China's military exercises in 2012 continued to go back to its essence, namely upgrading the troop units' combat power by adopting methods closest to the actual combat situations. The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is exploring new combat-power generation modes through military exercises. Three apparent changes can be observed from China's military exercises:
Level of informationization is impressive
Many military exercises in 2012 showed that the command method and the level of the information-based weapons and equipment of the PLA are quite impressive.
The "integrated command information system" made its debut in early 2012. This self-developed command information system of China integrates various arms of the PLA's services, namely the ground force, the navy, the air force and the second artillery force, links up command organs at various levels and the general headquarters/departments of the PLA, and connects command factors including support and information.
To better cultivate the habits of using the "integrated command information system", many military exercises in 2012 even adopted an extreme method, namely paper-based maps were not allowed to be used for combat command.
The changes in 2012 were related to the PLA's constant strengthening of its information-based construction for years. The powerful geographic information support system contains factors necessary for combat operations including measuring and mapping, meteorology and information. The levels of various types of information-based weapon platforms become higher and higher. The update and upgrade of the communication means make the command and control become more and more accurate.
China's "Beidou-II" satellite navigation system was officially enabled on December 27, 2012. The accuracy of this navigation and positioning system reaches less than 10 meters. The "Beidou" system will greatly promote the PLA's information-based construction.
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