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July 6, 2021

British Army uses AI in Estonia’s live-firing drill

The 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade of the British Army has used artificial intelligence (AI) for the first time during a live-firing drill in Estonia.

The 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade soldiers used an AI engine during Exercise Spring Storm. Credit: shauking from Pixabay.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that soldiers used an AI engine, which provides information on the surrounding environment and terrain, during Exercise Spring Storm, as part of Operation Cabrit.

This AI engine could rapidly cut through masses of complex data, by significant automation and smart analytics development.

It enables the Army to plan its appropriate activity and outputs by providing information regarding the environment and terrain.

British Army Information Director major general Jonathan Cole said: “The deployment was a first of its kind for the Army. It built on close collaboration between the MOD and industry partners that developed AI specifically designed for the way the Army is trained to operate.

“The lessons this has provided are considerable, not just in terms of our support to deployed forces, but more broadly in how we inform Defence’s digital transformation agenda and the best practices we must adopt to integrate and exploit leading-edge technologies.”

The AI capability can be hosted in the cloud or operates in independent mode and provides instant planning support and enhancing command and control processes to soldiers.

Over the next four years, the MOD intends to invest £6.6bn in defence research and development with focus on emerging technologies in AI, AI-enabled autonomous systems, cyber, space and directed energy systems.

20th Armoured Infantry Brigade major James Mcevoy said: “In future, the UK armed forces will increasingly use AI to predict adversaries’ behaviour, perform reconnaissance and relay real-time intelligence from the battlefield.”

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During the annual NATO exercise, soldiers from France, Denmark, Belgium, Estonia and the UK used the technology and carried out live-fire drills.

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