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Report: Russian Military, Command Control Exceeds NATO Capacities

Russian marines disembark from a Mi-8 helicopter during the military exercises known as Center-2019 on the Caspian Sea coast on September 20.
Russian marines disembark from a Mi-8 helicopter during the military exercises known as Center-2019 on the Caspian Sea coast on September 20.

Russia's ongoing development of an advanced command-and-control military system using sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) has surpassed the existing capacities of NATO, an analysis by the Washington-based global research group Jamestown Foundation says.

The breakthrough, announced by the Russian Defense Ministry, means that Russian field commanders can make real-time military decisions faster than their potential adversary.

Called automated command and control, the system uses "AI and Big Data technologies to analyze the battlefield situation and through the automated system to rapidly provide commanders in the field with several possible solutions," the analysis, published on November 20, says.

To use the system, a commander must enter numerous battlefield-related factors into a computer software program based on the Russian armed forces combat regulations on decision making: the number of one's own forces and equipment, intelligence on the enemy, road conditions, weather, amount of ammunition, fuel, and many more.

Then the AI system in a matter of seconds makes calculations using special programmed formulas or algorithms to provide commanders with a battle plan consisting of how much force to use on a particular combat mission.

"NATO militaries and planning staffs must now adjust to a new reality, that Moscow has developed the capability to plan and develop its military decision-making process to stage well beyond the existing standards and capacities of Alliance standards," the Jamestown Foundation analysis says.

For example, the system could be used to "prioritize the time it takes to complete a combat mission, forecast losses or consume resources."

The system was first tried and tested during wide-scale military exercises in September at a yearly strategic and operational drill involving 128,000 personnel, 20,000 pieces of equipment and weapons, 600 aircraft and helicopters, and 15 warships.

Earlier, much of the planning into military operations was done manually.

The new system reduces time and increases accuracy.

The special software can be used for at all levels: "from tactical to strategic."

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