Army will test autonomous all-terrain UGVs with AI in Ladakh

The Indian Army will soon test autonomous all-terrain UGVs with artificial intelligence capabilities for surveillance and logistical missions in Ladakh. Before the Army chooses a final product and moves through with a large-scale procurement, trials will also be conducted in Rajasthan’s deserts.

The Kalyani Group has created one of the cars being considered that is powered by both batteries and motors. The car can run for around six hours on battery power and 14 hours on motor power. It can carry a load of up to 500kg and has a three-kilometer operational range. Additionally, the vehicle is equipped with day and night cameras with a two-kilometer range. This indicates that a command centre can be seen up to five kilometres away.

Two testing with infantry and armoured troops have already been conducted with the vehicle. While the armoured forces employed it as a reconnaissance vehicle to track down enemy positions, the infantry used it to transport supplies like weapons and ammo. The tracked version is being manufactured in collaboration with a European company, whereas the wheeled models, both 44 and 66, are entirely conceived and developed domestically.

The vehicle can function in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees to +50 degrees and contains various sensors for mapping, course planning, and obstacle recognition. It also took place in the Indo-Japan military drill that took place in February of this year. The unmanned vehicle will also be used to neutralise improvised explosive devices and identify explosives (IED).

Next month, this vehicle will participate in high-altitude tests in Ladakh and eventually, desert tests. Additional vehicles are being considered. More of these vehicles were being considered, including one made by Torus Robotics. It was created with state-run BEML Limited and has a 750 kg payload capacity.

The Army is considering heavily integrating AI and unmanned systems. Trishul is a remotely controlled weapon station with AI capabilities that can detect human movement, direct guns, and fire autonomously. At 300 metres, it can engage targets with a 100 percent first-round hit probability.

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