The U.S. Army's Next Generation of Super Weapons Are Coming

Kris Osborn

(Washington, D.C.) Streamlining multiple targeting sensors to destroy long-range targets, arming forward- positioned robots to penetrate enemy defenses and receiving organized weather-specific terrain mapping from nearby drones - are all emerging combat dynamics increasingly made possible by AI-enabled weapons and technologies.

New applications of AI are consolidating data from otherwise disparate sensor systems, analyzing seemingly limitless amounts of targeting data in seconds and instantly sifting through hours of drone video to massively improve attack options and shorten “sensor-to-shooter” time.

“We are developing an AI stack regarding how we pull together the sensors, computing layer and analytics to manage the data,” Col. Doug Matty, Army AI Task Force Deputy Director, told Warrior in an interview.

New algorithms, AI-enabled computer processing and high-speed networking are all specific elements of work now underway with the Army’s AI Task Force, an emerging Army effort to collaborate with industry and academia, find technology breakthroughs and develop new applications for AI, Matty explained. The Task Force is now working on prototyping systems for integration onto UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, Long-Range Precision Fires systems and the Army’s emerging fleet of Next-Gen Combat Vehicles, he said.

“We are focusing on the Next Gen Combat Vehicle. As you know they are progressing with two different platforms - the optionally-manned vehicle and the robotic combat vehicle. How do we have AI-aided threat recognition? We have to be aware of how robotic and manned vehicles share information to conduct operations,” Matty explained.

The first prototype AI-focused integrated threat recognition sensor will be ready by January of next year, Matty said.

The Army’s fast-moving AI-task force, based in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center, was first established by the Secretary of the Army in October of 2018.

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