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NEW DELHI: The Army is undertaking a major study headed by a senior lieutenant general on advanced “niche and disruptive warfare technologies”, which range from drone swarms, robotics, lasers and loiter munitions to artificial intelligence, big data analysis and algorithmic warfare.
Sources on Friday said the aim of the “holistic study”, which comes amid the ongoing military confrontation in eastern Ladakh with China, is to bolster the conventional war-fighting capabilities of the 13-lakh strong Army as well as prepare for “non-kinetic and non-combat” warfare in the years ahead.
China has been assiduously working to develop futuristic warfare technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI)-powered lethal autonomous weapon systems, towards its endeavour to usher in a major “revolution in military affairs with Chinese characteristics”.
Indian Army’s new land warfare doctrine in 2018 had stressed the need to sharpen the entire war-fighting strategy, ranging from creation of agile integrated battle groups (IBGs) and expansive cyber warfare capabilities to induction plans for launch-on-demand micro satellites, directed-energy weapons like lasers, AI, robotics and the like.
The new IBGs, after a similar study, have started to take initial shape as self-contained fighting formations that can mobilise fast and hit hard. Each with around 5,000 soldiers and a varying mix of infantry, tanks, artillery, air defence, signals and engineers, the IBGs were war-gamed in exercises on both the western and eastern fronts last year, as earlier reported by TOI.
“Technology will be the key driver in future wars. The new study, which is headed by one of the seven Army commanders, will recommend the roadmap for inductions with timelines,” a source said. The study incorporates AI, remotely-piloted aerial systems, drone swarms, big data analysis, block-chain technology, algorithmic warfare, Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, among others.