British Army uses AI technology to conduct live-fire drills
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British Army uses AI technology to conduct live-fire drills

06 Jul 2021 (Last Updated July 7th, 2021 11:33)

20th Armoured Infantry Brigade soldiers deployed an AI engine during the Spring Storm exercise.

British Army uses AI technology to conduct live-fire drills
During the exercise, 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade soldiers used an AI engine, which provides information on the surrounding environment and terrain. Credit: MoD / Crown Copyright.

The British Army has deployed artificial intelligence (AI) for the first time during the annual large-scale Nato exercise ‘Spring Storm’, as part of Operation Cabrit in Estonia.

Led by Estonia, Spring Storm saw the participation of around 2,000 allied forces. Last year, training was conducted with 3,200 personnel.

During the exercise, 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade soldiers used an AI engine for data regarding the deployed environment and territory.

This AI engine is designed to quickly process large volumes of complex data to provide the required information to the user.

The army used the information to plan its respective activity and outputs, as well as improve command and control (C2) processes, saving time and effort.

UK Army Information Director major general John 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.”

According to the British Army, this AI capability can be hosted in the Cloud or operate in independent mode.

During the Spring Storm exercise, soldiers from Belgium, Estonia, France, Denmark, and the UK used the technology to carry out live-fire drills.

20th Armoured Infantry Brigade and AI user major James Mcevoy said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to use a new and innovative piece of technology in a deployed environment.

“The kit was shown to outperform our expectations and has clear applications for improving our level of analysis and speed at which we conduct our planning. I’m greatly looking forward to further opportunities to work with this.”

The British Armed Forces aim to use AI for further applications in the future such as forecasting the behaviour of enemies, conducting reconnaissance and transmitting real-time intelligence from the combat zone.

Operation Cabrit is the British Army’s deployment to Estonia where British troops are leading a multi-national battlegroup.