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Military Trials AI-Powered Smart Scope for Firearms, Transforming Every Soldier into a Sharpshooter

The Indian Army is currently in the testing phase for a cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled smart scope designed to enhance the shooting accuracy of soldiers. According to an official from the armed forces who spoke to a news channel on December 10, this innovative technology has the potential to “turn any soldier into a marksman.”

Presently, the accuracy of gunfire can vary among soldiers, but the introduction of this new AI tool aims to standardize precision. Lieutenant Colonel Nipun Sirohi explained that the AI-powered smart scope can provide suggestions on the optimal moment to take a shot, significantly improving accuracy levels. Testing has been conducted at ranges of 100 meters, 200 meters, and 300 meters, with reported accuracy rates ranging from 80-90%.

Lt Col Sirohi highlighted the transformative potential of the smart scope, stating, “This is capable of turning any firer into a marksman.” The underlying technology utilizes an AI algorithm and sensor data to alert the shooter when the target is within range. The process involves the identification of a target and the creation of a red bounding box. The camera, aligned with the laser range finder, then tracks the target. Once the red bounding box transitions to green, the soldier receives a signal indicating the opportune moment to fire.



AI-Enabled Smart Scope: Revamping Indian Army's Combat Strategy
AI-Enabled Smart Scope: Revamping Indian Army’s Combat Strategy

Responding to inquiries about the applicability of the smart scope at the Line of Control (LoC) and border, the army official affirmed its utility, stating, “Yes, it can be useful because we can achieve ‘one shot-one hit’ capability using it.”

Lt Col Sirohi also emphasized the device’s relevance in close combat operations. However, he noted that the current iteration of the smart scope is tailored for enhancing day-firing capability. The device incorporates a day camera with a 50mm lens and 30X zoom. While the current version is in the prototype stage, the official expressed the possibility of a miniature version being deployed soon. Additionally, plans include the potential for the device to be adapted for night-firing capabilities in the future.

This development aligns with calls from experts advocating for the integration of AI technologies to enhance the Indian Army’s capabilities. General Bipin Rawat, the late former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), was one of the early proponents of adopting AI and big data into the military system. In 2019, General Rawat emphasized the urgency, stating, “If we don’t start now, it will be too late,” and warning that other countries, including potential adversaries, were heavily investing in these technological advancements.

The ongoing testing of the AI-enabled smart scope reflects the Indian Army’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological innovation. As the prototype undergoes further refinement and potential deployment, it underscores the strategic importance of incorporating advanced technologies to bolster the armed forces’ capabilities, ensuring a more effective and precise response to evolving security challenges.

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