Indian Air Force (IAF) has been exploring the feasibility of improving the fighter jet capabilities in threat perception and threat engagement. Earlier this week, (April 5, 2021), in a e-symposium on `Artificial Intelligence for Air Warriors’’, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria brought out the significance of the Artificial Intelligence for IAF operations, not only for the aircraft applications but also in other support roles. The e-symposium was organized by Society for Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Studies (SAMDeS) through the industry body FICCI.
The air chief in his address had observed that “even though Air Forces have been usually the early adopters of advanced technologies before they flourish in other areas but this situation has seen a different aspect in the area of new technologies.”
The non-military domain technologies are finding place in the fighting forces and AI too is following a similar curve. AI has seen an exponential growth in the commercial sector and militaries world over are racing towards imbibing these advanced technologies for their war-fighting capabilities. AI is sure to bring large changes in the aerospace domain and the ways the air wars are fought.
According to the Air Chief, numerous initiatives to automate the processes to improve the efficiency of operations for aircraft maintenance have been carried out in the past. Large amount of digitization already has taken place through electronic management systems. IAF has now commenced its journey to explore AI and AI-based applications on similar projects related to maintenance of aircraft. IAF is presently working on predictive maintenance and use of AI for predictive threat scenarios.
He also highlighted that AI require some more work to be allowed to be permitted to participate in autonomous missions, however, multiple applications like in making the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act ) loop of C4I more efficient for Air Combat role etc.
What does a C4I expert who has worked on the development of the indigenous Naval C4I Combat Management systems say about AI in IAF?
Sharing his views with Financial Express Online, Milind Kulshreshtha, says, “AI is already finding its way into war fighting applications, and such niche solutions are available with only few nations and China happens to be one them.