Friday, December 11, 2020

Pakistani Military Launches Defense AI Program

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has launched a Cognitive Electronic Warfare (CEW) program at its Center for Artificial Intelligence and Computing (CENTAIC), according to media reports. Modern connected weapon systems generate vast amounts of data requiring artificial intelligence and machine learning software for speedy analysis and rapid decision-making on the battlefield. 

AI/ML in Military


Modern electronic warfare requires the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to analyze vast amounts of data coming from a large number of sensors mounted on various military platforms deployed on the ground, in the air and on the seas. EW systems can collect a considerable amount of data about an enemy’s frequency use, radar deployment, and many other factors. Here is how British defense contractor BAE Systems defines it:

"Cognitive Electronic Warfare (CEW) is the use of cognitive systems – commonly known as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or machine learning – to enhance development and operation of Electronic Warfare (EW) technologies for the defense community. Cognitive systems can sense, learn, reason, and interact naturally with people and environments, accelerating development and implementation of next generation EW threat detection, suppression, and neutralization technologies". 

Indian defense analyst Pravin Sawhney says Pakistan Air Force may have already begun using CEW  systems. In a recent video posted on YouTube, Sawhney believes PAF used CEW in Pakistan's successful Operation Swift Report launched in response to India's bombing of Balakot in 2019. 

Sawhney speculates that, after the success of PAF's Operation Swift Retort, Pakistani military has recognized the importance of using its air force as the lead branch for the deployment of AI/ML and CEW. The establishment of Center for Artificial Intelligence and Computing (CENTAIC) at PAF's Air University is a manifestation of Pakistani military's commitment to this strategy. 

Sawhney says that PAF's commitment to AI/ML and CEW is also a step toward achieving greater interoperability with the PLAAF, the Chinese air force. Pakistan and Chinese air forces have been conducting joint air exercises since 2011. 

PLAAF's General Hong is currently in Pakistan for Shaheen IX joint air exercises with PAF.  He has been quoted in Pakistani media as saying: “The joint exercise will improve the actual level of combat training and strengthen practical cooperation between the two air forces”. Welcoming the Chinese contingent, PAF Air Vice Marshal Sulehri has said, “The joint exercise will provide an opportunity to further enhance interoperability of both the air forces, fortifying brotherly relations between the two countries”. Shaheen IX started a week after Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met with President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to Pakistan.

‘Digital Silk Road’ project is one of 12 sub-themes agreed to at the Belt Road Forum 2019 (BRF19) in Beijing. This state-of-the-art information superhighway involves laying fiber optic cables in Pakistan which will connect with China in the north and link with Africa and the Arab World via undersea cable to be laid from Gwadar Deep Sea Port built as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The global project will include 5G wireless networks deployment in BRI (Belt Road Initiative) member nations, including Pakistan.

Watch Indian defense analyst Pravin Sawhney describe Pakistan's defense AI program:

https://youtu.be/xaAKlKoNoVU


 

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

China-Pakistan Defense Production Collaboration Irks West

Balakot and Kashmir: Fact Checkers Expose Indian Lies

Is Pakistan Ready for War with India?

Pakistan-Made Airplanes Lead Nation's Defense Exports

Modi's Blunders and Delusions 

India's Israel Envy: What If Modi Attacks Pakistan?

Project Azm: Pakistan to Develop 5th Generation Fighter Jet

Pakistan Navy Modernization

Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability

Who Won the 1965 War? India or Pakistan?


40 comments:

Maverick said...

Folks this is the future of technology. I do AI/ML innovation on commercial side in tech, i am shocked that no one is talking about it.

The amount of resource allocation based on variable sensors during battle field will give Pakistan army an advantage that no one can envision at least for now.

I throw a Use case which will change your perspective on how military tech works. Lets just say the movement of India Army and collection of its movement data over time will be seen as a pattern and can be harnessed to give you the predictability confidence that they are about to preempt. The scrambles will be given and you will have 10s of minutes before a surprise air strike... the MRE ( machine reasoning element) and the compute power to harness billions of input makes the decision a strong one...

Rejoice that military is such a forward thinking arm of Pakistan..

Muzaffar K. said...

It’s heartening to know that Pakistan Military has launched the latest Defense AI Program. Actually, it was the need of the hour. I wonder who could have helped establish this most modern-day center (CENTIAC) for Cognitive Electronic Warfare (CEW) program for Artificial Intelligence and Computing like you have mentioned in your above Vlog. By the way, never heard about the existence of such a center before. I am also thinking about how the data are streaming back to the center for analysis from the ground and from the air ( maybe from AWACS type Early warning airborne planes). Anyway, it’s true, modern-day warfare and it’s success in a war theatre really depend on how a military adapts itself to the latest technologies being used in the world.

Habibullah K. said...

With the completion of CPEC Pakistan Air Force and PLAF have a huge responsibility of safeguarding all road and sea routes to and from Gwadar! They have to maintain a thorough surveillance of all the routes round the clock !

Riaz Haq said...

2020 Gave #India a Sharp Lesson on the #Chinese Military. With its #AI #tech, #China is not just a #military threat. If it goes to war, #Pakistan too will join the war, & #Kashmiris will not be left behind. With India becoming a #US ally, all this is real. https://thewire.in/security/pla-china-military-india-lessons

Worse, even now, the Indian military is refusing to accept that its 2009 two-front war fighting strategy, predicated on Pakistan being the primary threat, has been rendered irrelevant. Hence, General Rawat’s structural reforms pivoted on the two-front thinking too stand superseded. China is more than a military threat now. If it decides to go to war, Pakistan too will join the war, and the people of Kashmir will not be left behind. Given China’s assessment of India becoming a US ally, all this is real.
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Being non-contact and invisible, intelligentised war places a premium on Artificial Intelligence and has four distinctive technology features: Dominance of the electromagnetic spectrum; autonomy; drones and unmanned systems; and human-machine collaboration and combat teaming. Such a conflict will not be a border war limited to salami slicing, as the Indian military believes. It will be war of occupation where there would be minimal loss of PLA soldiers’ blood. Given the unbridgeable mismatch between the conventional capabilities of the two sides, India’s nuclear deterrence would be rendered useless.

The Indian military – even seven months into the crisis – remains oblivious about what lies ahead. Under the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, the Indian military is three decades behind the PLA in its war concepts (for campaign); and tactics, techniques and procedures (for battles). While it is preparing for war with ‘human soldiers in the lead’, the war that the PLA will fight would have ‘machines with autonomy in the lead’.

For General Rawat, a war with China would be fought in the physical domains of land, air and sea with the army leading the campaign. For the PLA, the war-winning domains against the Indian military would be the virtual ones – of cyber, electronic and electromagnetic spectrum. General Rawat believes that time, effort, and finances should be spent on creating the organisation for supporting physical domains of war. He is pushing for raising of a joint integrated air defence command, integrated theatre commands and a maritime theatre command by 2023.

This is when the PLA would be ready with its de-centralised war where the sensors-to-shooters cycle, now called data-to-decision cycle, would have the human role largely limited to fast decision-making to remain ahead of the enemy’s kill chain. General Rawat believes that speedy infrastructure building on India’s side would help the operational and tactical movement of forces. The PLA, on the other hand, is focused on unmanned systems.

Ameer said...

Pakistan Air Force now has the central role in defense of Pakistan. Mission Planning, Machine Learning, Sensor Fusion, Data Links and Cognitive Learning in Full Spectrum all converge to provide an effective Electronic Warfare. Pakistan needs a large number of very talented PhDs and System Experts to provide rapid solutions.

Riaz Haq said...

Ameer,

PAF has a very ambitious agenda with its Project Azm to build a 5th generation fighter jet in Pakistan.

Development of a new advanced fighter is a wide-ranging effort that will encompass building human capital in a variety of fields including material science, physics, electronics, computer science, computer software, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, avionics, weapons design, etc etc.


Pakistan Air Force's Air University, established in 2002 in Islamabad, will add a new campus in Kamra Aviation City. The university already offers bachelor's master's and doctoral degrees in several subjects. Ex Pakistan Air Force Chief Sohail Aman told Quwa Defense News that the campus will “provide the desired impetus for cutting-edge indigenization programs, strengthen the local industry and harness the demands of foreign aviation industry by reducing … imports and promoting joint research and production ventures.”

https://www.riazhaq.com/2017/08/project-azm-pakistan-to-develop-5th.html

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan launches ferry service linking Iran, Iraq, UAE and beyond

https://www.cruisemapper.com/news/7888-pakistan-launches-ferry-service-linking-iran-iraq-united-arab-emirates-beyond


The federal cabinet of Pakistan on Tuesday, September 8, gave formal approval to the launch of a ferry service out of ports Gwadar and Karachi to the neighbouring states Iran, Iraq, UAE-United Arab Emirates and beyond.

Currently, there was no national or international commercial ferry service operating in the country for the purpose of transportation of goods and passengers. In the regional countries like Bangladesh, Iran, Oman, Sri Lanka, and there were established ferry operators successfully running on a variety of routes. The potential for initiating Pakistan's ferry service has been felt for quite some time, especially in providing an alternate route for Zaireen intending to call at holy sites in Iran and Iraq.

Transportation between Gwadar and Karachi and provision of an alternate water route between Port Qasim and Karachi also has potential for the country.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs moved a summary for Prime Minister back on December 15, 2017, through the interior, foreign affairs, revenue and defence divisions, proposing the launch of a ferry service through PNSC (Pakistan National Shipping Corporation). The proposal was endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior but the Defence Division raised observations and conditions on the proposed service. The Prime Minister’s Office returned the summary with directions to address the observations and re-submit the same.

The maritime affairs ministry re-submitted the proposal and suggested the involvement of private operators and a slightly changed route. The Defence Division supported it but stressed that ferry service should be launched in 3 phases, recommending ferry services to Muscat and then to UAE and Abu Dhabi in 1st and 2nd phases, respectively, and later to Iran and Iraq in the 3rd phase. The re-submitted proposal was returned by the Prime Minister’s Office, with the direction to convene a meeting of the stakeholders to address all the observations and thereafter submit recommendations.

Riaz Haq said...

China and Pakistan are currently doing joint air combat exercises codenamed Shaheen IX at PAF Bholari AFB to increase interoperability of the nation's militaries in the event of war with India. These exercises are the 9th in a series started back in 2011.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/756852-pak-china-air-exercise-shaheen-ix-underway

KARACHI: Pakistan-China Joint Air Exercise ‘Shaheen-IX’ is underway at a PAF’s operational base since December 8th, officials said.

The contingents of People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) comprising various aerial platforms, combat pilots, air defence controllers and technical ground crews are participating in the exercise.

The opening ceremony of the exercise was jointly witnessed by Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations) Air Vice Marshal Waqas Ahmed Sulehri and Assistant Chief of Staff, PLAAF Major General Sun Hong, it said.

Maj-Gen Hong said, “The joint exercise will improve the actual level of combat training and strengthen practical cooperation between the two air forces”. Welcoming the Chinese contingent, Air Vice Marshal Sulehri said, “The joint exercise will provide an opportunity to further enhance interoperability of both the air forces, fortifying brotherly relations between the two countries”.

The joint exercise started a week after Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met with President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to the country.

The ‘Shaheen-IX,’ would last until the end of December. The joint training, part of the 2020 China-Pakistan military cooperation plan, will play a positive role in promoting military relations, deepening practical cooperation between the air forces of the two countries, and improving the actual level of combat training of the two forces.

It will involve variety of air combat missions, rigorous training missions, near realistic combat scenarios, consolidating interoperability.Shaheen-IX is the ninth in the series of joint air exercises which is conducted each year in both countries on alternate basis. The first training was held in March 2011, in Pakistan, and the last one was held in Northwest China in August, 2019, and had lasted for half a month. The training in 2019 involved some 50 aircrafts and complete combat units.

Riaz Haq said...

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its use in battle space allows military commanders to develop concepts for Mosaic Warfare. Human innovation, combined with AI will create its own tactics and strategy.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2268682/mosaic-warfare-a-peep-into-multi-domain-battle-space

After discussing the contours of Mosaic Warfare, we need to highlight the contemporary concepts and weapons systems; Chinese and Russian development of weapon systems and new concepts of war fighting and strategy against US concept of net-centric warfare are important to analyse.

Pravin Sawhney, in a recent article published in The Wire, states that with the arrival of new disruptive technologies, new war domains surfaced, and to remain relevant for real-time warfare, the kill-chain became complex and vulnerable. Complex because more war domains got added and vulnerable because there was more to be secured. By early 2000s, the People Liberation Army of China, fixated on the US military, identified six war domains, namely, land, air, sea, cyber, space, and electromagnetic spectrum management. The PLA’s ‘Informationised’ warfare was about building capabilities in these domains, especially new ones which were uncontested and uncongested. The pivot of this warfare was cyber capabilities which it has been honing since the turn of the century.

Once disruptive technologies like AI came into warfare by 2012, China’s 2015 military reforms took place. The singularly important issue which would transform the character of war, and went unnoticed in the Indian military was this:

Focus had shifted from domains and geography to time-sensitive mission-sets. Called the ‘Intelligentsised’ warfare, the PLA intends to fight this in the Western Theatre Command (WTC) against the Indian military. It would be ready for this by 2025. The US military, keeping pace with the PLA, calls this fusion or Mosaic Warfare.

Surely, if war happens, the PLA will pull back its border forces which are engaged with the Indian army. It would unleash its informationised warfare predicated on cyber, space and its projectile-centric strategy based around long-range ballistic and cruise missiles. Since the projectile-centric strategy depend upon kill-chains for command and control, the Indian military, unlike the US military, lacks capability to disrupt or destroy them.

PLA at present may not go to war, but it will prepare for intelligentsised war. For that, it needs information on enemy’s habitat, ecosystem, operational logistics, enhanced winter stocking, operational and tactical infrastructure vulnerabilities, deployment patterns, command and control, recalibration of weapons, training and everything on how the enemy proposes to fight under Airland Battle Doctrine.

The PLA will be in no hurry to disengage and will certainly not de-escalate or de-induct forces since it wants to observe the Indian military’s growing war preparedness through the winter months. Make no mistake, the PLA threat is permanent.

Coming back to Mosaic Warfare, the major challenge is the flow of battle space data. At present no military in the world has the capability to deliver all available data to all entities operating in the battle space e.g. the data on an F35 superjet may not be available to a ground-based rocket launcher commander or a submarine-based platform in the sea and vice versa. This restriction is based on the good old principle of ‘need to know basis’, where a groundforce commander may not have much utility of looking through the data available with a pilot in a fighter jet, and since it takes time to sift through useful intelligence and utilise it, there was no need felt to develop multi-domain battle space systems. However, this is going to change.

Mosaic warfare will result into development of weapons and platforms suited for multi-dimensional missions, duly supported by AI tools, and will need an innovated and agile soldier and officer cadre that delivers the goods in the entire spectrum of battle space.

Anonymous said...

So, while India continues to induct new fighter jets and other military platforms in haphazard manner, it seems PAF is making very calculated and strategic decisions in order to offset these acquisitions by India. The February 26/27 skirmishes last year proved that subsystems and integrations trump platforms. In the next few years, how institutions such as the center for artificial intelligence and cognitive electronic warfare fare will in many ways decide the outcome of the war.

Riaz Haq said...

MOSAIC WARFARE: SMALL AND SCALABLE ARE BEAUTIFUL
BENJAMIN JENSEN AND JOHN PASCHKEWITZ

https://warontherocks.com/2019/12/mosaic-warfare-small-and-scalable-are-beautiful/


It is 20XX. A limited war breaks out involving a territorial dispute in the South China Sea. A U.S. Marine Corps assault team moves out of the back of an MV-22 pulling boxes containing a mix of computer chips, printable explosives, and communications gear, and prepares to strike a high-value target. They look more like the cast of MythBusters than Marines. They link up with prepositioned quadcon containers delivered by an unmanned logistics system. The team opens the container and starts assembling a mission payload. After analyzing the different options generated by the Athena computer-assistant, the team leader opts for a mix of hunters and killers: three surveillance drones to find and fix the target, two electronic attack systems to isolate the objective, and three explosive drones trained to target the critical vulnerabilities. One grunt 3D prints explosive charges while another loads new attack profiles for the mission in a tablet using blockly code. They cross check the cloud-based intelligence database and download updates to help the machine-learning algorithm recognize the target and ignore new enemy decoys and civilians. After launching the mission package, the team boards the MV-22 and plans its next attack as it proceeds to a new firing site.


The rapid and creative combination of small, cheap, flexible systems described above represents a new theory of victory: mosaic warfare. The idea emerged in the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), parallel to service concepts like Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment, Multi-Domain Operations, and Multi-Domain Battle. Like these concepts, mosaic warfare describes how to conduct multi-domain maneuver against adversaries possessing precision strike capabilities. Unlike these concepts, mosaic warfare places a premium on seeing battle as an emergent, complex system, and using low-cost unmanned swarming formations alongside other electronic and cyber effects to overwhelm adversaries. The central idea is to be cheap, fast, lethal, flexible, and scalable. Rather than building one expensive, exquisite munition optimized for a particular target, connect small unmanned systems with existing capabilities in creative and continually evolving combinations that take advantage of changing battlefield conditions and emergent vulnerabilities. Put simply, it’s Voltron on the cheap: a human-machine team combining flexible unmanned systems with coup d’oeil (strategic intuition) at a tempo that an adversary cannot match. As forces attack simultaneously from multiple directions they produce a series of dilemmas that cause the enemy system to collapse.

Over the past two years, a unique collaboration between DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office, Marine Corps University, and the U.S. Army Reserve 75th Innovation Command resulted in a series of war games to test this concept. This article explores the results. Based on the initial findings, the mosaic concept is a viable way ahead for developing 21st century multi-domain formations and capabilities. The U.S. military should accelerate and support the development of the concept through unified experimentation encompassing people, process, and technology. We need more marines and soldiers, along with coalition partners and scientists, fighting war games and conducting field experiments to transition the mosaic concept into new equipment and tactics that define how America fights.

Riaz Haq said...

How Pakistan planned to hit India back for Balakot -- the mission, the fighters, the tactics



https://theprint.in/defence/how-pakistan-planned-to-hit-india-back-for-balakot-the-mission-the-fighters-the-tactics/291522/

The PAF F-16s are known to be utilised as the long range aggressor component for these BVR engagements, clandestinely operating with the PLAAF during the exercise in Pakistan. The worthy ELINT capability of Saab 2000 ERIEYE AEW&C system, the Falcon DA-20 EW platform, as well as the ALQ-211 (V)4 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites (AIDEWS) on the Block-52s — would been very useful towards building a credible threat library and jamming techniques towards the Russian radars carried by the PLAAF.
The PAF thus would perceive itself to have a good measure of the IAF’s Su-30MKI fleet, which is seen as the primary & most numerous threat for the PAF’s wartime missions — focussing its energy on developing a range of anti- Sukhoi tactics. Hence in any IAF vs PAF contemporary aerial engagement — PAF effort would aim to deny the SU-30MKIs any tactical operational latitude.

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Incidentally, a major focus area for the PAF during the Sino-Pak ‘Shaheen’ air exercises —  has been to extensively evaluate the operational capability of the PLAAF’s Su-27/ Su-30MKK/ J-11 aircraft. Practice close combat and BVR air melees with these aircraft has revealed significant intelligence on the performance and electromagnetic signatures of the Russian origin Su-27/30/ J-11 platforms and BVR missiles like the R-27 and RVV-AE (R-77 export version) to the participating PAF aircraft. Significant would be the digital mapping and knowledge of the Minimum Abort Ranges (MAR) of these missiles — which could give an edge to the PAF in planning effective BVR tactics against the IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKIs.

Riaz Haq said...

Though the PAF lauded the role of EW/ECM in Swift Retort, it did not reveal much about what it deployed against India, except for its modified Dassault Falcon 20 EW/ECM aircraft. The PAF disclosed that it used the Falcon 20 EW/ECM aircraft to jam the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) communications.

https://quwa.org/2020/04/12/pakistan-must-diversify-its-electronic-warfare-assets-2/

However, by the PAF’s own admission, its success in jamming the IAF’s communications had more to do with gaps within the IAF – notably the lack of networking/data-linking between IAF aircraft at the time.[1][2]

The IAF is now working to solve the gap by acquiring the BNET software defined radio (SDR) from Rafael. SDRs are the basis of secure and high-speed voice and data communication between combat aircraft and other assets (i.e., tactical data links). This is an important step for the IAF, but it speaks to a bigger issue – the IAF is systematically working the gaps it knows the PAF had exploited in 2019.

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This is the third article in Quwa’s series on the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) modernization goals by 2030. ‘Swift Retort’ was the first – and only – large-scale air operation in South Asia in recent years, and Quwa contends that its outcome will shape much of the PAF’s asset acquisition activities in the 2020s.

From the PAF’s viewpoint, Swift Retort validated a number of strengths, such as its ability to accurately hit targets using long-range weapons from 60-120 km away, or deploy a large number of aircraft with several support assets in one mission, among others.

However, while Swift Retort may have shown that the PAF is capable of operating as a contemporary or modern air force, it also magnified the need to maintain the supposed edge in those areas.

So, for example, if large scale operations can work against India, then it would make sense for the PAF to build the capacity to mount such campaigns more frequently (if not simultaneously). However, it would need a large force of modern multi-role fighters, which is why Quwa highlighted that the PAF should focus on acquiring more JF-17 Block-IIIs and JF-17Bs in part-two of this series.

In the third article of this series, Quwa will continue this discussion, but this time with a focus on the PAF’s little known – but important – electronic warfare (EW) and electronic countermeasures (ECM) assets.



The PAF may have only revealed a small part of its actual EW/ECM capability, but by that same logic, the IAF could be working to reactively close its gaps and proactively deprecate the PAF’s EW/ECM capabilities…

[1] Sanjeev Verma. “IAF lacked ODL during Balakot strike, fighters jet went incommunicado.” Times of India. 15 December 2019. URL: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/iaf-lacked-odl-during-balakot-strike-fighter-jets-went-incommunicado/articleshow/72633716.cms

[2]  Alan Warnes. “Operation Swift Retort: One Year On.” Air Forces Monthly. April 2020. Page 33

Riaz Haq said...

Why China’s Latest Jets Are Surpassing Russia’s Top Fighters

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sebastienroblin/2020/11/10/why-chinas-latest-jets-are-surpassing-russias-top-fighters/?sh=3967f7ae2e26

After the Soviet collapse in 1991, Russia sold China fourth-generation Su-27 and Su-30 Flanker jets, a powerful twin-engine fighter known for its supermaneuverable flight characteristics. The Shenyang Aviation Corporation went on to develop three separate clones of the Flanker: the J-11, carrier-based J-15 Flying Shark and strike-oriented J-16.

However, according to a study published by the Royal United Service Institute, the world’s oldest military think tank, the apprentice may have surpassed the master.

The study’s author, analyst Justin Bronk, writes:

“…from a position of dependency on Russian aircraft and weapons, China has developed an advanced indigenous combat aircraft, sensor and weapons industry that is outstripping Russia’s... China has started to build a clear technical lead over Russia in most aspects of combat aircraft development. Moreover, Russian industry is unlikely to be able to regain areas of competitive advantage once lost, due to deep structural industrial and budgetary disadvantages compared to the Chinese sector.”

To be sure, China still imports turbofan engines from Russia as it struggles to perfect domestic alternatives such as the WS-10B and eventually the powerful WS-15. However, the latest Chinese fighters increasingly incorporate weapons and avionics that are more capable than those of their Russian counterparts.

Factors behind the shifting fortunes of China and Russia’s military aviation sector include:

Beijing’s annual military spending exceeds Moscow’s two or three times over (Russian spent $70 billion on defense in 2020, China $190 billion)
Cross-applicability of China’s well-developed civilian electronics industry to manufacturing advanced avionics, resulting in Western-style computers, sensors, and datalinks.
Willingness of Chinese firms to copy technologies from across the globe through reverse-engineering or industrial espionage (particularly hacking)
Western sanctions on Russia have reduced Moscow’s access to components necessary for high-performance sensors
That isn’t to say that the Chinese military holds all the advantages. Most notably, Russian military aviation has far more combat experience, with most of its fighter and bomber crews rotated into combat tours in the Syrian Civil War. The Chinese military has only begun in the last decade to implement more realistic joint combat training with other branches of the military.

The VKS (Russian Aerospace Forces) also still operates some specialized aircraft types without real Chinese equivalents, such as the MiG-31 interceptor, Tu-160 and Tu-22M supersonic bombers, and the Su-25 ground attack jet.

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One of the key weight-saving tricks in modern aircraft design is to substitute metal components with lightweight composite materials. Those weight reduction translate into major improvements in agility and range.

Extensive use of composites can be pricy and technologically demanding. Bronk writes that China, nonetheless, has taken a lead in incorporating composites in J-11B, J-11D and J-16 fighters, all derived from Russian Flanker jets. The end result is jets that incorporate additional systems compared to the Russian original, yet still achieve a superior thrust-weight ratio.

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https://rusi.org/publication/whitehall-reports/russian-and-chinese-combat-air-trends-current-capabilities-and-future

Riaz Haq said...

RUSI Paper on Chinese military aircraft development: 

China has developed J-11 and J-16 series Flanker derivatives featuring AESA radars, new datalinks, improved EW systems and increased use of composites, which give them a superior level of overall combat capability to the latest Russian Flanker, the Su-35S. 
This advantage is increased by Chinese advances in both within-visual-range (WVR) and beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missiles. Unlike the latest Russian R-73M, the PL-10 features an imaging infrared seeker, improving resistance to countermeasures. More significantly, the PL-15 features a miniature AESA seeker head and outranges the US-made AIM-120C/D AMRAAM series. China is also testing a very-long-range air-to-air missile, known as PL-X or PL-17, which has a 400-km class range, multimode seeker and appears to have been designed to attack US big-wing ISTAR and tanker aircraft. 
China has developed and introduced into service the first credible non-US-made LO, or fifth-generation, fighter in the form of the J-20A ‘Mighty Dragon’. Subsequent developments are likely to increase its LO characteristics and sensor capabilities, as well as engine performance, with construction of the first production prototypes of the J-20B having begun in 2020. 
Overall, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and People’s Liberation Army Navy are rapidly improving their combat air capabilities, including a focus on the sensors, platforms, network connectivity and weapons needed to compete with the US in cutting-edge, predominantly passive-sensor air combat tactics. 
The Russian Su-57 Felon is assessed as not yet having matured into a credible frontline weapons system, and as lacking the basic design features required for true LO signature. However, it does offer the potential to correct many of the Flanker family weaknesses with greatly reduced signature and an AESA radar, while improving the already superb agility and performance of the Flanker series. 
The Russian Air Force (VKS) does not currently field targeting pods for its ground-attack and multirole fleets. This limits the ground-attack aircraft to internal equivalents with inferior field of view and tactical flexibility, and the multirole fighters to reliance on either pre-briefed GPS/GLONASS target coordinates, radar-guided weapons or target acquisition using fixed seekers on the weapons themselves. This limits VKS fixed-wing capabilities against dynamic battlefield targets compared to Western or Chinese equivalents. 
China is actively pursuing unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) designs with multiple programmes at various stages of development. Detailed assessment is hindered by tight control of information leaks by the Chinese Communist Party. Of those known to be in development, the GJ-11 subsonic attack UCAV appears the most advanced. 
Russia is also pursuing UCAV-style technologies and has produced the Su-70 ‘Okhotnik-B’ technology demonstrator. However, it is not yet clear what degree of practical operational capability the Russian aircraft industry will be able to develop through the Su-70, especially given the demands for significant levels of in-flight autonomy inherent in UCAVs designed for state-on-state warfare in heavy EW conditions. 
China’s advanced and efficient Flanker derivatives, as well as lightweight multirole fighters in the shape of the J-10B/C series and potentially a developmental FC-31 LO fighter programme, are likely to provide the leading source of non-Western combat aircraft from the mid-2020s onwards. Likewise, their air-launched munitions will increasingly outcompete Russian equivalents on the export market. As such, the development of Chinese capabilities should be closely monitored even by air forces which do not include the PLAAF in their direct threat assessments. 
https://rusi.org/publication/whitehall-reports/russian-and-chinese-combat-air-trends-current-capabilities-and-future

Riaz Haq said...

‘It will be several years before Rafales can be considered threat to Pakistan’Tufail is a popular aviation historian, strategic affairs commentator

https://www.theweek.in/news/world/2020/09/11/it-will-be-several-years-before-rafales-can-be-considered-threat-to-pakistan.html

Writing in Pakistan Politico, a Pakistani magazine, Tufail noted, "the inadequacy of IAF’s Su-30MKI and MiG-29 twin-engine fighters in the air superiority role led to the decision to acquire the Rafale, ostensibly a more modern and capable multi-role fighter". Both the Su-30MKI and MiG-29 are Russian-designed fighters.

The Su-30MKI is numerically the most important aircraft in the Indian Air Force, with over 250 units in service, while the MiG-29 has undergone an upgrade to give it enhanced multirole capabilities. The Indian Air Force operates over 60 MiG-29 fighters.

Tufail acknowledged both the Su-30MKI and MiG-29 were "highly manoeuvrable in a visual dogfight", but "they seem to have shortcomings in network-centric, beyond-visual-range (BVR) combat". Tufail alleged the Su-30MKI jets that participated in the aerial skirmish with Pakistan Air Force jets over Jammu and Kashmir in February 2019 lacked datalinks to exchange information securely and their radars were unable to lock on to "two dozen PAF fighters". The Indian Air Force had stated Pakistani F-16 fighters fired AMRAAM air-to-air missiles in the skirmish.

"While a definitive conclusion about the shortcomings of the Su-30 fire-control radar and missiles cannot be made on the basis of a single engagement, it is clear that they are not at par with the PAF F-16/AMRAAM combo," Tufail wrote in Pakistan Politico. “The IAF was aware of these limitations of the Russian fighters, which is why it had initiated measures for the acquisition of Western multi-role combat aircraft instead of more Su-30s, as far back as 2012,” Tufail wrote.

Tufail noted the Rafale had longer range and heavier payload than the F-16 and JF-17 fighters of the Pakistan Air Force. The Chinese-designed JF-17 is numerically the most important fighter in the Pakistan Air Force, with over 100 units in service.

Tufail noted the Rafale, JF-17 and F-16 had comparable performance in a turning dogfight, where the aircraft's capability to turn quickly is a decisive factor.

A key capability that the Rafale brings to the Indian Air Force is the Meteor long-range air-to-air missile, which has a range in excess of 150km. The Meteor uses a 'ramjet' engine, allowing it to have powered flight to the point of impact, unlike earlier air-to-air missiles that rely on rocket engines, which only burn for specific period. The ramjet engine gives the Meteor a significantly higher 'no escape zone', the zone in which a target aircraft cannot use manoeuvrability or speed to evade a missile strike.

Tufail noted the Pakistan Air Force was set to acquire the Chinese-made PL-15 air-to-air missile for its JF-17 fighters. Experts have estimated the PL-15, which is significantly longer than the Meteor, has a range in excess of 200km. US officials have cited the development of the PL-15 as an argument for the US military to have a new long-range air-to-air missile.

Tufail argued, " It must… be remembered that it will be at least two years before the Rafale achieves anything close to full operational capability." He claimed the Pakistan Air Force has operated the F-16 for 37 years and the JF-17 for a decade. "These combat-proven PAF fighters are fully integrated with the air defence system, and are mutually data-linked, alongside all AEW (airborne early warning) and ground sensors. Such capabilities are not achieved overnight, and it will be several years before the Rafales can be considered a threat in any real sense. Any immediate impact of the Rafale on IAF’s air power capabilities is, thus, simply over-hyped."

Riaz Haq said...

Tensions Continue To Rise Between India, China, And Pakistan

https://theowp.org/tensions-continue-to-rise-between-india-china-and-pakistan/

By James Laforet

Hostilities between China and India have been rising once again since April, and this July, Chinese and Indian soldiers clashed along their shared Himalayan border in the strategically important Galwan Valley. 20 Indian and five Chinese soldiers were killed in hand-to-hand fighting, with both sides blaming the other for initiating the battle. (Reports of barbed wire-wrapped metal rods and nail-studded clubs could indicate premeditation rather than an escalated misunderstanding.) Another recently-surfaced report claimed that in August, China used a high-energy electromagnetic radiation weapon system to force Indian troops to retreat from two strategic hilltops. The microwave-like attack reportedly caused troops to vomit and left them unable to stand after fifteen minutes. Neither encounter violated the no-live-fire rule in place since 1962.

There is a long history of tension and violence between India and China. In 1962, the two countries fought a short war along the Himalayan border after India gave asylum to the Dalai Lama following the 1959 Tibetan uprising. In September and October 1967, the two sides clashed again in Nathu La and Cho La. In 1975, Chinese soldiers killed four Indian soldiers in Tulung La. According to Indian authorities, the Chinese forces deliberately crossed the border in order to ambush them – allegations which China denied. In 1986, a tense standoff occurred between the two as both sides massed large numbers of troops along their shared border, causing analysts to fear the situation would escalate to all-out war. In 2013, Ladakh’s Depsang Bulge area saw a 21-day standoff, and in 2017, a 72-day standoff occurred after Indian troops moved in Bhutanese Doklam to prevent China from extending a road further South into Doklam. The confrontation ended peacefully, and both sides withdrew.

Over the past several years, China has invested over $70 billion into Pakistan as part of its Belts and Roads initiative, an effort to control important trade routes and increase its economic and political clout. Some analysts are reporting that China has indicated it wishes to heavily invest into the Kashmir region, between India and Pakistan. This would likely increase tensions.

India and Pakistan have disputed ownership of Kashmir since Britain’s hasty retreat from the area in 1947, when the countries established their independence. The two sides fought a short, but bloody, war over the region, with India securing two thirds. This set the stage for a protracted, and sometimes deadly, standoff.

In 1965, a 17-day war between the two, including the largest tank battle since World War II, resulted in thousands of casualties. In the early 1970’s, interventions by both parties in Bangladesh fuelled another clash. The Kargil War began in 1971 when Pakistan occupied the Indian-controlled Kargil area, prompting India to respond militarily. Intense pressure from the international community persuaded Pakistan to withdraw from the region. Pakistan’s departure ended that conflict, but smaller clashes along Kashmir’s border have resulted in many casualties, including the deaths of civilians.

China, India, and Pakistan all have nuclear arms, and perhaps the threat of mutually assured destruction will hold these forces in limbo. However, any nuclear attack will have devastating lasting impacts on civilian populations. The international community must make every effort to ensure that this conflict does not evolve, An independent third party may be vital in facilitating peaceful resolutions to these decades-old conflicts.

Riaz Haq said...

#Chinese Global Times: #Defense experts believe that the joint training amid the #COVIDー19 #pandemic shows the profound friendship between #China and #Pakistan, which is conducive to improving the comprehensive combat capability of the two militaries. https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/take-an-objective-view-on-chinese-pakistan-air-force-drills-china-tells-india/article33385259.ece

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday the exercise was “a regular arrangement”.

"As all-weather strategic cooperative partners, China and Pakistan have friendly exchange and cooperation in political, economic, military, security and a broad range of areas,” spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, when asked at a regular press briefing about whether the exercise reflected the two countries’ broader strategic posture towards India.


"We are committed to jointly upholding peace and stability in the region. The cooperation project you mentioned is a regular arrangement between Chinese and Pakistani militaries that doesn't target any third party,” he said. "We hope it will be viewed in an objective manner.”

The exercise taking place amid the COVID-19 pandemic showed “the profound friendship” between the two militaries, the Communist Party-run Global Times said earlier this month when the Chinese Defence Ministry announced that the drills would carry on until the end of December.

Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the newspaper “the confrontations between India-Pakistan and China-India will not affect the normal military exchanges between China and Pakistan”. "India's frequent military exercises with other countries have given it little reason to question normal military exchanges among other countries,” he was quoted as saying.

The Chinese Defence Ministry said the drills would “improve the actual combat training level of the two forces”, and did not reveal details about the aircraft involved. The previous exercise, held in China in August 2019, involved 50 aircraft, according to Chinese State media.

China and Pakistan on December 1 signed a new military memorandum of understanding to boost their already close defence relationship when China’s Defence Minister and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Wei Fenghe met Pakistan’s leadership in Islamabad and visited the headquarters of the army at Rawalpindi.
He called on both countries to “push the military-to-military relationship to a higher level, so as to jointly cope with various risks and challenges, firmly safeguard the sovereignty and security interests of the two countries and safeguard the regional peace and stability,” State media reported.

Riaz Haq said...

In a book titled "National Security and Conventional Arms Race: Spectre of a Nuclear War", #Indian author Asthana warns #India "cannot win a war" against #Pakistan due to existing #politico-#military reality. #Modi #Rafale #Nuclear #China #CPEC https://thewire.in/security-security/national-security-arms-race-nc-asthana

In his latest book, National Security and Conventional Arms Race: Spectre of a Nuclear War(Jaipur: Pointer Books, 2020), Asthana turns his critical attention to the politics and discourse of national security and war. His conclusion: India has no clarity about its military and strategic objectives vis-à-vis its stated adversaries, Pakistan and China. And that there is a huge mismatch between the militaristic official and media rhetoric, on the one hand, and the reality, which is that India cannot defeat either country militarily. Instead of pouring vast sums of money into expensive weapons imports, India would be better served by finding solutions to the security challenges both Pakistan and China present by strengthening itself internally and pursuing non-military solutions, including diplomacy.

While these arguments may be broadly familiar to security analysts, Asthana also focusses on what he calls the “politics of warmongering” which has consumed public discourse in India over the past six years. Under the delusion that India has somehow, magically become invincible, he notes how a large number of Indians seem to be itching for a war.


This belief is both fuelled and strengthened by relentless arms imports. Asthana puts the figure India has spent on arms import in the five years since 2014 at $14 billion, and the undisclosed cost of the 36 Rafale jets purchased from Dassault Aviation is not included in this. But even this sum pales before the $130 billion India is projected to spend on arms imports in the next decade, including on 100+ even-more-expensive fighter jets to make up for the shortfall caused by the Modi government’s decision to scrap the earlier deal for 126 Rafales.

As the fanfare over the arrival of the first Rafales showed, each of these purchases is hailed and sold to the public by the media as weapons that will flatten India’s enemies. But of course, this is far from the truth. Asthana argues in his book that the frenzied import of conventional weapons will never guarantee a permanent solution to the military problem posed by Pakistan or China because both Pakistan and China are nuclear-weapon states and cannot be decisively defeated on the battlefield.

Given the myth of Indian invincibility, the futility of warmongering should be obvious. Yet, as the past few years have demonstrated, jingoism in India is at an all-time high.

While conventional weapons can provide a tactical advantage in limited theatre conflicts short of war, the danger lies in escalation – which is hard to control at the best of times but especially so when the public discourse has been vitiated by the politics of warmongering.

-------------------

Warmongering as a political project also includes assiduously inculcating in the minds of the people the notion that once India goes to war under the leadership of a strong-willed, leader, it will perforce defeat its enemies and usher in a golden age of a never-ending Pax Indiana.

This dangerous notion fits well with the domestic political agenda both as a diversion from, and alibi for, poor governance and other failings.

Riaz Haq said...

Security threats looming in 2021

By Indian Army Lt Gen Kamal Davar (Retd)

https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/security-threats-looming-2021

It was on the night of 29-30 August 2020 that some units of the Indian Army, in a swift move, deployed themselves on the dominating Kailash Range on own side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This action ensured Indian troops dug in strongly at some of these dominating heights which overlook the tactically important Spanggur Gap. This audacious move by the Indian troops appear to have tremendously irked the Chinese on the ground. Despite seven rounds of talks between senior commanders of both sides ostensibly to discuss disengagement, no progress appears to have taken place. Meanwhile, according to reliable media reports, over a lakh of soldiers from both sides, with tanks, artillery guns, missiles, helicopters and fighter aircraft have been deployed and are ready for action. The Chinese build-up continues ominously, which clearly points to its likely intentions. The Chinese currently appear to have engaged successfully in their “salami slicing” tactics especially in the area of the Depsang plains and some portions of the Pangong Tso, between Fingers 4 and 8, respectively.
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As India continues to match China’s build-up, it will have to factor in China’s military collusiveness with its client state Pakistan against India in the adjoining sectors of J&K. That Pakistan will continue to keep the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border in J&K alive by recurrent ceasefire violations and efforts to induct terrorists to keep stoking the fires in J&K should be expected as always. Till India does not remind Pakistan of the latter’s many fault lines, in more ways than one, Pakistan will continue to needle India. Meanwhile, India must build on the atmosphere, among the people, for progress generated by the recent successful conduct of local elections in J&K.

A lesson from our ancient history, oft-forgotten, is the imperative of internal unity in the country. External challenges can be handled adequately when the nation retains internal cohesiveness. That most of India’s internal security challenges have an external dimension to it is well known and we thus need to factor in the linkages between the two to shape our response. Dealing with the situation in J&K, in Naxalism affected areas and the Northeast will require the correct amalgam between sound security measures and exhibiting compassion cum sensitivity to the local populace. In a democracy, legitimate protests are normal and thus governments at the Centre and states must not get unduly perturbed over these and deal with dissent sympathetically and not treat those who differ from the establishment’s views as anti-nationals.

India still, unfortunately, remains as one of the largest importers in the world of defence equipment. The Centre will have to make the DRDO and the many ordnance factories it has under its ambit far more accountable and effective. India has a vibrant private sector too with some having a reasonably good record in defence production. Giving the private sector a level playing field and an assurance of purchasing their output will give a fillip to indigenous defence production. In addition, the government must ensure that as it pays huge amounts to foreign military entrepreneurs while importing state-of-the art equipment, it must insist upon transfer of critical technologies, and ultimately production of the same platforms, weapons, ammunition, spares etc., within the country. With many security challenges confronting the nation, there is no alternative to indigenous defence production.

Riaz Haq said...

The joint exercises started on December 7 in Pakistan and lasted about 20 days, with China sending warplanes including J-10C, J-11B fighter jets, KJ-500 early warning aircraft and Y-8 electronic warfare aircraft, and Pakistan sending warplanes including the JF-17 and Mirage III fighter jets, according to the CCTV report.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1211811.shtml

The J-10C and J-11B are very suitable to simulate India's fighter jets in mock battles, Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times on Monday.

Many aspects of the J-10C mid-sized fighter jet, including the size, aerodynamic characteristics, aviation and weapon systems and overall combat capability, are comparable to the France-made Rafale, a type of fighter jet in service with the Indian Air Force, Fu said, noting that the J-11B heavy fighter jet has very similar appearance with India's Su-30 fighter jet but with superior avionics system.

The deployment of Chinese special mission aircraft like early warning aircraft and electronic warfare aircraft would contribute to the improvement of joint operations in an integrated combat system, Fu said.

Air forces from both sides focused on large scale confrontation, including large scale aerial battles and use of forces in mass and close-quarters aerial support, CCTV said, noting that more than 200 sorties were conducted by both sides, as both forces' combat capabilities were boosted in learning from each other.

Chinese pilots could learn from the aggressive maneuvers and rich experiences of Pakistani pilots, Fu said.

"Unlike previous Shaheen series exercises, this time we comprehensively deployed aviation forces and paratroopers, and added real combat-oriented training courses like maritime training for the first time," said Ding Yuanfang, a Chinese Air Force deputy brigade commander, on CCTV.

Both sides also deployed special operation units, and the Chinese Naval Aviation also sent warplanes to the drills, CCTV reported.

Fu said that the Chinese Naval Aviation had not frequently sent warplanes to joint exercises with a foreign country, but it has been increasing training intensity and changing its training model in recent years.

Participating in the Shaheen-IX exercises was a great chance for the Chinese Naval Aviation to learn from Pakistan forces and improve its combat capabilities, Fu said.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Army ranks 10th most powerful army in the world
In the current list, Pakistan stands at the 10th spot out of 138 countries. It holds a PwrIndx* rating of 0.2083 (0.0000 considered 'perfect').


https://www.globalvillagespace.com/pakistan-army-ranks-10th-most-powerful-army-in-the-world/


Pakistan’s army becomes the 10th most powerful army in the world according to the Global Firepower Index 2021 released this week.

Pakistan has improved 5 places in the same list since 2019. In 2020, Pakistan stood as the 15th most powerful country. Global Firepower Index is an annual ranking that ranks a country according to its military strength.

In the current list, Pakistan stands at the 10th spot out of 138 countries. It holds a PwrIndx* rating of 0.2083 (0.0000 considered ‘perfect’).

Pakistan Army was ranked the 15th most powerful military in the world, according to the same list issued in 2019.

The Global Firepower ranks the military forces of 138 countries by comparing and examining a wide range of factors and not just the numbers of soldiers or weapons deployed by a country.

The Global Firepower ranking mechanism involves scrutinizing a large variety of factors, which include the manpower, population, geography, diversity of weapons, and the state of development. Countries that are equipped with nuclear weapons get bonus points, however, the nuclear stockpiles of a country do not amount in the final score.

Countries that are equipped with naval fleets but lack diversity are penalized, however, landlocked countries that do not maintain navies are not penalized. The Global Firepower ranking creates the PowerIndex score for each country after examining more than 55 factors, and this ranking allows small and technologically advanced nations to compete with large countries that are less developed and advanced.

The heightened PowerIndex score is 0.0000, which is an unrealistic goal for any country. However, the closer a country is to this number, the more powerful it’s military.

According to Global Firepower’s ranking, Pakistan has an estimated total of 1,204,000 military personnel.


Riaz Haq said...

#China is a major global #arms-maker, meets own military needs, exports from #Pakistan to #Serbia. 4 of top 25 arms makers are #Chinese accounting for 16% of global arms sales worth $56.7 billion. Only 2 #Russian companies in top 25, just 4% of total at $13.9 billion.@NikkeiAsia https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/China-rises-from-Russian-customer-to-competitor-in-arms-industry


In a flashy recruitment video released by China's People's Liberation Army Air Force last week, four J-20 fighters are seen soaring through stormy skies, deftly maneuvering between lightning strikes.

Lost in the dramatic digital imagery was an important detail: For the first time ever, the Chinese jets will be powered by domestically made engines instead of Russian ones.

Beijing's decision to replace the J-20's engines, noted by the state mouthpiece Global Times, is just the latest sign that China is rapidly closing the military gap with its northern neighbor. For decades, China leaned heavily on Russian weapons to modernize its armed forces. But that has begun to change, as China builds its own powerful defense industry and even starts to challenge Moscow in the global arms market.

By some measures it may already have the advantage -- a shift likely to change the dynamics of the countries' at times awkward but increasingly close relationship.

Data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in December puts China ahead of Russia as the world's No. 2 arms producer in the period from 2015 to 2019. The U.S. remained No. 1.

The leading arms research center found that four of the top 25 arms manufacturers in 2019 were Chinese. This quartet, three of which were in the top 10, accounted for 16% of overall arms sales and earned $56.7 billion. By contrast, only two Russian companies cracked the top 25, making up just under 4% of the total and generating $13.9 billion.

Some Russian defense industry officials and analysts dispute SIPRI's findings, arguing that it is impossible to accurately calculate China's arms sales volume since it keeps information about its military-industrial complex under wraps. They also protest SIPRI's decision exclusion of Russian state technology conglomerate Rostec, one of the country's largest arms exporters, in its top 25 ranking.

Even so, few in Moscow deny that China is gaining ground fast, not just in terms of the quantity of arms produced but also quality.

Vadim Kozyulin, director of the Asian Security Project at the PIR Center, a Moscow-based think tank, told Nikkei Asia that China has already surpassed Russia in developing unmanned aerial vehicles, certain kinds of warships and possibly even hypersonic missiles -- an area of great pride for the Kremlin in recent years.

"We see that China is producing new weapon models very rapidly, releasing a new generation every 10 years like the Soviet Union once did," he said. "Under these circumstances, it is difficult for Russia to compete because we have a smaller budget which is only decreasing."

For much of the post-Cold War period, Russia has been China's primary arms supplier.

The two neighbors began cooperating in the early 1990s, when China had just launched an ambitious campaign to upgrade the PLA's outdated weaponry. Beijing initially looked to the West as a potential source of advanced military technology, but those hopes were dashed after the U.S. and Europe imposed an arms embargo against China in response to the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

China soon found a replacement in Russia. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 devastated Russian arms manufacturers. Old sources of revenue such as domestic military spending and lucrative contracts with foreign client states quickly dried up. China's emergence as a prospective customer provided Russia's ailing defense industry with a much-needed economic lifeline.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's #GilgitBaltistan regional govt has proposed a new transit and trade route linking #Xinjiang to #Kashmir and extending to #Afghanistan. Will it increase #China-Pak #military interoperability against #Indian forces in the region? #Ladakh #CPEC https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/economics/article/3119850/will-new-road-between-china-and-pakistan-lead-military-boost

In a video posted on social media platforms this month, GB chief minister Khalid Khurshid announced plans to drill a road tunnel through the mountains to connect Astore to the Neelum Valley in the Azad Kashmir region, where much of the LOC is thinly demarcated by the Neelum and Jhelum rivers.

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Proposals floated this month by the government of the Pakistan-administered Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region primarily aim to pave the way for a new transit and trade route between China and Pakistan’s neighbours Afghanistan and Iran.
Currently, China and Pakistan are connected only by the Karakoram Highway, completed in 1978, via a single crossing in the Khunjerab Pass.
However, the route of a proposed new border road from Yarkand – on GB’s border with the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region – also suggests strong strategic motivations because it would open a new supply line from China to Pakistani forces deployed along the Line of Control (LOC).
As Pakistan, Bangladesh ties thaw, India keeps close watch on them – and China
14 Jan 2021

The 740km LOC divides Kashmir roughly into two halves governed by India and Pakistan. Its northernmost point, the India-held Siachen Glacier, is located next to the western extreme of the disputed 3,488km China-India border known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).



The GB government’s public works department was instructed on January 15 to prepare a “project concept clearance proposal” for a 10-metre-wide road capable of being used by trucks, from the Mustagh Pass on the border with the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region via the eastern GB region of Skardu, where the Siachen Glacier is located.
The proposed new road would be linked to Yarkand in Xinjiang, and enter GB 126km west of Ladakh, crossing the major supply artery from the Karakoram Highway near Skardu city. From there, it would run south through the high-altitude Deosai Plateau to the Astore Valley, where the southern flank of GB meets the LOC amid the Himalayas.

Washington-based analyst Sameer Lalwani told This Week In Asia there were potentially three logistics and strategic effects of enhanced China-Pakistan connectivity.
“It could deepen trade links by enhancing transport capacity; enable great Pakistan military mobility in any contingency, threatening India’s hold over the Siachen Glacier; and it can even facilitate greater China-Pakistan military coordination that generates peacetime dilemmas and wartime complications for India,” he said.
The proposed Xinjiang-GB-Kashmir road would “certainly ring alarm bells in New Delhi, which has been acutely sensitive to deepening China-Pakistan strategic and military ties over the past decade”, said Lalwani, who is director of the South Asia programme at the Stimson Center, a Washington-based think tank.
“It may also result in the Indian military – which has already sunk considerable resources to retain control of Siachen – concentrating an even greater proportion of money, manpower, and materiel to its continental defences at the expense of maritime power projection,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

#PakistanArmy conducts tactical drills in Thar Desert in #Sindh, close to the #Indian border. Troops of #Karachi Corps are participating in the four-week long ‘Jidar-ul- Hadeed’ exercise in extreme desert conditions. #Pakistan #military https://tribune.com.pk/story/2283911/pakistan-army-conducts-tactical-drills-in-thar-desert

Troops of Pakistan Army’s Karachi Corps are practicing in tactical drills and procedures as part of exercise “Jidar-ul- Hadeed” in Thar Desert that commenced on January 28, 2021, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement issued on Saturday.

The military’s media wing said the four-week long defensive manoeuvre exercise is aimed at validating concept of defence in deserts.

“The exercise is being conducted in extreme desert conditions, 74 kilometers ahead of Chhor, under conventional operations setting, culminating on February 28, 2021,” read the statement.

On Friday, a week-long multinational naval exercise hosted by Pakistan started in the Arabian Sea, a move that could set the tone for its enhanced bilateral relations with many countries.

With the participation of some 45 countries in Aman-2021 from February 11-16, including the US, Russia, China, and Turkey, the drill – a biannual affair since 2007 – began with a flag-raising ceremony.

Significantly, this is the first time Russia has joined a military drill with NATO members in a decade. The last such time was in 2011, in the Bold Monarch 2011 exercise off the coast of Spain.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s Successful Test Of 2,750-kilometer Shaheen-III #Missile: It can reach the farthest points of #India specially the Nicobar & Andaman Islands in Bay of Bengal. Its successful tests and flights open up the possibility of #space exploration– OpEd https://www.eurasiareview.com/18022021-pakistans-successful-test-of-shaheen-iii-missile-achieving-full-spectrum-deterrence-oped/

Quite recently, in January 2021, Pakistan has conducted a successful flight test of Shaheen-III ballistic missile, capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional payloads. It was first tested in 2015 and said to have a range of 2,750 kilometers. This enables it to reach the farthest points of India specially the Nicobar and Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. These Islands hold great strategic significance for India since they are believed to provide assured land-based second-strike options to India.

Similarly, they are also critical for Indian missile testing. Shaheen-III is a medium-range surface-to-surface two staged solid fueled missile equipped with Post Separation Altitude Correction (PSAC) system. Being a solid-fueled missile enables rapid response capability and PSAC allows it to have better trajectory and accuracy with the capability to evade the deployed ballistic missile defence (BMD) systems. Moreover, it can be launched through “Transporter Erector Launcher (TELs), which can move and hide. This makes the launcher more survivable as compared to the fixed launchers. As of now, the missile has not been operationally deployed.

This particular test was conducted by Pakistan to evaluate the design and technical parameters of the Shaheen-III weapon system. Moreover, the Arabian Sea was the point of impact. It was reiterated by Pakistan after the successful test that Pakistan’s nuclear capability is India-centric and the objective of its strategic capability is only to deter “any aggression” against the “sovereignty of Pakistan”. Missile tests in South Asia are routinely exercised as both countries are improving their capabilities of delivery vehicles to maintain the credibility of their deterrence forces. Moreover, they serve the purpose of “signaling” and “readiness” of forces. Just last year, India has conducted 17 missile tests, amid its growing tensions at its northern borders while Pakistan conducted only two missile tests. However, to avoid inadvertent escalation and accidents both countries have the agreement on informing each other before missiles tests. Moreover, Pakistan believes in peaceful co-existence in the region.

Defence analysts believe that the Shaheen-III missile system’s development started in the early 2000s and initially, it was envisaged as a “Space Launch Vehicle (SLV). Therefore its successful tests and flights open up the possibility of space exploration for Pakistan as well. It is also believed that Ababeel, a Multiple Independently re-entry targeted Vehicle (MIRV) missile, is also compatible with the designs of Shaheen-III and II. Ababeel, a three-staged, solid-fueled, medium-range surface-to-surface missile was tested by Pakistan back in January 2017. Successful tests of the Shaheen-III missile system would likely enable Pakistan to acquire MIRV technology to maintain a credible deterrence force vis-à-vis India. To ensure the effectiveness and accuracy of different re-entry vehicles going in different directions, Pakistan has bought large-scale “optical tracking and measurement systems” from China. These systems would allow Pakistan to record high-resolution images of the whole process of missile launch till its impact (launch, stage separation, tail flame, re-entry, and impact).

Riaz Haq said...

US National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence’s (NSCAI) Report 2021:


America's two main adversaries are just as keenly aware of how AI supremacy could lead to battlefield supremacy and are making just as much investment into AI as the new NSCAI report recommends America does. In 2017, the Chinese government issued a statement that technological advances, including in AI, would make China the global leader by 2030. “By 2030, our country will reach a world-leading level in artificial intelligence theory, technology and application and become a principal world center for artificial intelligence innovation,” the CCP claimed. That same year, Russian President Vladimir Putin made similar comments, claiming that the path to global supremacy is paved with AI. “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind,” Putin said. “It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.” Both Russia and China are developing their own unmanned combat aerial vehicles, and both have been accused of leveraging AI-powered cyberattacks or misinformation campaigns against the United States.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/39559/national-security-commission-warns-u-s-is-not-prepared-to-defend-or-compete-with-china-on-ai

https://www.nscai.gov/2021-final-report/

Riaz Haq said...

Saudi Air Force jets arrive in Pakistan for multinational air exercise
US Air Force will also participate, Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain will attend as observers

https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/saudi-air-force-jets-arrive-in-pakistan-for-multinational-air-exercise-1.78166680

A Saudi Royal Air Force (RSAF) contingent arrived in Pakistan on Saturday to participate in the two-week-long multinational air exercise called ‘Aces Meet 2021-1’.

The Saudi Air Force team arrived at Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) Mushaf airbase with a number of RSAF’s Tornado combat aircraft and air, technical and support crew.

The United States Air Force (USAF) will also participate with their aircraft in the exercise along with PAF and RSAF while Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain air forces will attend as observers. Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 and JF-17 fighter jets and Saudi Air Force’s Tornado aircraft will take part in the exercise.

PAF’s Aces exercise
Aces Meet 2021-1 exercise aims to maximize the combat readiness of participating units by providing them realistic, multi-domain training and to build partnerships and interoperability among allies. “The exercise is aimed at sharing experiences and enhancing interoperability among participating air forces” with focus on role-oriented and near-realistic combat training, PAF statement said.


Pakistan hosted the first Aces exercise in 2017 in which PAF, RSAF and Turkish Air Force participated with aircraft. It focused on exploring and developing air power to contribute effectively to the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism campaigns.

PAF established the Airpower Centre of Excellence (ACE) in 2016 to transform air force capabilities to meet future challenges and to strengthen relations with friendly air forces through experience sharing and joint training. Pakistan has the seventh largest air force in the world with an active fleet of 1364 aircraft, according to 2021 world air forces report.


PAF ties with Saudi Air Force
PAF enjoys close cooperation with many countries in the Middle East and frequently participated in bilateral exercises and joint training.

Pakistan has a longstanding close relationship with Saudi Arabia dating back to the 1940s and strategic military ties formalized after a 1967 defense accord. Over the decades, Saudi Arabia stood by Pakistan during its difficult times, ensuring economic assistance and oil supply. In response, Pakistan provided military expertise and support to the kingdom for decades and also helped develop the Royal Saudi Air Force and trained its first fighter jet pilots in the 1960s.

Pakistan helps Saudi Arabia with military training, defense production and joint military exercises under a bilateral security cooperation agreement. Pakistan’s former military chief, General Raheel Sharif, is the current head of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition – an alliance of 41 states.

Riaz Haq said...

#PAF, #RSAF #USAF conclude multinational air exercise Aces Meet 2021-1 in #Pakistan. It included multiple missions across the airpower spectrum & offered near-realistic & role-oriented training to participants amidst #COVID19 #pandemic https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/paf-rsaf-and-usaf-conclude-aces-meet-2021-1/ via @DefenceTech_Mag

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has successfully completed the multinational air exercise Aces Meet 2021-1 at PAF base Mushaf.

The two-week long exercise saw active participation from the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF).

Addressing the participants involved in the exercise, PAF Base Mushaf air commodore Ali Naeem Zahoor said the exercise provided an opportunity to learn via ‘mutual sharing of experiences’.

ACES MEET 2021-1 included multiple missions across the airpower spectrum and offered near-realistic and role-oriented training to participating members even during the challenging situations due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of PAK, RSAF and USAF special forces performed several Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) missions during the exercise.

According to a statement posted on Radio Pakistan, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan air forces acted as observers for the drill.

The exercise included the employment of fighter jets from the air forces of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, as well as airborne early warning and control aircraft and military satellites.

The deployed assets helped improve coordination and harmony between the ground elements and air component.

Riaz Haq said...

#EU Proposes Strict Rules for Use Of #ArtificialIntelligence (#AI) in a range of activities, from self-driving cars to hiring decisions, bank lending, school enrollment selections and the scoring of exams. #Europe #Technology #Regulations #Ethics https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/16/business/artificial-intelligence-regulation.html?smid=tw-share


The regulations would have far-reaching implications for tech firms like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, which have poured resources into developing the technology.

The European Union unveiled strict regulations on Wednesday to govern the use of artificial intelligence, a first-of-its-kind policy that outlines how companies and governments can use a technology seen as one of the most significant, but ethically fraught, scientific breakthroughs in recent memory.

The draft rules would set limits around the use of artificial intelligence in a range of activities, from self-driving cars to hiring decisions, bank lending, school enrollment selections and the scoring of exams. It would also cover the use of artificial intelligence by law enforcement and court systems — areas considered “high risk” because they could threaten people’s safety or fundamental rights.

Some uses would be banned altogether, including live facial recognition in public spaces, though there would be several exemptions for national security and other purposes.

The 108-page policy is an attempt to regulate an emerging technology before it becomes mainstream. The rules have far-reaching implications for major technology companies that have poured resources into developing artificial intelligence, including Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, but also scores of other companies that use the software to develop medicine, underwrite insurance policies and judge credit worthiness. Governments have used versions of the technology in criminal justice and the allocation of public services like income support.

Riaz Haq said...

China appears to be developing a stealth helicopter that analysts said on Monday is difficult to detect on radar, infrared sensors and human sight and hearing, judging from a model of the chopper recently revealed in a television report, with some speculating that it could be a stealthy variant of the Z-20 medium-lift utility chopper.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202105/1224980.shtml

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The model displayed many stealth characteristics, including a radar cross section-reducing aerodynamic design that could make it difficult to detect on radar systems, designs in its rotors that aim to reduce noise and make the enemies only hear it at close range when flying at low-altitude, upward-facing exhausts spread out on the back of the tail boom, and low-observable paint, Fu said.

Stealth helicopters are more difficult to spot, have higher chances of survival, and can better conduct assault and penetration missions, Fu said.

The report by thedrive.com also claimed that China got related technologies from espionage and data was from a US stealth Black Hawk helicopter which took part in the Bin Laden raid and was downed in Pakistan, but Fu said this accusation is groundless speculation.

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Stealthy Variant Of China's Z-20 Black Hawk Clone Emerges In Concept Model Form
This is our first look at China's own Stealth Hawk-like transport helicopter concept and they would have a leg-up in developing it thanks to Pakistan.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40853/stealthy-variant-of-chinas-z-20-black-hawk-clone-emerges-in-concept-model-form

When the downed stealthy Black Hawk was demolished via an explosive charge at Bin Laden's Abbottabad compound, its tail, which was sitting high atop the wall that surrounds the residence, remained intact. We may have never known these helicopters even existed if it was destroyed. Pakistan subsequently carted off the tail, which was of an extremely exotic design, and used it as a geopolitical bargaining chip in the turbulent aftermath of the raid. It is known to have been closely examined by America's adversaries, namely by Pakistan's other top weapons provider, China. The tail was eventually returned to the U.S. after roughly three weeks of fiery diplomacy.

Riaz Haq said...

#China-#Pakistan #AI excellence center to promote industrial development. The center will be jointly built by #Wuhan University of #Technology (WUT) and Pak University of Engineering and Emerging Technologies (PUEET) in #Islamabad http://en.ce.cn/Insight/202111/05/t20211105_37064989.shtml

WUHAN, Nov. 5 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistani Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque attended a signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding recently on establishing an Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence in Pakistan.

The center will be jointly built by Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) and Pak University of Engineering and Emerging Technologies. On April 8 this year, Haque led a delegation to visit WUT and exchanged views on the construction plan of the two universities.

While addressing the signing ceremony, Haque said that there are more than 40,000 Pakistani students nationwide in China, including 1,000 in Wuhan. “Educational cooperation between the two countries will not only help Pakistani students in their careers and studies, but also help achieve high-quality development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” said Haque.

Haque also expressed his hope that the MOU will serve as a new starting point for the educational cooperation between China and Pakistan. He said that the center will further strengthen bilateral cooperation in emerging technologies and also open new avenues for high quality development of science and technology, talent cultivation and high-end research.

WUT Party Committee Secretary Xin Sijin welcomed Haque’s delegation and said that educational cooperation is a solid cornerstone of CPEC. “On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan, we will take this opportunity to vigorously promote our cooperation with Pakistani universities”.

“WUT attaches great importance to the cultivation of Pakistani students and has signed cooperation agreements with several Chinese state-owned enterprises to jointly cultivate international students from countries and regions along the Belt and Road. In the past five years, WUT has recruited a total of 173 Pakistani students mainly majoring in engineering technology and management,” said Xin.

In addition, WUT’s state key laboratory of silicate building materials has carried out an inter-governmental cooperation project, helping Pakistan recover its buildings in areas hit by disasters with green building materials, Xin added.

As the project leader, Dr. Atta ur Rahman, Chairman of Pakistani Prime Minister’s Task Force on Science and Technology, expressed his gratitude to WUT online for its strong support to Pakistan. He believes that the center will focus on emerging technology and turn breakthroughs in science and technology into actual productivity and benefit the two counties’ social and economic development.

During his visit in Wuhan, Ambassador Haque and his delegation also signed an agreement on establishing sister-province relations between Hubei and Sindh Province, inaugurated China-Pakistan Friendship Square, and signed several cooperation agreements with other universities in Hubei.

Riaz Haq said...

Shashank Joshi
@shashj
In this week's
@TheEconomist
: my 10-page Technology Quarterly on hiding vs finding in warfare: the impact of more sensors, better sensors & better-connected sensors. It ranges from synthetic aperture radar, to anti-submarine warfare, to modern deception. https://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2022-01-29

https://twitter.com/shashj/status/1486732888737415185?s=20

-----------

Hide and Seek
Defence technology
TECHNOLOGY QUARTERLY - JAN 29TH 2022
War among the sensors poses new challenges, says Shashank Joshi

Like smartphones, but lethal: The technology of seeing and shooting your enemies
All the targets, all the time: Synthetic-aperture radar is making the Earth’s surface watchable 24/7
See-through seas: Finding submarines is likely to get easier
Lots of signal, lots of noise: Where to process data, and how to add them up
Fierce contests: Deception and destruction can still blind the enemy

Riaz Haq said...

Advising the students, President Dr Arif Alvi said that they should work hard and focus on IT education in the country and once they have completed, they would avail thousands of opportunities in this sector across the world. The President expressed such view while addressing the Presidential Initiative Artificial Intelligence and Computing (PIAIC) Grand Entrance Test 2022 organized by Saylani Welfare International Trust (SWIT) here at National Stadium on Sunday.

https://dailytimes.com.pk/889120/thousands-of-opportunities-available-in-it-sector-alvi/

There is a need of 8 crore of people having expertise in IT sector across the world, the President told, saying that you would not have job opportunities but entrepreneurship opportunities. The government is extending all kinds of support to IT sector and the laws have been made to facilitate the growth of this sector, he informed.

President Arif Alvi mentioned that besides, the government had initiated some programs like Digital Skill Program which was free and imparting the IT education through online classes and thousands of students had got benefits from this program and were earning in dollars.



After completing your training or education in IT sector, you might need the financial support to start entrepreneurship, he uttered and suggested that you don’t need to worry because the government has also launched Kamayab Jawan Program (KJP) to extend the financial support up to Rs.10 lacs.

Financial facility under KJP is very easy to avail and it is interest-free, Arif Alvi elaborated. In addition, the government has opened the way for foreign investors and China wants to invest in Pakistani IT industry. He further added that the youth of Pakistan were striving for knowledge and this was a changing Pakistan. So let the youth forget other things and young people should only focus on their training and education, he mentioned.

Highlighting the achievements of Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government in the province, the President said that no polio case has been reported in the last year and it is because the government has taken some initiatives to control it.


Talking on the issues being faced by refugees across the world, the President told that the refugees had to suffer a lot because they were not allowed to enter the different countries but it was only Pakistan which allowed 40 lac Afghan refugees living there for the last 40 years. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman SWIT Maulana Bashir Ahmed Farooqui said that the main object of SWIT was to serve the people and the Trust was trying to do its best to support each person in the country.

In the education, we are working to train the youth in IT sector as it can help develop the country through promoting the entrepreneurship in the country. The representative of Presidential Initiative Artificial Intelligence and Computing (PIAIC) Zia Ullah Khan also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the importance of IT sector. More than 25000 students from different parts of Sindh province participated in the Presidential Initiative Artificial Intelligence and Computing (PIAIC) Grand Entrance Test 2022.


Riaz Haq said...

Does the advent of machine learning mean the classic methodology of hypothesise, predict and test has had its day?

by Laura Spinney

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/jan/09/are-we-witnessing-the-dawn-of-post-theory-science


Isaac Newton apocryphally discovered his second law – the one about gravity – after an apple fell on his head. Much experimentation and data analysis later, he realised there was a fundamental relationship between force, mass and acceleration. He formulated a theory to describe that relationship – one that could be expressed as an equation, F=ma – and used it to predict the behaviour of objects other than apples. His predictions turned out to be right (if not always precise enough for those who came later).

Contrast how science is increasingly done today. Facebook’s machine learning tools predict your preferences better than any psychologist. AlphaFold, a program built by DeepMind, has produced the most accurate predictions yet of protein structures based on the amino acids they contain. Both are completely silent on why they work: why you prefer this or that information; why this sequence generates that structure.

You can’t lift a curtain and peer into the mechanism. They offer up no explanation, no set of rules for converting this into that – no theory, in a word. They just work and do so well. We witness the social effects of Facebook’s predictions daily. AlphaFold has yet to make its impact felt, but many are convinced it will change medicine.

Somewhere between Newton and Mark Zuckerberg, theory took a back seat. In 2008, Chris Anderson, the then editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, predicted its demise. So much data had accumulated, he argued, and computers were already so much better than us at finding relationships within it, that our theories were being exposed for what they were – oversimplifications of reality. Soon, the old scientific method – hypothesise, predict, test – would be relegated to the dustbin of history. We’d stop looking for the causes of things and be satisfied with correlations.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can say that what Anderson saw is true (he wasn’t alone). The complexity that this wealth of data has revealed to us cannot be captured by theory as traditionally understood. “We have leapfrogged over our ability to even write the theories that are going to be useful for description,” says computational neuroscientist Peter Dayan, director of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany. “We don’t even know what they would look like.”

But Anderson’s prediction of the end of theory looks to have been premature – or maybe his thesis was itself an oversimplification. There are several reasons why theory refuses to die, despite the successes of such theory-free prediction engines as Facebook and AlphaFold. All are illuminating, because they force us to ask: what’s the best way to acquire knowledge and where does science go from here?

The first reason is that we’ve realised that artificial intelligences (AIs), particularly a form of machine learning called neural networks, which learn from data without having to be fed explicit instructions, are themselves fallible. Think of the prejudice that has been documented in Google’s search engines and Amazon’s hiring tools.

The second is that humans turn out to be deeply uncomfortable with theory-free science. We don’t like dealing with a black box – we want to know why.

And third, there may still be plenty of theory of the traditional kind – that is, graspable by humans – that usefully explains much but has yet to be uncovered.

----------

In 2022, therefore, there is almost no stage of the scientific process where AI hasn’t left its footprint. And the more we draw it into our quest for knowledge, the more it changes that quest. We’ll have to learn to live with that, but we can reassure ourselves about one thing: we’re still asking the questions. As Pablo Picasso put it in the 1960s, “computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”

Riaz Haq said...

Work on Pakistan’s first Artificial Intelligence lab under CPEC picks momentum

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/05/28/work-on-pakistans-first-artificial-intelligence-lab-under-cpec-picks-momentum/

Seventy-five percent work of Pakistan first high-standard artificial intelligence laboratory under CPEC at National University of Science and Technology (NUST) has been completed while the equipment installation is almost 100% finished, Gwadar Pro reported on Saturday.

At the beginning of this year, the laboratory under CPEC–Qingluan Artificial Intelligence Laboratory was officially established at NUST, with joint efforts of NUST and Guangzhou Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Research, development and customization is currently underway. I would say work is almost finished to 75%.” Muhammad Khubaib Shabbir, Deputy Director of China Study Center of NUST told Gwadar Pro.

The lab has been put into full use, both students and teaching staff are keen on researching Pattern and Facial Recognition algorithms, the reporter learned.

“Currently, Cogniser-V1 intelligent video analysis project-a pilot project with the Government of Pakistan, and a commercial project, namely GymBot are the main projects that are under development.” Muhammad Khubaib Shabbir revealed.

“Ideally, Cognizer-V1 is one of the most sophisticated surveillance equipment, which has the capability of converting ordinary cameras and surveillance equipment into a Smart Equipment, using AI and Computer Vision Algorithms.” Muhammad Khubaib Shabbir said.

“To put it simple, the Cognizer-V1 has the ability to sense the people who are lurking around in certain areas and generate warnings, regarding dangerous behavioral patterns such as suicide, or other suspicious activities.” Muhammad Khubaib Shabbir said.


In the case of Pakistan, the country is blessed with a large number of artificial intelligence application scenarios and a huge market, thanks to its world’s 6th largest population. Moreover, the country is never short on talents.

However, challenges lie in the commercialization of scientific achievements– an important step which can be viewed as one of the sources for innovation.

Due to the backward industrial conditions and obstruction of international exchanges during the epidemic, the progress of commercialization in Pakistani scientific research institutes has been extremely slow.

“Our other key project, ‘GymBot’, can be a perfect example of science commercialization. It is designed to be a deep learning device, using AI and Computer Vision Algorithms and serve as an auxiliary tool under various gym scenarios, monitoring whether the clients’ postures are correct.

Experts in various fields are joining the research team to finalize the product. The core functions have been developed already. Now what the team is doing is developing additional modules to integrate and research new areas to better customize the device.” Muhammad Khubaib Shabbir shared his insights.

“It is important to keep in mind that Guangzhou Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences has shared the source code for ‘GymBot’. This enabled the researchers from Pakistan to get first-hand experience of the latest results on AI developments and offered them a chance to learn from it, enhance it and make it more usable for the local community. This will most definitely open new doors of opportunities for Pakistanis.”

Moving ideas from lab to marketplace is a complicated journey. Researchers and stakeholders need to manage the time-consuming process of moving from academic to commercial contexts, and seek balance between different goals amongst stakeholders and researchers.

CPEC enables the exchanges of advanced concepts, from both technical and management level. Qing Luan lab can be one of the successful examples.

Riaz Haq said...

China-Pakistan medical AI cooperation to boost chronic disease screening

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/07/08/china-pak-medical-ai-cooperation-to-boost-chronic-disease-screening/

Lately, at the first international “Medical Conference and Exhibition for Next Generation Healthcare” held in Islamabad, Chinese medical AI leader Airdoc Technology and Pakistan’s well-known medical device import and distribution company Dynamic Medical Company (DMC) officially signed a cooperation agreement to work together to promote the application of Airdoc retinal imaging AI products in Pakistan.

Special Technology Zones Authority Chairman Amer Hashmi, ex-Surgeon General of Pak Army, Lt-Gen (r) Asif Mumtaz Sukhera, Health Services Academy VC Prof Dr Shahzad Ali Khan, former Ambassador to China Ms Naghmana A Hashmi, Advisor to GoP on Health Dr Ghazna Khalid, and numerous other professionals from public health sector attended the conference.

One of the major objectives of this conference was sensitizing the participants, the general public and the government to hereditary or genetic disorders, its timely diagnosis and available treatments.

In his speech HAS VC Dr Khan said that Pakistan is ranked among the countries having high alert of genetic disorders, adding that majorly the increased incidence and prevalence of the genetic disorders are associated with lack of pre-natal testing facilities in the country.

“Faced with the increasingly serious disease burden in Pakistan, advanced medical technology is an inevitable solution at present.” Experts such as Ms Hashmi, former Pakistani ambassador to China, agreed that pre-marital testing and counseling in Pakistan’s health care system will effectively relieve the heavy burden of genetic diseases through technological intervention.

Initiating research evidence-based interventions for genetic diseases in Pakistan will open another dimension of trade i.e. Pak-China Health Corridor.

At the meeting, Yang Yaquan, representative of Airdoc’s overseas business department, gave a keynote speech on “Artificial Intelligence Solutions for Early Screening of Chronic Diseases”, introducing that a series of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease has a genetic predisposition.

The retina is the only part of the human body that can directly observe blood vessels and nerves non-invasively, thus by observing the subtle changes of blood vessels and nerves on the retina, people can glimpse the clues of more than 200 common chronic diseases.

The application of AI technology has made this test, which has a solid medical theoretical foundation, more efficient and accessible, making large-scale early screening of chronic diseases possible.

The reporter learned that Airdoc will promote a portable fundus camera in Pakistan, which looks like a VR glasses, is very convenient to carry, and can be driven by ordinary power banks. After the user completes retinal photography according to the voice prompt, it only takes about 1 minute to receive an assessment report containing dozens of health risks.

The product has been applied to domestic and foreign medical, general health, eye health management and other scenarios, serving over 10 million users. If the product can be promoted to the medical and health system of Pakistan, it will be beneficial for the early prevention of local related diseases

It is worth mentioning that DMC in institutional collaboration with the Health Services Academy (HSA) and their Chinese partners plans to set up a Genetic Reference Laboratory and Research Center for genetic disorders in Islamabad.

CEO, DMC, Mr. Owais Mir mentioned during the closing remarks that this conference will create an enabling environment for all medical technology-based research and innovation in Pakistan and this is only the beginning. More awareness on mass level coupled with federal govt.’s support will bring plan to action in the form of genetic labs, DNA sequencing interventions, data mining and more.

Riaz Haq said...

Book Review | Book of Reckoning
October 12, 2022 forceindia 0 Comment
A tour de force of South Asia’s military, tech and strategic dynamics
Andrew Korybko


https://forceindia.net/book-of-reckoning/

Pravin Sawhney’s The Last War: How AI Will Shape India’s Final Showdown With China is the most detailed and up-to-date work about South Asia’s military, technological, and strategic dynamics. The author compellingly argues that India is far behind China as a result of mistakenly prioritizing Pakistan as its top security threat. By disproportionately focusing on the western vector of its national security interests, including countering related unconventional threats, Delhi is unprepared to adequately address newfound challenges along the northern one that are much more conventional in nature.

The summer 2020 clashes over the Galwan river valley should have served as a belated wake-up call, but they failed to be interpreted properly according to Sawhney, who provides evidence proving that decisionmakers continue to misperceive everything connected to China. He’s particularly concerned that his homeland might not be able to catch up with the cutting-edge challenges posed by China’s unprecedented military modernisation, which comprises the bulk of his book. It’s here where the author showcases his unparalleled expertise on military, technological, and strategic dynamics.

The Last War opens dramatically with the scenario of a Chinese sneak attack on India that includes cyberattacks, robot invasions, and swarms of miniature assassination drones, among other aspects. This captivates the reader’s imagination since they’re immediately intrigued to learn more about how Sawhney arrived at this particular vision of the future. He then proceeds to describe these two Great Powers’ polar opposite security paradigms, military modernisation programmes, and points of friction. Plenty of insight is shared about Pakistan and the US too, which helps complete the picture.

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Upon learning how far India is behind China, it becomes clear to the reader that the former is at risk of sleepwalking into a disaster of epic proportions unless it urgently changes course to correct the trajectory that it’s on. Fundamental to the author’s scenario forecast is his concern that Delhi is too distracted by Pakistan to appreciate the full-spectrum paradigm-changing challenges posed by China. Furthermore, he argues that its armed forces don’t coordinate at the level required to effectively address this, nor does its political leadership have a proper understanding of technological trends.

Sawhney is also suspicious of the US’ influence over India, which he very strongly suggests is aimed at exploiting it as a proxy against China, one that Washington will inevitably hang out to dry once the going gets tough for Delhi in the event of a serious conflict with Beijing. It’s this patriotic motivation that drove him to elaborate on everything as extensively as he did, which includes very sharp critiques of India’s institutions. Readers should always remember this so as not to be put off by some of what he wrote, which for as ‘politically inconvenient’ as it might be for some, is fully cited and thus credible.



Riaz Haq said...

China-Pakistan Digital Corridor to enhance cooperation in IT sector: Pakistani Ambassador--China Economic Net

http://en.ce.cn/Insight/202210/21/t20221021_38186192.shtml


BEIJING, Oct 21 (China Economic Net) – Pakistan and China have agreed to launch three new corridors, including the China-Pakistan Digital Corridor that would help enhancing cooperation in different fields of I.T, said Pakistan's Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque, in an interview with China Economic Net (CEN).

Moin ul Haque told CEN that Pakistan has a rich repertoire of talent and human resources in different fields of science and technology and IT-based science and technology have become very important for Pakistan.

"We would be an important source of help for China in terms of software development. So, we are working together to set up training centres in Pakistan for developing software in different fields of IT", he stated.

He further said that the two countries recently agreed to launch three new corridors: the China-Pakistan Green Corridor, which will focus on the agricultural environment, food security, and green development, the China-Pakistan Health Corridor which will help Pakistan get efficiency in the medical field, and then the China-Pakistan Digital Corridor which will boost Pakistan's IT industry.

Ammar Jaffri Former Additional Director General FIA and Founder of Digital Pakistan said that emerging technologies have now become a lifeline for the achievement of The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) & targets.

"We are aiming to organise an international conference about artificial intelligence on 23rd March 2023 in which local and foreign enterprises would participate and we would take strategic decisions to engage the government of Pakistan, and international organisations in our mega projects", he mentioned.

He further said that AI in areas of cyber security, SDGs, and emerging technologies is a much-needed zone where Pakistan has to work with China while Pakistan has a young population advantage in the region.

Riaz Haq said...

During a seminar titled ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Defence Market: A Paradigm Shift in Military Strategy and National Security’ as part of IDEAS-22, artificial intelligence (AI) experts underscored the essential role of universities to keep Pakistan abreast with advancements in this field.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2386761/one-network-catches-the-eye-at-ideas-22

The seminar was orgnaised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad, and the Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO), where Minister for Defence Production Israr Tareen was the chief guest, said a press release issued here.

Addressing the seminar, Tareen acknowledged the country’s progress in the industrial and defence sectors, driven by the AI and machine learning (ML). He also underscored the role of academia, research scholars, and data-savvy individuals in the development process.

“Pakistan can become a global hub for AI, data science, cloud-native computing, edge computing, block-chain, augmented reality, and the IoT by reshaping and revolutionising education, businesses, and research through adoption of cutting-edge technologies and the AI-driven applications,” he said.

He emphasised that the country’s talented youth should be provided opportunities in the field of the AI and the Fourth Industrial Revolution [Industry 4.0] through initiatives like the Presidential Initiative for Artificial Intelligence and Computing (PIAIC).

“Apart from social, political, and economic changes, advanced technologies, 5G, and the AI have also changed the whole dynamics of contemporary warfare, battlefields, tactics, and strategies, the minister told the participants.

“With such strategic shifts, the concept of security has widened beyond conventional terms and rudimentary procedures to include sophisticated mechanisms and technology-driven procedures. These pose new challenges to the states,” he said.

IPS Chairman Khalid Rahman, who delivered the introductory remarks, highlighted the role of human intellect and research in the process of development. “In this regard, universities have served as the key platforms to set the pace for humanity in the key areas,” he said.

“The progress in AI will not stop and no country should stay behind in the AI development,” he emphasised. The role in AI progress is essentially played by universities, where research, creativity, and collaboration … can not only capitalise on the potentials of AI but also deal with the challenges.”

To meet the new complex security challenges of the 21st century, the other speakers presented their research papers, ideas, and findings on different AI-driven applications and processes, upon which the future international security dynamics depend.

Lt-Colonel Dr Ghulam Murtaza, Dr Yasar Ayaz, Dr Muhammad Tayab Ali, Maj Aon Safdar, Dr Waleed Bin Shahid, Lt-Col Usman Zia and Sqn-Ldr Javeria Farooq also addressed the seminar. The session was followed by a discussion by the panel.