Augmenting a Cadre of AI-Enabled Weapons by Russia

Russia building a fleet of AI-enabled weapons that have the potential to threaten the United States.



The advancement of technology and AI (Artificial Intelligence) as a part of modern technology have resulted in the formation of digital macrocosm. Artificial Intelligence to be precise is programming where there is a duplication of human intelligence incorporated in the machines and it works and acts like a human. With the continuous evolution of AI, the world is being benefited to the utmost level as the applications of Artificial Intelligence are unremitting.


How does Russia want to make use of AI? 

Russia has openly portrayed its intention towards the development of artificial intelligence. It is building a bunch of AI-enabled autonomous weapon systems that have the potential to threaten the United States. Lt. Gen. Michael Groen, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, notifies the National Defense that the Russian Military attempts to be a leader in modifying AI technology.

The JAIC, which has been working to enable AI adoption across the Defense Department since 2018, recently ordered a report by CNA, a research organization based in Arlington, Virginia, to investigate Russia’s developments. The report is labeled as “Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy in Russia”. This report has identified more than 150 AI-enabled military systems in various steps of development that include autonomous air, underwater, surface and ground platforms, and much more.

Lt. Gen.Michael Groen said, ‘as leaders pursue information dominance on the battlefield,

Russia wants to use AI for surveillance, intelligence, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and strategic decision-making processes’. 

Unlike the United States and China, Russia is not a leader in academic and commercial AI research, therefore it would be a serious mistake for the Pentagon to ignore the threat, said Groen. He also observed that though Russia was not a key leader in the evolution of the internet or computer networking, it has become a leader in weaponizing those technologies for advanced cyberattacks and cybercrime capabilities. 

Significant steps were taken by the Russian military to restructure and enhance its research and development organization. This was done in part because Moscow believed its previous structures were blocking innovation in technology areas such as Artificial Intelligence. The range of these reforms included the creation of a new advanced R&D organization modeled on the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and it illustrates the nation’s graveness about fielding an AI-enabled fighting force. 

Russia has invested huge resources into the development of artificial intelligence, big data, and software technologies as noted by Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten. The country is stepping forward rapidly across many areas, including nuclear weapons, space, and cyber. 

Russia is working to digitize its military just like the United States. Its Ministry of Defense recently declared its intention to design a specialized department to construct Artificial Intelligence. It is even working on establishing a military information-sharing structure. 

According to the report, data on detected targets were loaded into the system in real-time, and depending on the target type, the command chose the best attack methods. All information was received in real-time and was examined using an automated command-and-control system with AI elements.

Despite Moscow’s deep interest in Artificial Intelligence, the nation faces challenges in establishing the most cutting-edge structure. Within Russia’s AI ecosystem, the leading companies are sponsored by the state. The Russian private sector lacks an environment that is favorable to risk-taking and entrepreneurship in AI, autonomy, and innovation.