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Weekly Round Up
22 February 2024
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All eyes on AI
AI offers vast potential for defence forces, from enhancing speed and efficiency in decisionmaking to protecting personnel by automating hazardous tasks, and more. Nicholas Kenny speaks with Hugh Woodward head of HQ and strategy, Defence Artificial Intelligence Centre (DAIC), UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), to learn about the DAIC’s work to drive responsible AIenabled capabilities and the benefits that this can offer the UK’s armed forces.

Armour piercer
Recent conflicts, including the war in Ukraine and the ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine, have seen small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) increasingly used to identify, target and attack armoured vehicles directly or indirectly. Tallha Abdulrazaq reviews the recent history of UAVs in combat, how they have been used against tanks and armoured vehicles, and what tacticians are now doing to enhance the survivability of the tank on the modern battlefield.

Defending Nato's networks
Building network security and resilience across Nato allies offers a wide range of benefits, as does 5G standardisation – but both face challenges along the way. Nicholas Kenny speaks to Antonio Calderon, chief technology officer, Nato Communications and Information Agency, about the work the alliance is doing in this area to drive innovation and maintain its competitive edge.

Knowledge is power
Navies around the world are embracing new ways of harnessing technology to support platform readiness, such as using digital twins to manage predictive maintenance of vessels, thereby reducing the risk of delay in maintenance periods and maximising the effectiveness of maintenance planning. Martin Morris talks to Tiedo Tinga, professor of life-cycle management at the Netherlands Defence Academy and professor of dynamics-based maintenance at the University of Twente, and to a spokesperson for the French Fleet Support Service at the Marine Nationale, to find out how such programmes are being put into practice and what benefits are being seen.

Pilot programme
AI has already demonstrated the ability to overcome human pilots in training scenarios – and air forces around the world have increasingly been looking into ways in which AI can be included in their operations. Andrea Valentino talks to Stacie Pettyjohn, director of the defence programme at the Center for a New American Security, and to a spokesperson from the US Air Force, on whether we can expect to see AI pilots become the norm in the coming years, as well as explore the technical and practical challenges to successful implementation.

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