Taking a tip from global superpowers like U.S., Britain, France, China, and Russia, who are actively modernizing their militaries with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to develop the next-generation of autonomous weapon systems for the modern battlefield.
The Narendra Modi led-government of India has begun to incorporate AI into its armed forces to improve its operational readiness. So far, the government has formed an AI task force and unleashed a variety of unmanned tanks, flying vehicles, and robotic weapon systems before the next military conflict.
India has developed the Muntra, India’s first unmanned tank for the Army. (Source: The Times of India)
Defense Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) robot and weapon detectors. (Source: DRDO)
Indian Airforce’s HAROP TP Drone. (Source: Security Watch India)
According to The Times of India, the modernization effort by the Modi led-government is part of a broader political action to prepare the Army, Navy, and the Air Force for the next generation of wars between China and or Pakistan.
“The use of AI would add more teeth to the country’s military setup, and it would be a big area considering the requirements of future warfare,” Secretary in Department of Defence Production Ajay Kumar, said in a statement.
“China in 2017 came out with its roadmap defining that by 2030 they should be the leading AI power in the world. For the first time, all stakeholders, defense forces, the IT industry, startups, academia, defense PSUs will define the roadmap.
AI is going to be a part of all the military strategy in the future. The man can get tired and bored. Machines will not get tired and bored. Machines can sustain in advanced and dangerous situations. All these advantages are creating a situation where we are going to increasingly see AI in our country’s defense setup.” Kumar added.
Kumar further said a high-powered task force under the chairmanship of Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran was “finalizing the specifics and framework of the project, which would be implemented in a partnership model between the armed forces and the private sector.”
The task force will include the national cybersecurity coordinator Gulshan Rai, leading academic professors, as well as top generals and officials from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and Atomic Energy Commission.
“The task force will make recommendations on how to make India a significant power in AI, in terms of both offensive and defensive needs, especially in aviation, naval, land systems, cyber, nuclear and biological warfare arenas. Initial tenders or RFIs (requests for information) will be floated over the next two years on dual-use AI capabilities,” said a military source.
Like U.S., Britain, France, China, and Russia, India has also begun production on embedding AI into its military war machines. Kumar added, “unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned naval vessels, unmanned tanks and automatic robotic rifles as weapon systems will have an extensive use in future wars.”
The military source said the deployment of AI in the surveillance of India’s borders with China and Pakistan could give troops the upper hand in defending critical borderlands.
Kumar concluded, “AI is going to be a very big concept in the coming years. Major countries of the world are now working on strategies to see how AI can be used for defense forces. We are also moving ahead. What is unique about this initiative is that we have industry and defense forces working jointly.”
As the world advances towards a war cycle, global superpowers are ramping up production of artificially intelligence-driven killing machines before it begins. It seems as India has caught wind of the coming war cycle and has aggressively taken the necessary steps to prepare their defense forces for a possible war with China and or Pakistan.