Information Warfare: Chinese Navy Tests Its New Networking Tech

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January 16, 2016: In late 2015 a Chinese military journal published an article describing a naval exercise earlier in the year that featured Chinese warships at sea practicing the use of their networking (between ships, aircraft, satellites and land stations). American naval intelligence probably already knows about this because Chinese naval training exercises are regularly monitored by American and allied ships, subs, aircraft and satellites that can collect the electronic signals employed (by radio, sonar, radar, jammers and such) for later analysis. The networking the Chinese were using makes possible instant sharing of digital sensor information like radar, sonar and other electronic sensors.

The Chinese newspaper account made mention of Cyber War, jamming and networking between ships. These are all naval technologies and techniques the United States and Western navies have been developing since the Cold War period and the Chinese were well aware of that. Now the Chinese have these capabilities and the news articles, while intended to make Chinese feel better about their new navy, also warned that all these communications and sensor technologies were vulnerable to eavesdropping, jamming and spoofing (various forms of deception).

The news article was also a warning to foreign nations that China has a modern navy, in terms of capabilities as well as vulnerabilities. The media coverage also made it clear that the Chinese were willing to spend the money necessary to keep these ships at sea to practice with these new technologies until the crews and commanders were competent in using the new gear.

 


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