Earlier last month, a US Air Force pilot donned a virtual reality helmet and scanned the area to obtain a 3D map of the surrounding area. He saw a moving object, which the AI had warned is likely a cruise missile. The pilot evaluated the received data, and then with the help of the hand controller gave the command to destroy the object.
This was not a video game: the team sent by the doctor led to the fact that a real projectile shot down a simulated cruise missile over the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The episode was a showcase for the war of the future waged by Anduril, a defense company co-founded by Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Oculus, a VR company acquired by Facebook in 2014.
Anduril is best known for its observation towers and software used to monitor the US-Mexico border and some US bases. The company is now updating the software behind the technology to connect military equipment from ground-based radars to fighters.
The idea is to provide military personnel with a single place where they can make decisions based on recommendations using artificial intelligence, which independently analyzes the entire data flow coming from disparate sources of operational information from military personnel on the battlefield. Such a system is nothing more than a system for waging war under the control of artificial intelligence.
Last month, this technology from Anduril helped shoot down a mock rocket in a four-day exercise involving more than 60 companies as part of the Air Force’s ambitious Advanced Battle Management System program. Participating companies, including Amazon, have received contracts worth up to $ 950 million. Amazon declined to comment.
The Air Force program aims to improve the communications of military systems using cloud computing and wireless connections. This should help commanders to act faster in difficult situations, instead of waiting for personnel to collect observations from radar and other sources using radios, telephones and computer messages.
A recent exercise tested this combat control system in a scenario in which the US Air Force was to shoot down “Russian cruise missiles” (in the exercise, special drones played the role of missiles). Among the many moving objects in the exercise area were fighter jets, robotic dogs and drones serving as 5G cell towers. One “Russian cruise missile” was shot down by a howitzer using an experimental “super-speed” projectile.
According to the US military, the exercises were successful. What impressed them most was how improved AI systems allowed the US military to respond to hostile actions in seconds, not minutes.