WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – Tens of thousands of American sailors and Marines will participate in the largest U.S. naval war game in a generation to prepare for potential conflicts with China or Russia across vast distances.
Aircraft carriers, submarines, war planes, unmanned vessels, and nearly 25,000 military forces will take part in Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021, which is due to commence in late summer, the U.S.-based Military.com news outlet reported, adding that the massive war game will span 17 time zones with American sailors and Marines joining forces in the U.S., Africa, Europe and the Pacific.
“LSE is more than just training, it is leveraging the integrated fighting power of multiple naval forces to share sensors, weapons, and platforms across all domains in contested environments, globally,” Commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Adm. Christopher Grady said as quoted in the report.
The exercise, he added, will be the first in a series “that will continue to push the envelope of what it means to be the superior maritime force.”
According to the report, live forces will take part in the military drills in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, noting that the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps “are working more closely after decades of missions focused on the Middle East.”
As competition for influence builds with China and Russia, it added, “the Department of the Navy is shifting its focus from a largely land-based fight against terror groups to deterring aggression,” without pointing to any specific threats.
The sailors and Marines taking part in the war game “will test several concepts they’re likely to encounter in a possible conflict with China,” the report also noted. “Scenarios will test the sailors and Marines’ ability to conduct distributed operations; expeditionary advanced-base operations; littoral operations in a contested environment; and command and control in a contested environment.”
Three dozen units will participate in physical portions of the war game, while more than 50 will join the exercise remotely, the report further explained citing Lt. Cmdr. Tabitha Klingensmith with U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
Russia Mass Produces War Robots
On the other hand, Russia says its military will soon be equipped with autonomous war robots capable of acting independently on the battlefield, as the country has launched mass production of the weapons.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Saturday that high-tech military vehicles, which use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to operate, are now in production for the Russian military.
“These are not just some experimental prototypes but robots that can really be shown in sci-fi movies since they can fight on their own,” Shoigu said. “A major effort” has been made to develop “the weapons of the future,” he added.
Russia has already unveiled a variety of autonomous and semi-autonomous machines, including the Uran-9, which is a multipurpose robotic weapons system.
The weapon looks like a small tank equipped with a 30mm gun, several flamethrowers, and four guided anti-tank missiles.
Designed for reconnaissance and fire support, it can assist soldiers on a battlefield to minimize potential casualties.
Russian engineers are currently working on autonomous systems based on the T-72 and T-14 Armata tanks capable of carrying heavy weapons.
Russia is also about to equip its maritime arsenal with an underwater drone, known as Poseidon.