China is equipping its Aircraft Carrier with Drones Using AI

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To compete with US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations China’s military is looking to equip its carrier based manned aircraft with drones using advanced technologies such as Artificial intelligence.

At a press conference in Beijing chief engineer of China aerospace and technical corporation Shi Wen told this month that efforts are being made to promote artificial intelligence for UAVs to allow manned aircraft to co- pilot UAVs. Their team is working on a series of UAVs  to be deployed in both surveillance and attack mission. They have been been working on the Cahong series of drones such as CH-3, CH-4 and the CH-5, dubbed the killer drone.” On average,  every CH-series drone has a flying time of more than 12000 around the world every year, so we have a huge database to support  AI technology research.

Wing loong II at Dubai air show 2017

Due to CH-5 ability to link up to drones the CH series was chosen. Another advantage is that CH-5 is capable of making a joint strike with its predecessors, the CH-3 and CH-4, because they can share same data link and control system therefore it is very easy for current users of the CH-3 and CH-4 to introduce and integrate the CH-5 into their drone network.

As the program is said to be china’s version of the US Navy’s unmanned carrier launched airborne surveillance and strike(UCLAS) pentagon gave orders to modify it as ” primarily a carrier based unmanned aerial refuelling platform.”

Speaking on these developments, Director of the national security program at the Centre for a new America security Paul Scharre told Newsweek that  Chinese military is “very aggressive in experiments of how they want to use it.” “It’s not surprising to see (China) lean into this, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them actually doing some of the implementation sooner than some western countries.”

Although the military has not released any information, research into carrier based UAVs started long ago and ship based UAVs on destroyers and frigates have already been used in training.