Russia Plans To Dominate Military AI

The United States isn’t the only major military power trying to digitally link all its weapons together and execute operations faster using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Russia has been making gains in its own version of centralised command and control across land, sea, space and cyberspace

As the Russian leadership consider technology’s impact on its military power and its role in the world, AI is an area of substantial growth and increasing influence.

According to a new paper from a US Naval think tank, the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), the United States isn’t the only major military power trying to digitally link all of its weapons and execute operations faster with AI.

According to a Russian Presidential spokesman, their military will achieve its goal of complete technological sovereignty in 10- 20 years, with an emphasis on the importance of Russia’s ownership over technological developments. This echoes President Putin’s statement in June this year regarding “the importance for the country of creating its own competitive technologies…that can become new world standards.”

The Russian leadership’s continued goal is to use extensive Western sanctions as a jumping off point for the development of indigenous domestic high-tech industries.

Russia has been making gains in its own version of centralised command and control across land, sea, space, and cyberspace and its military leaders have steadily advanced an AI-linked concept called Automated Control Systems (ACS) says the CNA paper.

This shares a resemblance to the US military’s own vision for AI-fueled, network-centric operations. In 2017, US service chiefs began speaking about digitally linking planes, ships, drones, satellites and troops in a comprehensive network of shared data.

The idea was to allow any “shooter” on the battlefield to hit any target. Artificial intelligence would play a key role, analysing rapidly incoming data streams about targets and the state of US forces and then determining best courses of action for commanders to execute.

Outside the conflict in Ukraine, Russian military units are conducting drills and exercises involving the reconnaissance fire/strike practices prior to deployment. Target coordinates are transmitted in real time from an aerial drone and the Strelets reconnaissance, control and communication system, a tactical sensor-to-shooter information sharing system.

The CNA reports that Russia's military leaders clearly think that systems will be equipped with AI will be capable of independently detecting potential targets and launch missile strikes without human intervention. 

They also suggest that Russia might attempt to integrate AI into its nuclear command in order to convince the US that a first strike against Russian leadership wouldn’t stop its ability to fire nuclear weapons.

CNA:     CNAS:     I-HLS:  DefenseOne:     

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