Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has taken its first steps in developing modern warfare capabilities using Artificial Intelligence. It is not a hidden fact that Artificial Intelligence is becoming the norm for next-generation warfare. Furthermore, many universities across Pakistan are also including an introductory course to Artificial Intelligence in all degree programs.
There are various specializations in Artificial Intelligence that are being used to develop solutions in all fields of life. Firstly, there is big data, in which vast amounts of data is processed and filtered. Secondly, machine learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence in which machines recognize patterns in data to conclude and infer results. Lastly, more branches include deep learning, predictive analysis, classification, simulations, and natural language processing as well.
Considering these domains, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is reportedly dipping its toes into establishing a Centre of Artificial Intelligence and Computing (CENTAIC). As the name suggests, PAF will focus more on incorporating Artificial Intelligence to develop warfare capabilities. PAF is not the first air force in the world to apply this knowledge. Previously, the United States Air Force has also used super-computing and Artificial Intelligence to develop their renowned stealth fighters. Furthermore, these jets are now considered the dominating forces of skies.
The CENTAIC by PAF aims to create new technologies on the same principles. In a statement by the PAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan said that this institution will be the beacon of Artificial Intelligence development for both civilian and military purposes. In addition, this institute will work on integrating Artificial Intelligence in PAF’s operational workforce.
Recently, an AI-based pilot defeated a human pilot in a simulated F-16 dogfight. This dogfight was carried out by a program sponsored by Pentagon’s DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Moreover, the same agency worked on developing self-driving cars previously. This result sparked many questions regarding the prospects of AI in the future of warfare in general. Not only can it be used to save the lives of soldiers, but it can also be used for cost-effectiveness.
Coming back to CENTAIC, it is reported that CENTAIC will be actively involved in Project Azm. Project Azm made waves in the past couple of years as Pakistan expressed its plans to develop a fifth-generation stealth fighter. Needless to say, the materials, simulations, and build require various AI-based tools.
Another area that CENTAIC is anticipated to disrupt is missile development. Currently, Pakistan’s air-to-air, and air-to-surface missile range is being primarily operated by the human workforce. Later on, we can expect more optimised missiles with extended ranges.
Lastly, it is reported that CENTAIC will get involved in developing sensor fusion technology for PAF. It is a technology which primarily combines data from various sensory sources such as lidars, imagery devices, and lidars to develop models with least uncertainty.
CENTAIC is undoubtedly one of the most radical initiatives by PAF in terms of prospects and development potential. It will pave way for Pakistan to acquire and indigenously build modern warfare capabilities across the board.