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Offensive drones now part of Indian Army’s autonomous weapon systems

Offensive drones now part of Indian Army's autonomous weapon systems

From artificial intelligence to autonomous weapon systems to quantum block chains and now robotics, the Indian Army is now into offensive technology. For the first time, the force demonstrated use of offensive drone technology during the Army Day Parade held at Delhi Cantonment on Friday.

The Indian Army has, in fact, also bought offensive drones since August last year. In August, 2019, the force procured five drones, in October 20 drones and in December 35 drones. These drones carry out automated, randomised sonic missions to the target area through use of artificial intelligence and onboard adaptive computers driven by continuous satellite feeds. They have a mother drone and child drones attached to it.

On Friday, Indian Army carried out a live demonstration of Drone Swarming capability using 75 indigenously designed and developed drones which executed an array of Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled simulated offensive missions and close support tasks. This demonstration is a recognition of the Indian Army's steady embrace of emerging and disruptive technologies to transform itself from a manpower-intensive to a technology-enabled force to meet future security challenges. These drones can fly deep into enemy territory upto 40 kms.

The Indian Army is investing heavily into Artificial Intelligence (AI), Autonomous Weapon Systems, Quantum Technologies, Robotics, Cloud Computing and Algorithm Warfare in order to achieve a convergence between the Army's warfighting philosophies and military attributes of these technologies. The Indian Army has undertaken a wide array of technology initiatives in coordination with Dreamers, Startups, MSMEs, Private Sector, Academia, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).

One such project is the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Offensive Drone Operations which has been incubated with an Indian Start Up. This project symbolises the beginning of the Indian Army's tryst with autonomy in weapon platforms and showcases the Army's commitment towards merging the cutting edge of digital technologies with its human resource. These offensive drones are part of the capability development road map. These combat drones shown during the demonstration carry out a series of autonomous tactical missions.

"Technology is in fact steadily emerging as critical core combat capability. Indian army in consequence is embracing enabling destructive technologies with unprecedented gusto," said a senior Indian Army officer adding that the force is also focusing on self-reliance in technology. These drones are with kinetic and non-kinetic capacity in execution of its mission. It is driven by deep technological collaboration and power of distributed intelligence in addition to without any human intervention.

Offensive defence operation signifies the beginning of Indian Army journey toward autonomy in weapon platforms as also the transition to digital proficiency combat. "It also signifies deep commitment towards forging the wealth of human resources with cutting edge technological prowess," the officer explained.