China, in its ongoing quest for military modernization, has claimed to have recently tested a smart artillery weapon that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) and has shown promising results. The development marks a significant milestone for Beijing and its goal to enhance its targeting capabilities using advanced technology while potentially cutting future costs.

Artillery munitions, in particular, are considered to be the backbone of the strike capability of the People’s Liberation Army – Ground Force (PLA-GF). Along with China’s modernization plan, the service seeks to acquire a smart variant of these weapons to keep up with its ambitious program and simultaneously increase lethality and precision against other advancing superpowers like the United States.

AI-powered Artillery

Earlier this month, a team of researchers led by Professor Wang Jiang from the Beijing Institute of Technology published its recent findings on integrating AI into laser-guided artillery to improve strike precision in a peer-reviewed journal.

Reportedly, trials on the AI-powered munition began in July last year. The scientists working for the PLA conducted multiple tests under various conditions and later determined that the long-range artillery could hit human-sized targets as far as 16 kilometers (9.9 miles).

Moreover, Jiang’s team claimed that the smart artillery exceeded their expectations, achieving high precision and being more capable than any big guns in the service’s arsenal.