Scientists at a Chinese military university have in the past few years been focusing on developing unmanned combat systems. Their efforts are beginning to bear fruit. Recent reports show multiple types of unmanned equipment, including an amphibious combat platform and a combat vehicle with a new design concept, that are about to enter military service. Liu Xuanzun reports in Global Times.
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Modified unmanned Dongfeng Mengshi armored vehicle during test (Picture source: screenshot from China Central Television via Global Times)
Since 2013, the technological innovation team for unmanned combat systems at the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) has been making independent innovations involving frontier technologies in unmanned warfare, and it has developed many types of unmanned combat equipment, which will lay the technical foundations for Chinese troops to win future wars, China National Radio (CNR) reported on November 11.
One of the projects, an unmanned amphibious platform, won a competitive tender by the equipment department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Army, CNR reported. The boat-sized platform seems to be sailing at a high speed. It has already passed delivery inspections of its parameters on the water, according to the CNR report.
Another project, dubbed a “combat vehicle with a new design concept,” is also ready for delivery inspections, the report said. During the initial phase of the project, the head of the NUDT team conducted surveys of more than a dozen military units to learn the troops’ needs for an unmanned combat vehicle, and eventually decided to build one for multiple purposes including obstacle-clearing and reconnaissance, CNR reported.
In recent years, the NUDT team also developed the “Desert Wolf” series of unmanned ground vehicles, which run on tracks, are equipped with remotely controlled weapon stations, and can transport goods and injured soldiers. The team also modified the Dongfeng Mengshi off-road assault vehicle — a type of vehicle widely used by the PLA — into unmanned variants, according to the report.