The new strategy was presented in an introductory, non-secret version at the AI Week 2022 scientific conference (“Artificial Intelligence Week 2022”), which was held at the Leonid Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Center for Cybernetic Research and the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Science at Tel Aviv University.
The race for leadership in the field of artificial intelligence in the armed forces of many countries has been going on for several years. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is at the forefront and has made significant strides in the creation of several AI-powered weapons.
One of the most striking examples is the Harpy anti-radar drone. This unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can patrol high in the sky for hours and monitor large areas of the earth until it detects a radar signal. After evaluating the characteristics of the radiation and realizing that it is the enemy’s radar, the UAV determines the location of the radar, crashes into it and explodes.
And last year, the Israeli company Elbit Systems introduced the ARCAS assault rifle, also equipped with artificial intelligence. The rifle interacts with its electro-optical sight, as well as with the eyepiece on the soldier's helmet and the nodes of the rifle itself, providing soldiers with intuitive real-time combat information. Among the data issued by artificial intelligence: target range measurement, automatic ballistic correction, fire source detection, video motion detection, the ability to shoot from around the corner and from the hip, communication with tactical command, navigation assistance, identification "friend or foe", tracking the presence ammunition and more.
ARCAS has transformed assault rifles into digital, networked "combat vehicles", improving weapon performance and infantry survivability during day and night.
Another intelligent weapon is now in the final stages of creation. This is the fifth generation See-breaker missile. It is capable of flying below radar altitude and delivering "surgically precise" strikes. The missile guidance system independently distinguishes the images received by the camera and is able to distinguish the target from its surroundings.
The new missile weighs about 400 kg, the warhead weight is about 110 kg, and the length is only four meters. She is able to maneuver, evade destruction, and attack from any direction. See-breakers can be launched from relatively small boats and even trucks, which can be camouflaged before launch.
There have been reports in the Israeli press that artificial intelligence and new weapons played a key role in Israel's conflict with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza in May 2021. The result impressed the leadership of the IDF, who decided to move from particulars to the introduction of artificial intelligence in all branches of the armed forces from top to bottom and the creation of a complete system.
The new centralized department created under the Tenufa (“Span”) program will translate the adopted strategy into reality.
This program provides for the massive introduction of artificial intelligence and digital technologies into the troops to create a common interspecific network space that allows efficient and fast transmission of information to all levels of the armed forces. Combat units will use a special computer program that will allow their commanders to easily identify targets, quickly select methods and methods of striking.
“Data collected from the air, land or sea is concentrated in one place and processed by artificial intelligence, creating a common operational picture. But it needs to be simplified to make it understandable for a fighter or unit,” explained a senior IDF official, who did not consider it necessary to give his name to the assembled scientists. Apparently, due to the secrecy of their activities. “Of course, there is much more data available for the general staff.”
In connection with the ongoing digital transformation of the armed forces, Israel has begun to reorganize the structure of the IDF. Its basis will be "multidimensional units" capable of solving various tasks and possessing the appropriate resources and competencies. The new military unit will be maneuverable and multi-arms. It will include infantrymen and sappers, anti-tank and reconnaissance forces, and even air assets. The brigade will become the basic formation of the ground forces. Tank brigades are reinforced with reconnaissance and engineering battalions.
As a result of the widespread introduction of artificial intelligence, the leadership of the Israel Defense Forces expects to achieve a significant improvement in the combat capability of the armed forces. The number of identified targets per unit of time is expected to be doubled, the rate of hitting targets - 5-7 times, while the accuracy of fire should increase dramatically. And in the end, the IDF hopes to achieve a significant reduction in the duration of hostilities. The war should become lightning-fast, victorious and with minimal casualties among the Israeli military.