Adoption of Artificial Intelligence in Indian Army’s C4ISR: Here is what the Chief said

“Artificial intelligence is definitely being leveraged for enhancing the current C4ISR capabilities. The National Task Force had identified the 12 AI domains and the Indian Army has since undertaken projects both in-house as well as with the industry, especially deep tech start-ups,” the Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande told Financial Express Online.

To effectively build capabilities for C4ISR,  there is a need to integrate and build capacities in emerging domains of IoT, 5G and BDA.
To effectively build capabilities for C4ISR,  there is a need to integrate and build capacities in emerging domains of IoT, 5G and BDA.

One of the major lessons learnt from the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war is that multi-domain battle space is getting more influenced by technology. And these include usage of swarms of drones, missiles, unmanned ground vehicles and more. And all of these are being driven by Artificial Intelligence or computer algorithms – these are used in the war zones to not only process huge quantities of information, but have the ability to make decisions.

“Artificial intelligence is definitely being leveraged for enhancing the current C4ISR capabilities. The National Task Force had identified the 12 AI domains and the Indian Army has since undertaken projects both in-house as well as with the industry, especially deep tech start-ups,” the Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande told Financial Express Online.

In response to a question, he said that to enhance C4ISR capabilities,  the Indian Army is looking at critical use cases for aerial threats from drones/UAVs,  drone imagery analysis, integrated situational awareness for integrated decision support system/COP and analysis of OSINT & SM platforms, drone imagery analysis.

To effectively build capabilities for C4ISR,  there is a need to integrate and build capacities in emerging domains of IoT, 5G and BDA.

Why?

Because by meshing these emerging domains it will enable the military to effectively link the sensor to the decision maker to the shooter.

AI engines in various facets of C4ISR

They range from sensors to analysis and decision support systems, and are currently under development – standalone and part of platforms or systems.

For instance, in the sensor domain — swarm drone platforms, surveillance system inputs or autonomous platforms, AI is enabling remote target detection as well as classification.

ISR analysis:  According to Gen Pande, “AI engines are being trained for interpretation, change and anomaly detection and even intrusion detection. Similarly, in domains of autonomous lethal weapons, decision support systems or predictive maintenance, a serious effort is afoot to leverage AI.”

Adding, “We realise that to build an effective C4ISR grid, there is a need to get our data strategy right.  And towards this, we have promulgated a Data Governance policy. Work is going on towards building a structured data management framework. Meanwhile, we need to churn out data for our AI engines through improvised on-the-fly techniques.”

While evolving QR for any system, the use of AI is deliberated for its ability to enhance operational or logistic effectiveness. Therefore, the Indian Army has also established the AI Centre of Excellence (COE) at MCTE, Mhow.  And at this facility, “For skill development for our soldiers, AI development is being undertaken simultaneously.”

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