China is building its next-generation cruise missiles using "high-level artificial intelligence" to make them suitable for specific combat situations. A senior missile designer has claimed that Chinese engineers have been studying the use of artificial intelligence in missiles for years and are now pushing ahead to turn it into reality. Wang Changqing, director of the general design department of the Third Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, told the state-run China Daily that flexible and modular design for future weapons was the need of the hour. A modular missile system is flexible and multifunctional, and enables manufacturers to cut down on the development and storage costs, a senior researcher at the Beijing Hiwing Scientific and Technological Information Institute, told the paper on condition of anonymity. Terming the plans to develop the modular cruise missiles a "promising approach", he added that such weapons also prolong the operational range and duration of a mission.
In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017. The United States blasted a Syrian air base with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians.
WASHINGTON – The United States and its allies would have "no defense" against large numbers of ground-launched cruise missiles of the type recently deployed by Russia, a top U.S. general warned Tuesday. Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of deploying a land-based cruise missile system in contravention of a 1987 U.S.-Russia arms control deal, known as the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Gen. John Hyten, who heads the U.S. military's Strategic Command, told lawmakers that a single ground-launched cruise missile is not a significant threat, but the calculus changes if multiple missiles are launched. "We have no defense for it, especially in defense of our European allies," Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "That system can range and threaten most of the continent of Europe depending on where it is deployed.
President Donald Trump's decision of using the Tomahawk missiles in its attack in Syria on Thursday night is apparently not surprising as this cruise missile has been the backbone of the U.S. warfare for more than 20 years, reports said. The long-range cruise missiles have been used by the U.S. since the 1990s because of its accuracy. When the U.S. raided Iraq in 1993, the military relied on an unmanned Tomahawk cruise missile because of its accuracy and its non-requirement of sending a piloted aircraft, which the U.S. didn't want to send in Baghdad as it was heavily defended, according to a New York Times report. A Tomahawk missile's accuracy can be gauged from the fact that it can be launched from ships or submarines into heavily defended areas even more than 1,000 miles away and it can still maintain its precision. It can also destroy entire buildings as each missile usually carries a 1,000-pound warhead that can cause immense damage.