Artificial Intelligence Reshaping the Battlefield Worldwide

Several technology experts think that innovative commercial software development companies currently entering the arms market are challenging the dominance of the traditional defence industry that produces expensive weapons, albeit very slowly.

It might indeed be premature to say that manned large weapons, such as submarines and reconnaissance helicopters, will meet the same fate as warships that have become obsolete with the dominance of air power.

However, remote-controlled weapons operating in the air, on land, and underwater will likely play a major role in wars from now on.

The war in Ukraine is proof that this change has already begun. Even there, simple squads composed of both humans and machines that do not heavily rely on artificial intelligence, are reshaping the battlefield.

Military analysts studying the conflict say that remote-controlled small drones have significantly increased the capability of artillery shells and missiles in Ukraine.

Deputy US Defence Secretary Kathleen Hicks stated in her speech at a military technology conference in Washington last August that traditional military capabilities “remain necessary,” however she pointed out that the Ukrainian conflict showed that emerging technology developed by non-traditional commercial companies can be “decisive in defence against aggression in the modern era.”

A special report published by Reuters explains how AI-powered automation could revolutionize the field of weapons, wars, and military power.

Moreover, according to a report released in May by the Special Competitive Studies Project, composed of a bipartisan panel of American experts, forces in Russia and Ukraine are integrating the use of traditional weapons with artificial intelligence, satellite imagery, communications, and smart ammunition.

According to the report, the battlefield has become a mix of deep trenches, bunkers and shelters where forces are forced to hide “underground or in basements to stay alive.”

Some strategic military experts pointed out that attack and transport helicopters used in this war have become extremely vulnerable to the point that they almost no longer fly, and drones have increasingly taken over their role.

Mick Ryan, a retired major general in the Australian Army who frequently comments on the Ukrainian conflict, says, “Unmanned aerial systems have already replaced manned reconnaissance helicopters in many cases and we are starting to see drones replacing artillery spottersb. Therefore, we are already witnessing some substitution processes.”

Al Jundi

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