China possesses an arsenal of the unmanned weapon systems for different combat scenarios and was prepared for potential robot warfare in the future, Chinese experts said on Sunday.
Chinese private arms company Zhong Tian Zhi Kong Technology Holdings Company displayed the Mule-200 unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) at the Unmanned System Exhibition and Conference 2020 (UMEX2020) in Abu Dhabi last week, Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi'an-based periodical on the national defence industry, reported on Friday.
The Mule-200 is a medium-sized, multipurpose crawler UGV designed to accompany infantry units and transport ammunition and supplies, equip firearms and provide fire support at close range.
Developed with a modular design concept, the Mule-200 can switch loads for transport, reconnaissance, combat and communication relay for different missions, the report said, noting that unlike most UGVs that leave payloads in the open, the Mule-200 can store them inside its armour to provide protection.
The vehicle weighs 500 kilogrammes and carries a maximum load of 200 kilogrammes.
With two caterpillar tracks, the Mule-200 can travel in all kinds of terrain, the report said, noting that the robot vehicle can run at a top speed of 50 kilometres an hour with the longest range of 50 kilometres: superior to comparable UGVs with its newly developed gasoline-electrical hybrid engine.
Future warfare is expected to feature intensive unmanned weapon system operations for which China is getting prepared, a military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Sunday.
The Mule-200 is one example of China's military-civilian integration strategy, the expert noted.
Other state-owned and private companies are developing similar robot vehicle weapons, in addition to aerial drones, unmanned ships, underwater drones and amphibious drones, the expert said.
This article initially appeared in Global Times