US army carries out underground military training (source: Science and technology daily)
Recently, the US military said it was considering adding a new field of operation to the US military doctrine underground warfare.
"The underground warfare prepared by the US Army refers to the operations carried out in the underground space of super large or mega cities." "As the US forces say, this is a 'new war,' which is bound to require a separate study," Yi Fang, a researcher at the view think tank, said to the sci-tech daily.
The "final campaign" in urban operations
Underground space is particularly important in cities. By the year 2040, nearly 2/3 of the world's population will live in cities. Generally speaking, cities with more than 10 million people are megacities, and more than 20 million cities are super cities. As early as 2002, the "united city war outline" issued by the US Army thought, "the city is the most likely battlefield in twenty-first Century", and is the "center of gravity of war and battle" in the future.
"In a super large city or mega city, the last line of defense is underground space." Yi Fang said. For example, the underground section of the 255 km subway in New York, USA, can cover 4 million 500 thousand people. The underground garage in Washington can cover over 50% of the city's population during the war, and the underground works built by Israel can accommodate the population of the country, which does not include special underground military facilities.
"If the ground fighting in the city develops smoothly, the war will inevitably be introduced into the ground. The "last battle" of US military operations is bound to go underground. Yi Fang said.
In 2017, the US army launched a large GBU-43/B bomb, called the mother of the bomb, to a "Islamic country" target in Afghanistan, the first American army to use the bomb in the battle. Allegedly, its purpose is to deal with the "Islamic state" of the tunnel.
Well, since the United States already has the most powerful earth penetrating bomb in the world, why can't it be directly used in underground battlefields? But to study the so-called underground war alone?
Yi Fang explains: "the ground penetrating bomb is" ox head not horse mouth "for underground space. The general underground military facilities are highly classified and difficult to locate, and many underground military facilities can even resist nuclear bomb attacks, let alone drill ground. If we aim at civilian facilities, we will have to bear the charges of creating humanitarian disasters. Moreover, for the large or super large cities, the underground space is too large, and the operational effectiveness of the drill can tear open the radius of the hundred meters. It is obviously a cup of water, and it can not get the effect.
The "hot weapon +" confrontation will regress
Yi Fang introduced that underground space operations have their own characteristics. For the defensive side, being familiar with the underground space environment, the underground space can be used as a traffic line, a supply line, a support line, early fortification, and an unimpeded operation instruction. It can concealment military targets and avoid reconnaissance, detection and surveillance operations from high and new technologies such as space, altitude and electronics, and have strong anti destructive effects. Precision guided weapons, UAVs, high-power microwave weapons, kinetic energy weapons and nuclear radiation can not play their due role in underground battlefields. For the offensive side, the underground battlefield space is poor in situational awareness, can not quickly find the favorable terrain, the lack of shelter from the enemy fire, the electromagnetic environment in the underground battlefield space is more complex, communication and navigation may be blocked; advanced weaponry and sea land strike platform is difficult to play the normal efficiency, and easy to collapse. The dilemma of fighting in similar ground battles and buildings.
Therefore, when fighting in the underground space, the main equipment used in all kinds of ground warfare can not play its effectiveness, and can not carry out effective technical information, reconnaissance and monitoring activities. Even the common wireless communication technology can not play a good role, but it can only be done by manpower.
"It can be predicted that underground space operations may enter a new 'hot weapon +' era, that is, underground space operations may bring combat patterns back to the final battle that must be relied on hot weapons before World War II, but aided some of the advanced technologies that can play a role." Yi Fang said.
In 2017, media reports said that in order to gain an absolute advantage in the underground battlefields, the US Department of Defense advanced research programs wanted to start building the tools needed. For example, one project is to figure out how to make communication technology work in a cave or rubble environment. It is reported that the US Army will invest 572 million US dollars to carry out underground combat training for 26 of the 31 active combat brigades and distribute the corresponding equipment for them. Quite a few of these funds are used to purchase portable MPU-5 smart radio equipment for personal calls to the ground. The US Army is also considering buying self-contained breathing apparatus, bullet proof shields and weapons mufflers that can filter toxic gases or soot. These equipment even included high-power cutting saw, strong light flashlight and so on.
Underground space is the ultimate defense line of national survival
The previous task of capturing large underground facilities in the city is usually undertaken by special forces, but in view of the growing size of the military or military underground facilities around the world, the capture and control of these facilities will certainly turn from special tasks to conventional tasks.
"Since we have to turn to regular tasks, we must carry out a large number of theories and practices. Although the US Army has gone through similar targeted training, it still failed to achieve the desired results in the actual combat process. Yi Fang introduced that the current US Army must first identify and screen underground battlefields with military personnel, military facilities and strategic locations for underground warfare, and then to purchase weapons for underground operations, and to solve problems of reconnaissance, navigation, communication, breaking up and attack. This is a new form of combat.
Yi Fang believes that, in a sense, underground space has a strategic nature similar to the "High Frontier" in space. It is just as high and low as the "seventh dimensional strategic space" after land, sea, air, sky, electricity and network, which has important strategic significance.
"Underground space is the last line of defense for the survival of a nation or a nation. Generally speaking, if we are not prepared to destroy a country or a city, there is no need to prepare for underground warfare. In a step back, it is not necessary to take great effort to develop the offensive capacity of the urban underground space if it is simply aimed at defense, not expansion and aggression. " Yi Fang said, "therefore, the US military has invested so much manpower and financial resources in the research of this new war, and its strategy is worth pondering."
Edited: Yao Ling
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