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Project WARDEC – India’s Upcoming AI-powered Wargame Center

Context:

The Army Training Command  signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gandhinagar-based Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) to develop a ‘Wargame Research and Development Centre’ in New Delhi.

  • The project, which has been given a prototype name ‘WARDEC’, will be a first-of-its-kind simulation-based training centre in India that will use artificial intelligence (AI) to design virtual reality wargames.

Relevance:

GS III- Defence

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the wargame centre about?
  2. How will these simulation exercises play out?
  3. How many countries use such wargaming drills?

What is the wargame center about?

  • The Wargame Research and Development Centre will be used by the Army to train its soldiers and test their strategies through “metaverse-enabled gameplay”.
  • The wargame models will be designed to prepare for wars as well as counter-terror and counter-insurgency operations.

Where will the center come up and when?

  • The centre will come up in a military zone in New Delhi.
  • The RRU will join hands with Tech Mahindra to develop the centre in the coming three to four months, officials added.
  • The RRU, an institute under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), specialises in national security and policing. Located in Gandhinagar’s Lavad village, it is an “institute of national importance” – a status granted to it by an Act of Parliament.

How will these simulation exercises play out?

  • Soldiers will test their skills in the metaverse where their surroundings will be simulated using a combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
  • In metaverse, the players will get a realistic experience of the actual situation.
  • If a weapon weighing 5 kg drops or the air pressure falls, they will feel it like anyone would in a live situation, real-time.
  • The game would play out player versus player, player versus computer or even computer versus computer.

How will the center help the Army?

  • The Army intends to use the wargame center to train its officers in military strategies.
  • The Army will provide data to set the backdrop of the gameplay, so that participants get a realistic experience.

What promise does AI-based wargame simulation hold?

  • Apart from the armed forces, the BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP and SSB can also use the metaverse-enabled simulation exercises for better training.
  • The use of AI can provide a totally immersive training experience as it can simulate a battlefield close to reality and map several eventualities in the probable event of a war.

How many countries use such wargaming drills?

  • Since the 9/11 attacks, use of information technology-enabled wargaming is preferred by several countries like the US, Israel, the UK to prepare for possibilities in case of terror attacks or war.
  • In March 2014, several world leaders, including former German chancellor Angela Merkel, former US president Barack Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping had played a war simulation game during the Hague Summit about how to react in case of a nuclear attack. In that case, the target of the nuclear attack was a fictional country named Brinia
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September 2022
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