To improve the operational readiness of Indian Army, Air Force, and Navy, the government has begun working on including AI to the Indian Armed Forces. The Defence project would comprise equipping with unmanned vessels, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), unmanned tanks, as well as robotic weaponry.
The government initiative to include AI to Indian Armed Forces is part of a bigger policy to prepare for future warfare. The Secretary of Department of Defence Production at Ministry of Defence, Ajay Kumar, said that AI is a necessity in the Indian Armed Forces considering the demands of future combat. He also said that the department-assigned task force led by the Chairman of Tata Sons Group, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, was finalizing the framework of AI and essentials of the Defence project. The framework and specifics of the project would be employed in a partnership model between the Indian Armed Forces as well as the private sector.
“It is India’s preparation for next generation warfare. This (AI) is where the future is going to be. We need to prepare ourselves for the next generation warfare which will be more and more technology driven, more and more automated and robotised,” said Ajay Kumar.
Sources close to the military reported that the project would comprise making a series of unmanned platforms for the Indian Armed Forces. The idea is to equip current Defence systems with AI’s broad applications to help the Navy, Army, and Air Force to pull off functions or combat missions in future. The military sources also said that AI’s application in surveillance of frontiers with Pakistan and China could considerably take the pressure off the Indian Army soldiers that guard these sensitive borders.
China has been spending big in machine learning systems and research of AI. In 2017, they even launched a plan to become an AI innovation powerhouse by 2030. “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 Defence forces. We are also moving ahead. What is unique about this initiative is that we have industry and defence forces working jointly,” said Ajay Kumar.
He also added that the task force’s recommendations on AI framework are expected to be communicated to Defence Production Department by the nest month, and that once it comes, the government would take up the next phases of the project.