Realising human limitations in difficult terrains, the Army has deployed several units of Artificial Intelligence(AI)-powered smart surveillance systems to boost multi-dimensional operational strategy along borders with China and Pakistan.

The units are capable of handling heterogeneous inputs from devices such as ‘PTZ cameras’, offering wide-angle view with zoom facilities, and handheld thermal imagers, sources in defence establishment stated. The surveillance systems use software programmes to analyse audio and images collected from different sources to detect movement of men, vehicle and other objects.

Among others, it also offers real-time social media monitoring, pattern recognition and prediction of adversary courses of action. The initiative has considerably reduced the requirement of manual monitoring..

To maximize strategic gains, the Army has deployed suspicious vehicle recognition system at eight locations in the Northern and Southern theatre.

The Indian Army is rooting for AI for securing borders given that the US and European Union too are increasingly deploying such tools for better detection. More than that, said officials in the defence establishment, these systems are capable of providing considerable asymmetry during military operations. It is envisaged that the use of AI will transform war fighting paradigms.

The Army has been closely collaborating with academia, indigenous industry and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for harvesting complex AI-based projects, pointed out the defence establishment sources. For this, an AI lab has been established at Military College of Telecommunication Engineering for extensive in-house testing of the products before handing over to a production agency for deployment.

5G for military use

The Army has worked out a roadmap to exploit 5G for supporting operations in the tactical battlefield area. A detailed joint services study carried out on the 5G implementation in defence services under the aegis of Corps of Signals has thrown up the possibility of its use for smart-surveillance, telemedicine, drone control, and, real-time augmented and virtual reality for training and operations, revealed officials.

The high-bandwidth low-latency connectivity promised by 5G is envisaged to be better suited for mission critical communication for troops conducting operations at forward edge of the battlefield, commented an defence establishment personnel.

Also, a Memorandum of Understanding for Establishment of 5G Test bed has been signed between Military College of Telecommunication Engineering and IIT Madras. The test bed will facilitate validation of military use cases of 5G for field army.