Military-Civil Fusion and Missile Technology: Here's How Chinese Athletes Boosted Medal Tally at Olympics

China has boosted its performance in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics by making use of ballistic missile technology to train its athletes. Reports say that Beijing used this missile tech to enhance the posture and form of athletes and it is proving to benefit the country as it has secured highest number of gold medals in until now.

Extensive use of sensors and wind tunnels was made to refine technique and cut drag. The missile-related technology was experimented more on Chinese swimmers. The use of this technology is also attributed to China's Military-Civil Fusion (MCF) technique. Beijing plans to integrate research and development in military and civilian sectors for a broader range of applications with disruptive technologies.

Helped Swimmers Refine Their Technique and Cut Down on Drag

The Global Times, China's state-run newspaper, reported on Monday that China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) played a very important role in the training of China's swimming team for the Olympics.

A subsidiary of CASC "carried out tests on six world swimming champions using aerospace measurement equipment and gained analysis data through simulation training, which helped make scientific training plans for athletes and provided scientific support for improving their performances," Global Times reported.

The South China Morning Post reported CASC scientists made a miniature version of the INS used by intercontinental ballistic missiles to "help swimmers refine their technique and cut down on drag".

CASC space scientists miniaturized the system to weigh just a few grams, so that swimmers could wear it comfortably. The swimmers were then made to sit in a wind tunnel where they simulated swimming against the wind, according to The Week.

China's athletes try military techniques
China uses sophisticated sensors and wind tunnels to help the swimmers to “refine their technique and cut down on drag” Twitter

According to the South China Morning Post, "The simulation allowed the scientists to calculate the precise drag produced by different movements, CASC said. The assessments were then developed into recommendations on ways the swimmers could refine their technique and manage their body shape."

A wind tunnel was also used to train the Olympic rowing team. Global Times reported a CASC laboratory, "which is equipped with low-speed wind tunnels, successfully developed a three-dimensional force-measuring platform that can measure the aerodynamic drag of athletes during the rowing projects with different gestures and combination of players".

The training with the help of aerodynamic technology seems to have helped the Chinese rowing teams at the Olympics, as the women's quadruple team bagged a gold, while the men's double sculls team won a bronze.

Zhang Yufei
Zhang Yufei sets the Olympic record in the women’s 200m butterfly and wins the gold for China Twitter

It's been predicted that the technique also benefitted Chinese swimmer Zhang Yufei who won a "double-gold" — at the 200m individual event and as part of China's relay team. She is being called as 'butterfly queen'.

What is MCF?

Military-Civil Fusion is the technique used by the CCP to combine its military practices for civilian purposes. MCF aims to integrate efforts of academic research, industrial groups and military organizations to fulfil common goals. China wants to implement MCF at a large scale. Key technologies being targeted under MCF include quantum computing, big data, semiconductors, 5G, advanced nuclear technology, aerospace technology, and AI.

The US State Department says that the CCP is implementing this strategy, not just through its own research and development efforts, but also by acquiring and diverting the world's cutting-edge technologies – including through theft – in order to achieve military dominance.

In recent years, US and international analysts have warned that China was aggressively pursuing 'Military-Civil Fusion' with the goal of becoming a' world class military' by 2049.

The US Has Also Used Technology in Training its Swimmers

China is not the first country to use technology in training its swimmers. The US has used various kinds of technologies to help improve the performance of its swimmers at the Olympics.

In the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the US swimming team trained using "top-secret, state-of-the-art equipment and mathematical techniques" developed by professor Timothy Wei of Rensselaer's Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, reported the EurAsian Times.