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No need to worry on Pakistan use of drones to push arms, says top Army officer

On reports that Pakistan sent some guns across the border through drones, Lt Gen Kler said the capability for carriage is “very little” in drones being used at present.

Written by Krishn Kaushik | Hisar |
Updated: September 26, 2019 6:57:38 am
On reports that Pakistan sent some guns across the border through drones, Lt Gen Kler said the capability for carriage is “very little” in drones being used at present.

Chief of South Western Command of the Army, Lieutenant General Alok Singh Kler, on Wednesday said that India does not need to be “very worried” about Pakistan using drones to push arms across the border, as drones being used at present have limited capability, and Indian forces are adept at tackling them.

“I assure you that any military drone that is sent this side will be shot down using the capability of our Army and Air Force,” he said.

Speaking at a seminar on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Army, Lt Gen Kler also emphasised that the Army will soon start inducting AI, especially in mechanised warfare. He said their use will first be constructive, but the disruptive use of the technology will also be included within two to three years.

On reports that Pakistan sent some guns across the border through drones, Lt Gen Kler said the capability for carriage is “very little” in drones being used at present. “The news that we have heard recently about drones being used from across the border, their capability is very small at the moment,” he said.

That is why, he added, “we do not need to be very worried”. He assured that India’s radars, “our capability to identify them”, are working.

On artificial intelligence, Lt Gen Kler said AI is “very, very necessary” —- from “information to decision-making to direct destruction of military capability, artificial intelligence will be used in everything.”

He said, “It will be constructive in the starting…helping the commander take decisions, making sure that information is converted into intelligence; that will be among the first uses of AI for Army in a constructive manner.”

He also said that the forces will soon also have to take into account the “disruptive use” of AI. “We are looking from ground to space to water to air —- Artificial Intelligence will assist every surface,” he said.

“For AI and military usage, which is mechanised warfare, we will have to be network-centric,” Lt Gen Kler said, adding that he is “very certain” that “very soon, within the next two-three years, we will induct some constructive and destructive” AI into Indian Army.

He said the development would be “slow but sure”, and that the Army will cover “the entire span of its requirements —- from constructive, predictive to disruptive use” of AI.

Use of AI in military has been under the Defence Ministry’s radar, too. It set up a multi-stakeholder task force in February 2018 for Strategic Implementation of Artificial Intelligence and Defence, which submitted its report in June.

Based on its recommendations the Defence Ministry had issues guidelines for capacity building.

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