Targeting relies on satellite network, early warning technology: experts
China and Russia are developing their own precision air strike capabilities as the U.S., UK and France attacked Syria over the weekend, military experts said on Monday.
"Precision strike capacity is a key of modern war, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Monday. "It controls the scale of battles and avoids secondary victimization."
The U.S. leads the world in precision strikes with years of real-battle testing and a comprehensive choice of weaponry, Song asserted.
"However, the true effect of the 105 missiles has not been proved despite the report from the US," Song said.
"Though the three countries represent the global trend of precision strikes, their capabilities need to be observed further."
A Beijing-based military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times that such strikes boost the efficiency of attack as the war zone becomes more transparent and connected through real-time technologies.
"The US has the most advanced precision strike technologies, and the UK and France, as allies of the U.S., can share U.S. resources," he said.
The three allies struck military targets in response to the Bashar al-Assad government's alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma, the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta near the Syrian capital, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
U.S. Joint Staff Director General Kenneth McKenzie said the three deployed 105 weapons on Syrian targets and all the Western nations' aircraft safely returned to their bases.
Chinese military experts indicated that China and Russia have also been developing a precision strike capacity.
"With precision strikes, Russia has first-mover advantage compared with China. The Soviet Union, having experienced the Cold War, has a military heritage of precision strike weapons with advanced technologies," Song said. "Russia can upgrade its precision strike weaponry on this basis."
China has also been developing strike weapons, Song noted.
"The precision strike capabilities that the U.S. owns are also possessed by China," Song said. "Some Chinese capabilities could even equal those of the US."
But China's capability in this area lacks real battle testing. Once China has experienced an "exam" in a real battleground, then its capability will see a step change, Song said.
Precision strikes call for military capabilities in global reconnaissance and early warning, directing and controlling targeting and navigation of attack, the anonymous expert noted.
"Whether a country can build a whole system is a big test for modern information-based wars," he said.
Currently only powerful countries can realize the whole system, he said. "China's BeiDou Navigation System could be used in this area," he said.