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A Chinese Version of Rover?

by John Reed on November 1, 2011

This photo of what appears to be a PLA er, Chinese Army version of a Joint Terminal Attack Controller — you know, the guy who calls in and coordinates airstrikes when his small unit is in close combat with the enemy. Anyone know what that device he’s holding is? It looks like it might be a Chinese version of our ROVER targeting system.

ROVER famously provides ground troops with real time images from the sensors and targeting pods on aircraft overheard — allowing for much better situational awareness and coordination between grunts and their air support.

Who knows how well the Chinese system works or how good China is at close air support. Still, its just another sign that the U.S. military doesn’t have a lock down on the advanced ISR and comms gear that is fast becoming the hallmark of 21st century weapons technology.

Sound off in the comments if you have any ideas as to what the system is.

Image via Alert5.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Guest A November 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm

He's playing angry birds on a ruggedized 3DS…

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Musson1 November 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Maybe we should just buy a camoflauged cover for our Apple IPAD. Then all we have to do is download the correct set of APPS and we will be invincible.

Bombiran.app
PLAEliminator.app
Iraqblackops.app

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Yep November 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Chinese Checkers?

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John Moore November 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

The only thing that would make me trust the chinese is if this planet was invaded by aliens and we all banded together but then even then I think I would have a hard time.

You can say thats me being biased but isn't the truth that my opinion has been formed by the media at large and china's negative image?

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Sev November 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm

China would use the opportunity to let the US do the most sacrificing and then overpower a weakend US. They always look for opportunity to subvert enemies.

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sdog November 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm

the Asian way of war, deception. Read John Poole's Phantom Soldier

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Doug November 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Sun Tzu. 'Nuff said.

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SomeGuy November 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Wasn't the Chiang Kai-Shek's plan for winning the Chinese Civil War? Let Mao fight the Japanese? How did that work out for him?

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Black Owl November 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

God damn it, China! Why can't you get creative and make something original instead of stealing everybody's stuff!

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jrexilius November 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm

At a point in our history we were the "China" to the British empire and Europe. We very quickly went from copying to innovating when we started becoming an economic powerhouse.

I think it unlikely, however, that if China gets into a dominant position, they will end up being close allies to their erstwhile intellectual benefactors as we have the Brits and EU.

10 years of fighting rock chuckers, training our future enemies industrial base (China) and political/economic mismanagement have left us in a bad place.

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jumper November 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Not likely… despite the Revolution and subsequent hostilities between us and the British there was always an underlying similarity and connection to England. The bulk of the population at that time were ex-pat Europeans. We share very little with the Chinese by way of culture and philosophy, so it's a stretch to think we'll ever truely bridge that and be anything more than wary of each other.

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joe November 3, 2011 at 4:15 am

More to the point – at least from the European perspective – we did some historically not very nice things to them over the last 150 years or so; look up the "opium wars" for more details. That's stuck a bit in the national psyche. The US, yeah, it's more just "Top Dog meet Not Top Dog".

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Orion November 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Feed India the tech, they are good with it, they hate Pakistan and will out grow China in 10 to 14 years, the region will be a hot bed of and for trouble, Historically China has been second largest economy twice before in history they will implode as before…… Workers living, eating and breathing in the company provided store/Apartments/etc will set it in motion… Also if it was not for our patriotic American Companies setting up shop and giving away 55% of the companies to the Chinese gov. making up the loss profits on cheap labor this might have been a different posting.. just my humble 2 cents

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bob November 1, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Hahahaaha, feed India? So that they can use it for their own good? They're just as bad as the Chinese and the Russians. You think they want to buy things from us? Give me a break you curry loving fool.

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exdasa May 7, 2012 at 10:14 am

EXACTLY !

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Lance November 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm

SO China copied a NATO ROVER. Not really BIG news they copy everything.

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Jazzier November 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Like anything made in China for their own, it’ll fall apart and disentigrate long. Store it’ll be a major threat. Be more worried on the safety of our satellites we are so reliant on.

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Leonidas November 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm

They have every intention to spread their influence and power to support their national interests, no anger from me about that, but we should recognize this need they have as all powerful nations have, power projection, and plan to counter and defeat it (if necessary).

Powerful nations have very few friends, some partners when mutually beneficial and quite a number of enemies…plan accordingly.

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Byron Skinner November 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Good Evening folks,

From the two rather crude antennas the stylus on a screen says this is something 1980 ish. I have doubts that the soldier in the picture is doing anything other then posing.

On off the shelf $200.00 PDA or an i phone 4s is for more advanced technology this this "box".

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

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ddg November 1, 2011 at 11:52 pm

iphone4s….. made in china…… And who uses PDA nowadays?

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blight November 2, 2011 at 1:06 am

Your smartphone is a PDA with a GSM or CDMA antenna.

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Shree November 2, 2011 at 10:11 am

They are just assembled in china idiot … not made…. cas assembling needs men and nobody provies them cheaper than chini…

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cozine November 2, 2011 at 11:13 am

Try take your iPhone 4S to battlefield conditions.

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Vstress November 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm

An I-phone has no battery life and will break when you drop it. Lose its signal if you hold it in the wrong way.

There is a lot to be said for stuff that is tested to the limit. Yet we still moan about it breaking… which is good… there is always room for improvement!

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Zangh November 2, 2011 at 2:33 am
blight November 2, 2011 at 8:21 am

Not sure why you struck out PLA, but maybe you were thinking of People's Liberation Army Ground Force, which is what most people think of as the army in terms of the PLA.

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Thomas L. Nielsen November 2, 2011 at 8:39 am

I was wondering the same thing – does it mean they are not called the People's Liberation Army any more? Damn! Now I'll have to change all my t-shirts and baseball caps….

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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cozine November 2, 2011 at 11:15 am

What I love most about this picture – straw camo on top of the helmet – true to the traditions!

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Byron Skinner November 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Good Afternoon Folks,

A point maybe being made in that cross out of the PLA. The PLA may no longer be China's largest ground formation. A force called "The People's Armed Police" has been growing since 200 while the PLA has been reduced in size.

Outside of China wonks, not much has been said about the PAP but it has grown from an estimated 500,000 in 2000 of mostly aging PLA veterans and young men unfit for the PLA and appeared to be little more then a Chinese version of the American Legion.

Now it is perhaps to a size of over 2.5 million in 2011, has new training centers, appear in news reports of civil unrest (PAP's favorite weapons appears to be the Type-079 SMG and the Type-081.1 rifle.). The PAP has also take over the PRC Coast Guard, Oceanic and Oceanographic Surveys. activities.

The Horizon Class "research" vessel seems to be currently the only ocean going ship that China is producing on a regular production schedule. This vessel is said to be crewed by the PAP.

As for the soldier holding the boom box since the picture isn't dared and the PLA has no set camouflage pattern it would be hard to date the picture and say what that soldier is doing.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

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Chimp November 3, 2011 at 5:09 am

PAP is a branch, as it says, of the police. There are lots of different police forces in China.

You'll need to provide references for the claim that they run the Coast Guard. Last I checked, the Coast Guard was under the wing of the MPS. PAP is, kind of, under the auspices of the MPS but actually answers to the State Council.

The figure I heard for the size of the PAP was around 1.5 million. Given the size of the country and its population, that doesn't seem excessive. Its clearly not equipped for ground combat.

"The Horizon Class "research" vessel seems to be currently the only ocean going ship that China is producing on a regular production schedule."

Byron, this is incontrovertibly wrong. There is series production of an aegis-like destroyer (Type 54A and later variants) and a pretty nifty LPD. There are any number of civilian vessels coming out of Chinese shipyards, too.

I guess your theory is that the PAP is sort of a sneaky way of expanding the military. I don't think that's correct. The focus of the PAP is internal stability.

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Oudin November 3, 2011 at 3:06 am

China copied NATO Rover and doing better with own idea.

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BillC November 3, 2011 at 11:06 am

I believe the "Rover" in the pic is a duplicate of the one "Cartman" had in the begining of the "Human Centi-pod" episode of South Park.

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Dudu do Brasil July 12, 2012 at 8:47 am

Preocupante, isso.

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