- The Indian armed forces need to invest heavily in “disruptive technologies” that are becoming critical in modern-day war-fighting, said Army chief General M M Naravane on Tuesday, calling for an overarching national mission in the arena.
- “There is a need to carry out a reality check as to which are the technologies that are required to be fielded operationally in the Indian context,” said Gen Naravane, at an internal Army seminar on the “impact of disruptive technologies on the fighting philosophy in future conflicts”.
- The Army is already undertaking a major study headed by a senior Lt General on such new technologies, which range from drone swarms, robotics, lasers, and loiter munitions to artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data analysis, and algorithmic warfare, as was first reported by TOI.
- The study and seminar come amidst the ongoing military confrontation in eastern Ladakh with China which has taken major steps in using `artificial intelligence’ (AI) and `machine learning’ to develop autonomous surveillance and weapon systems.
- Gen Naravane said the Indian armed forces also need to “pay adequate emphasis” on available dual-use disruptive technologies or those that can be developed or procured in collaboration with others. “We need to invest in these technologies, and work long term for maturing and fielding them,” he said.
- A senior officer, in turn, said, “There is a technology tsunami underway that will compel militaries to reorganize and restructure to fight future wars. Warfare is undergoing a sea change due to the emergence of the new domain of disruptive technologies.” The Army study incorporates AI, remotely-piloted aerial systems, drone swarms, big data analysis, bio-material infused invisibility cloaks, exoskeleton systems, and liquid armour, among others.
- “The Army’s existing equipment, ongoing procurements, and long term perspective planning are based on concepts of war-fighting which may transform due to induction of these niche tech. They will accordingly be reviewed,” said another officer.
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