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OpINION                                                                MARCH 25, 2022  |     The Indian Eye 16

                            russia’s aI-enabled military

         ecosystem and Its algorithmic Warfare

             Considering Russia’s capabilities in advanced weapon systems, it is likely that it will
                                              soon be a leader in AI-enabled warfare

        SANUR SHARMA                                                                                              Russia’s AI strategy gained mo-
                                                                                                              mentum  in  2014  when  the  Russian
              he ongoing Russia–Ukraine                                                                       Ministry of Defense (MoD) adopted
              conflict showcases how various                                                                  the concept for the use of Robot-
        Ttechnologies can be vehement-                                                                        ic Systems for military use by 2030,
        ly  used  on  the  battlefield  through                                                               with 30 per cent of combat power be-
        both land and air. With Russia’s ad-                                                                  ing robotized to partial or complete
        vanced air combat capabilities, it has                                                                autonomy.  In  2016,  the  strategy  of
        reportedly used only Tu-22M3 bomb-                                                                    scientific and technological develop-
        ers, Ka-52 attack helicopters, SU25,                                                                  ment of the Russian Federation was
        Su27  flanker  and  Su30  fighters  to                                                                approved with the priority on the
        destroy Ukraine’s military bases and                                                                  creation of systems for Big Data, AI
        other critical infrastructures. Russia’s                                                              and  ML.  In  2017,  Russia  launched
        new  Artificial  Intelligence  (AI)  ca-                                                              its AI-enabled virtual assistant Alice
        pabilities include AI-enabled robotic                                                                 by Yandex and a cooperation agree-
        weapons, autonomous tanks, Un-    tions and technologies that can be   challenges in addition to geopolitical   ment was signed between Yandex
        manned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and   devised through integrating it with   implications. Therefore, Russia is be-  and Gazprom Neft to implement
        long-range strikes involving high-pre-  systems to gain a strategic advantage   ing careful and heading with a strat-  machine learning projects in the oil
        cision missiles. Russia is heavily com-  over adversaries.          egized course of action in using this   industry.  The  same  year  Vladimir
        mitted to the use of AI for military   Today, countries with geopolit-  technology on battlefield.    Putin declared that “whichever coun-
        systems for intelligence gathering,   ical  conflicts  are  using  AI  and  Ma-                       try becomes the leader in artificial in-
        C4ISR, logistics and development of   chine Learning (ML) in cyberattacks,  russia is spearheading its  aI   telligence (AI) will become the ruler
        autonomous weapons.               misinformation and disinformation   strategy with heavy investments   of the world”. Despite this, Russia is
            Despite having advanced AI-   campaigns  to  their  advantage.  This                              still behind when compared to US
        based military capabilities, Russia   has been visible in the current Rus-  in military, state-sponsored ac-  and China in terms of AI capabili-
        has not used any lethal autonomous   sia–Ukraine  conflict,  where  Russia   tors  and  the  private  sector.  It   ties, according to a report by the US
        weapon systems in the recent con-  has been suspected of having used                                  government-funded Center for Na-
        flict.  Moreover,  Russia’s  develop-  asymmetric warfare by using AI-  has been stated that with rus-  val Analyses. Russia was not a leader
        ment and use of weaponized AI is   based cyber-attacks, electronic war-  sia’s increasing adoption of fu-  in communication networks but used
        not only attributed to the quest of   fare and information weapons on                                 this technology for weaponizing itself
        power or the global AI race but also   Ukraine’s infrastructure like elec-  turistic technologies and mod-  for advanced cyber capabilities and
        to the strategic implications and risks   trical  grids  and  communication sys-  ern battlefield capabilities, the   became a leader.
        involved  with  autonomy.  The  tech-  tems  before  the  incursion.  Russia                              Considering Russia’s capabili-
        nological modernization with AI has   has in the past also used this discreet  us might be outmatched in the   ties in advanced weapon systems, it
        been declared as one of the key ar-  use of technology for destabilizing   areas of armor, artillery, air de-  is likely that it will soon be a leader
        eas for the future of defense strategy.   its  opponents’  infrastructures.  The                      in AI-enabled warfare. In 2018, the
        One significant aspect of AI is that it   discourse on the use of weaponized  fense, space and cyberspace.    Russian MoD hosted a joint confer-
        is not a weapon but a range of func-  AI in such conflicts entails domestic                                  Continued at next page... >>

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