Atif, the second leader of the Taliban Al Qaeda organization, setting a precedent for drones to carry out an attack mission. In this battle, the US military used the RQ-1 Predator unmanned reconnaissance/attack aircraft to be the first to find and track the target, and then guided three F-15 fighters to throw three GBU-15 bombs. At the same time, the Predators also launched two successively. The Haierfa anti-tank missile accurately hit Atif’s temporary residence and successfully killed him.

In addition, during the Syrian war, the French, British, and American allied forces used “beheading operations” throughout the entire process of air strikes. Of the 397 air strikes carried out by the U.S. military, 145 of the 397 air strikes were completed by Predator drones, far exceeding the previous wars. The number of times used in. With the cooperation of British and American intelligence agencies, the Predator UAV, French Rafale fighters, and Libyan forces coordinated operations to successfully complete the search for Gaddafi. It can be seen that the UAV combat application in this mode is highly interactive. It not only actively explores new tactics that integrate inspection and combat, but also makes the unmanned platform closely coupled with the manned platform, and it is important to develop “decapitation” attacks and “acupuncture” clearance. At the same time as the combat style, a unique combat system was formed.

Command and control are more precise and direct
The command process is quickly optimized. Combat command is a key factor in the effectiveness of combat operations. The use of intelligent unmanned equipment has accelerated the pace of combat and increased emergencies. There is an urgent need for rapid and efficient command decisions. The rapid development of intelligent command and control technologies such as information perception and data fusion has provided favorable conditions for the construction of an intelligent, mesh-topological command system structure. At the same time, the successful realization of data resource sharing, command synchronization transmission, and weapon platform interconnection and interoperability has further increased the speed of information flow, shortened the command activity cycle, and optimized the command process, so as to achieve the goal of winning quickly and preemptively.

Any time and space may become the time and space for intelligent unmanned equipment to fight

The order is issued to the end. The separation of unmanned combat platforms and operators has enabled a large number of soldiers to become operators of unmanned combat platforms. They can be in the same place with commanders, and have more direct and closer contact, ending the separation in space and time. This not only makes the commander’s command and control of the soldiers (that is, the operator) more direct, but also makes the commander’s command and control of the unmanned combat platform on the front line and the manned combat force that cooperate with the unmanned combat operation more direct. Because the real-time situation of the battlefield sent back by the commander through the unmanned combat platform, he can simultaneously observe the frontline operations and can see exactly the same battle scene with the frontline combat troops at almost the same time, which makes it possible for the commander to issue orders to the lowest-level troops. . In the Iraq War, a U.S. brigadier general sent back the real-time situation of the battlefield through the Predator UAV at the brigade command center. He directly issued instructions to the front-line detachment commander including how the troops are deployed and how each combatant is deployed. Tactical commands.

Logistics support is more flexible and lasting
Guarantee flexibility continues to increase. The rapid development and widespread use of unmanned systems not only have outstanding advantages in early warning detection, reconnaissance intelligence, electronic warfare, and firepower warfare, but also play a unique role in the field of logistics support. Because the unmanned system has a “unmanned platform” and has a long endurance, it can continuously and uninterruptedly carry out timely, appropriate, and appropriate precision guarantees in dangerous environments, especially for front-line combat troops for ammunition, food, fuel, equipment and other materials. Terminal replenishment can not only effectively solve the “last thousand meters” problem of the support chain, but also greatly reduce the casualties of support personnel. During the war in Afghanistan, in order to avoid the threat of improvised explosive devices on ground transportation vehicles, the U.S. military used K-MAX unmanned helicopters to replenish materials to forward bases and marines stationed at outposts. The aircraft can carry out directional flight according to the GPS system, and can also be controlled by ground personnel through remote control devices for long-distance flight, and with the assistance of personnel to complete the hoisting or delivery of materials. It can hoist and transport 2 tons of materials each time and deliver about 13.6 tons per day. A spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Corps’ regional headquarters in Afghanistan once revealed: From the end of 2012 to May 2013, the K-MAX drone flew more than 30,000 hours in Afghanistan and carried out more than 1.45 million kilograms of material delivery missions, which is equivalent to Transport volume of 600 trucks. In addition, in underwater operations, large-scale underwater unmanned submarine vehicles can also take on the task of forwarding supplies. It can provide equipment, supplies and other materials and equipment for secretly performing missions or other offshore platforms. A small number of combatants can be transported, supplemented or evacuated.

Russia’s unmanned attack aircraft with integrated detection and attack capabilities

The armies of major countries in the world are trying to develop unmanned logistics equipment for battlefield support

The guarantee continued to increase. At present, the armed forces of major countries in the world are trying to develop unmanned logistics equipment for battlefield support. While improving the efficiency of logistics support, it also saves the number of combatants used for non-combat missions and frees them from heavy and repetitive support tasks. Come out and focus on the completion of combat missions. Studies have shown that it is difficult for soldiers to maintain damage, protection, and mobility due to increased weight, and combat effectiveness is significantly reduced. According to data, if a soldier carries a 46 kg load and travels 20 kilometers, the shooting hit rate will be reduced by 26%, and it will also cause physical and mental fatigue to the soldier. Especially in modern warfare, the battle rhythm is fast, the troops are frequently maneuvering, the battlefield is consumed, and the materials and equipment to be carried are large. The use of unmanned transportation platforms to accompany support can make the troops more focused on combat tasks. Mainly land-based highly autonomous unmanned transport vehicles, usually implemented by a single unmanned transport vehicle, that is, small vehicles accompanied by individual soldiers, medium and large vehicles accompanied by squads (combat vehicles), but if the terrain conditions permit, it can also Multiple unmanned transportation vehicle formations accompany the tactical detachment operations, and assume the task of carrying supplies for the entire detachment. During the implementation process, the battle group (squad) moves in the front, and the unmanned transport vehicle recognizes the three-dimensional three-dimensional image of the following soldier or combat vehicle through its own sensor components, locks and tracks it, and automatically follows the maneuver at the appropriate position behind the side. Or stop the movement at the right time, and the combat personnel can also control the vehicle flexibly by means of remote control or voice commands. In November 2011, the U.S. Army equipped the 10th Mountain Division in southern Afghanistan with 4 multifunctional unmanned transport vehicles with the “squad mission support system” with operational functions to assist the combat detachment to complete logistics and transportation tasks. Currently, unmanned ground vehicles with “accompanying” combat capabilities have become the focus of the development of unmanned support equipment in various countries.

Of course, the history of human warfare has shown time and again that in a war, any party who unexpectedly first uses a certain new type of weaponry or a certain new type of combat force and adopts a certain new type of combat can often be the first to win the initiative in the war. With the advancement of science and technology and the development of military science, the constraints of winning wars have become more and more complex. We must have a deep understanding of the profound changes in the future battlefield shape of unmanned operations, early study of coping strategies, seize opportunities, and plan ahead. Strategic initiative to win future wars.