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India’s Defence Modernization And Military Advances.

On 11 July 2022, defence minister Rajnath Singh launched 75 AI products as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav during a symposium & exhibition in New Delhi such as AI Platform Automation, Autonomous/Unmanned/Robotics systems, BlockChain-based Automation, speech/voice analysis using Natural Language Processing, etc. During the event, they displayed three AI products developed by government-owned defence companies. These included software from Bharat Electronics Limited (BHEL) that can transcribe and analyze spoken words using AI, a system from Bharat Earth Movers Limited that monitors driver fatigue to prevent accidents, and a technology from Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers that uses AI to detect welding defects in X-ray inspections for safety checks.

The Defence Minister also mentioned that AI applications can be used to target and damage enemy facilities without needing human control and says AI is proving very helpful in training soldiers. He mentioned that in the near future, technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will also be used effectively.

In a recent interview on DD India, Major General Shashi Asthana, a retired Indian Army officer who served as the Director General of Infantry, provided a comprehensive overview of India’s efforts to modernize its military capabilities and prepare for AI-enabled warfare. He highlighted the country’s initiatives in developing and harnessing AI technologies, emphasizing the active participation of indigenous organizations such as DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) in advancing AI-related projects. Additionally, he mentioned that India is all set to procure advanced equipment and technologies from foreign countries to enhance its military capabilities.

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Moreover, during the Army Commanders Conference that took place from April 17th to 21st, 2023, the Indian army took a decision to operationalize the Command Cyber Operations and Support Wings (CCOSW) with the aim to make cybersecurity stronger, protect the computer networks, and deal with threats in the cyber world, which is an important area of concern.

What are some other emerging technologies in Indian defence? Cognitive Radars: DRDO is in the process of creating cognitive radars, which have the potential to enhance existing radar systems by integrating cognitive and deep learning neural network technologies. But, do you know what cognitive radars are? These are advanced systems that can perceive their surroundings, acquire knowledge from their surroundings, and adjust waveform parameters to enhance detection capabilities, tracking precision, and the efficient utilization of radar resources.

Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV): An ROV enhanced with artificial intelligence capabilities has been created for the purpose of inspecting underwater structures, such as marine and civil infrastructure. It uses multiple sensors, including vision-based tools, to collect data in digital format which can then be processed using software tools for image enhancement and AI algorithms. ROVs are capable of accessing confined and hazardous areas and can speed up underwater inspection.

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Swarm Drones: These are the indigenous machines that are capable of surveillance and of performing attack missions.These are AI enabled and can spot and identify small targets, vehicles, and structures from far above, even from a high altitude and it’s algorithms are so smart that they can even tell the difference between equipment, humans, animals, and other objects. Depending on whether the target is friendly or an enemy, it can also suggest what action should be taken to deal with any potential threat to the operator.

V-logger Vehicle Tracking System: The emerging trend of weaponizing vehicles by anti-national elements, exemplified by incidents like the 2019 Pulwama attack, poses a challenge in identifying suspicious vehicles. To address this, there is a need for an AI-based Suspicious Vehicle Detection System that can automatically recognize vehicles through their license plates and extract vehicle identity. The system, called V-Log Vehicle Tracker, utilizes advanced AI and Deep Learning algorithms to detect vehicles in real-time from various camera inputs, such as webcams and security cameras. It extracts vehicle details like license plate, make, model, and color on-the-fly and cross-matches this information with a registered database to identify vehicles accurately. Moreover, it can raise automatic alarms in case of any suspicious identity mismatches in vehicle credentials.

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In the landscape of these evolving technologies, India’s defence sector is rapidly embracing emerging technologies to modernize and enhance its military capabilities. The recent launch of AI products, including cognitive radars, remotely operated vehicles with AI capabilities, swarm drones, and advanced vehicle tracking systems, reflects the country’s commitment to staying at the forefront of defence innovation. These technologies not only bolster national security but also demonstrate India’s dedication to harnessing artificial intelligence for a safer and more technologically advanced defence landscape. As the world of warfare evolves, India’s proactive approach to integrating cutting-edge technologies ensures it remains prepared for the challenges of AI-enabled and cyber-centric warfare in the 21st century.

Sources: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1840740 :

The Hindustan Times : https://mod.gov.in/ :https://www.ddpmod.gov.in/sites/default/files/ai.

PDF By: Shreya Kaushal.

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