Russia will roll out artificial intelligence-powered missiles in a few years, Tactical Missiles Corporation CEO Boris Obnosov said on Thursday.
“We saw this example, and when the Americans used it in Syria … when it is possible to re-direct [missiles] to targets. Work in this area is under way. This is a very serious field where fundamental research is required. As of today, certain successes are available but we’ll still have to work for several years to achieve specific results,” Obnosov said at the MAKS-2017 international airshow, responding to a question about the development of missiles driven by artificial intelligence.
“It is impossible to build a missile-carrying bomber invisible to radars and supersonic at the same time. This is why focus is placed on stealth capabilities. The PAK DA will carry AI-guided missiles with a range of up to 7,000 kilometers (about 4,350 miles) Such a missile can analyze the aerial and radio-radar situation and determine its direction, altitude and speed. We’re already working on such missiles,” said General Viktor Bondarev, commander-in-chief of Russia’s air force.
It’s not just missiles that will get a robotic makeover. In May, the head of another leading weapons group said he wanted to bring artificial intelligence to “swarms of drones.” Armen Isaakyan, CEO of the Kronstadt Group, said that, while the technology may take some time to develop, he was looking forward to manufacturing such devices for both military and civilian purposes.
While technically any weapons system capable of making its own decisions based on various sensors and tools incorporates some sort of artificial intelligence, the concept of giving a weapon the power to choose its targets has been a much more recent and controversial innovation.
The U.S. Navy is also planning to weaponize artificial intelligence as part of its Long Range Anti-Ship Missile. While last year, China claimed to pioneer such technology.