China’s aspirations for covert operations have taken a futuristic turn, with plans surfacing for the creation of robot drones and special agents akin to James Bond. As to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aims to produce robotic operatives with artificial intelligence by 2035.
Such a breakthrough makes perfect sense: it would increase operational efficiency while reducing the hazards that human operatives encounter on dangerous missions. China hopes to reduce the number of casualties and expose fewer military strategists in the event of asset acquisition by using machines in dangerous situations rather than people.
The PLA’s Unit 78092 has disclosed intentions to collaborate with a team of scientists towards the creation of drones capable of executing intricate overseas missions within the next decade. These envisioned unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are designed to possess a multitude of capabilities, including long-distance flight, underwater navigation, and prolonged stealth. With the ability to swiftly emerge from underwater depths, execute targeted strikes, and disappear seamlessly, these drones represent a significant leap in covert warfare technology.
The theoretical framework for such operations was detailed in the Fire Control & Command Control journal, shedding light on a hypothetical conflict scenario where drones play a pivotal role. In this envisaged conflict, small-scale engagements between China and a neighboring nation unfold along riverine borders. The PLA is tasked with executing precise strikes against enemy installations situated deep within hostile territory.
The strategic imperative demands drones equipped with advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, enabling them to operate autonomously or in swarms, navigate river depths, and engage enemy targets with precision. Moreover, the drones are expected to possess the capability to assess battlefield conditions, pursue fleeing adversaries, and ensure decisive victory.
As China sets its sights on the development of robot drones and specialized operatives for covert operations, the landscape of modern warfare continues to evolve, ushering in an era where technology and innovation redefine the boundaries of espionage and military strategy.