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India Develop AI-based Shipbuilding Tech

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The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru and state-owned Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at developing artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies for robust shipbuilding capabilities and boosting innovation in the defence sector.

The IISc Foundation for Science Innovation and Development (FDSID) will support the defence sector shipyard in optimising shipbuilding procedures, reducing construction timelines, and increasing overall productivity.

Over the next year, FSID will collaborate with GSL to implement AI-driven processes that address significant challenges in shipbuilding and foster innovation in warship and weapon integration. The aim is to streamline operations and leverage AI’s capabilities to drive advancements in the defence sector.

According to a representative from GSL, the partnership combines the expertise of GSL, a prominent leader in the shipbuilding and defence industry, with IISc Bengaluru, renowned for pioneering cutting-edge technological solutions.

The collaboration is anticipated to boost manpower and equipment productivity, introduce state-of-the-art safety measures, strengthen defence readiness, and promote indigenous defence manufacturing capabilities. Through the deployment of AI-powered predictive analytics and real-time monitoring systems, the partnership will create safer working conditions, reduce accidents, and safeguard personnel assets.

As part of their efforts to leverage AI in manufacturing processes, GSL has signed several MoUs with reputable institutes, that seek to explore various ways to harness and integrate AI-based technologies.

GSL anticipates that the development of advanced AI technologies will significantly enhance situational awareness, empowering the country’s naval forces to stay vigilant and responsive in defence operations. The collaboration’s focus on localised AI development strives to bolster self-reliance in defence manufacturing, contributing to the nation’s strategic autonomy.

Last year, the Ministry of Defence highlighted how the government is digitally transforming the field, specifically through AI-based products and programmes. As OpenGov Asia reported, the government finalised an AI roadmap for defence public sector undertakings (DPSU), which slated 70 defence-specific AI projects for development.

The AI framework and guidelines for projects and programmes in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) were also issued. DRDO is the research and defence wing of the Ministry of Defence. It aims to empower the country with advanced defence technologies and achieve self-reliance in critical defence technologies and systems. It was formed in 1958 and has grown multi-directionally in terms of disciplines, number of laboratories, and accomplishments.

DRDO currently has a network of more than 50 laboratories that develop technology in aeronautics, armaments, electronics, combat vehicles, engineering systems, instrumentation, missiles, advanced computing and simulation, special materials, and naval systems.

All DRDO system laboratories have AI technology groups to introduce AI features in defence products. DRDO also has three dedicated laboratories to carry out orientated AI research in different domains: the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), the DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory (DYSL)-AI, and the DYST-CT (Cognitive Technology). CAIR nurtures start-ups and conducts workshops for DRDO scientists to create skill sets for AI in defence systems.

Furthermore, the government has established the Defence Artificial Intelligence Council (DAIC) and the Defence AI Project Agency (DAIPA) to offer guidance and structural support for implementing AI-based processes in defence organisations. Additionally, the state-run engineering training institute, the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) conducts certified courses in AI and machine learning.

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