Information Warfare: Chinese Blue Force Tracker Tested

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September 25, 2007: Earlier this year, China launched a military communications satellite, the first of several that will support a battlefield Internet capability for the Chinese military. The U.S. first tested that concept during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. There, "Blue Force Tracker" GPS/satellite telephone devices were placed in thousands of combat vehicles. Anyone with a laptop, the right software and access codes could then see where everyone was. This hasty (all the stuff was still in development) experiment was a huge success, and the United States has proceeded to add more of this capability. The Chinese have noticed, and were developing crude prototypes of American devices even before the Iraq invasion.

But this month, with the special communications satellite up there, Chinese troops are testing the "Qu Dian System." This is basically a satellite based command and control system, that enables all commanders hooked up with it, to see what everyone else is up to. Eventually, individual soldiers will carry satellite phone type communicators, that will report their status, and any other useful information, to commanders and fellow soldiers. China has been carefully monitoring American developments in this area, and don't want to be left behind.

 


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