China Military Power: ‘Ferrari Of War Room Software’ Now In Beijing’s Possession

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Lieutenant General Qin Weijiang
The Chinese government has bought the Luciad software, a war mapping tool capable of generating real-time data from the battle zone. (Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song)

The Chinese government has acquired a war mapping software from Luciad, a defense contractor based in Leuven, Belgium which was bought last year by Hexagon, a technology company based in Sweden, according to an exclusive report from the South China Morning Post.

The software is the most-coveted technology among the military superpowers at present. It is the software used by NATO, the Pentagon, and big arms firms such as Boeing, Airbus Defense and Space, Lockheed Martin and Thales.

The Luciad software is capable of retrieving and assessing real-time data from a battle zone, providing accurate information for soldiers at the battlefield.  One geospatial information engineer described the software to SCMP as the "Ferrari of GIS software."

Key officials with the Chinese government and big contractors have undergone training on the new software in Beijing, sources told SCMP. The most recent training took place in June and was hosted by Key Mapper, a Beijing-based information service provider. In one simulation, a Luciad trainer generated a practice coordinates on San Francisco to teach how the software can be used and how quickly it can retrieve needed information real-time.

Key Mapper confirmed to SCMP that it was approved as an official reseller of Luciad software to Chinese clients from the government sector,

A case study on Luciad conducted by U.S. technology Nvidia Corporation stated that a GPU accelerated Luciad is 75 times faster than conventional war mapping software. All transformations and calculation with Luciad are accurate within 3 centimeters on world-scale. The system can also perform at 100 calculations per second versus 1.2 calculations per second on CPU-based software. Military personnel can visualize and analyze changes in locations and movements of hostile targets in real time, thereby instantly adjusting parameters and battlefield strategy based on those data.

Meanwhile, in the United States, a review of the National Defense Strategy implemented under the Trump administration revealed that Washington is at risk of losing a war against China or Russia. The Pentagon is currently running with an insufficient budget, according to the review released on Nov. 21 by bipartisan experts led by former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman and Former chief of naval operations retired Admiral Gary Roughead.

The report came with a warning that highlighted the efforts made by the Chinese and Russian government to bolster respective military capabilities. The experts cautioned the Trump administration that Washington could suffer high casualties and might struggle to win or lose a war against China or Russia.

The report was released as the government under U.S. President Donald Trump plans to implement a budget cut in its military spending. 

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