By 2023, India wants an advanced robotic soldier protecting its borders.
This next-generation soldier should be intelligent enough to automatically recognize threats and take action. It should also be sophisticated enough to distinguish between threats and non-threats.
If India achieves its objective, that will have a huge impact on two fronts at least.
First, the robotic soldier would give India the ability to redefine geopolitics, regionally and globally.
India could join a very small yet special club of countries (such as Russia and Israel) that are using robots to defend their borders. India may use its robotic soldier as a strategic weapon, like a nuclear bomb, to command attention and respect.
From a nation that is currently a secondary partner to the U.S., Russia, or China, a robotic soldier would give India the capability to have a strategic agenda of its own.
India will not just be a coalition partner. It will create its own coalition.
The next U.N. peacekeeping mission might involve robotic soldiers imported from India or under the command of an Indian general experienced in commanding a robotic army.
Second, building an army of robotic soldiers would affect the Indian economy.
During the next financial year (2016-’17), India plans to spend nearly $40 billion on defense. This expenditure has quadrupled in the past 15 years. The expenditure was $11.8 billion in 2001.
By 2022, India may be spending $620 billion on defense.
It’s no wonder then that the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) found India topping the list of nations importing weapons.
According to SIPRI, India bought 14% of all weapons sold globally between 2011 and 2015.
The defense budget not only accounts for 17.2 percent of the total planned government expenditure for the next fiscal year, but there is also an off-books number — pensions of defense personnel — that is rising rapidly. It will be around $10 billion in the next financial year.
When one in five rupees is going toward defense operations, the economy takes a hit. While the robotic soldiers will not fix the problem by themselves or dramatically change the budget, they are likely to offer relief. Every rupee saved from defense will go toward development.
What strategy will India adopt?
Will it increase its imports of weapons and acquire the robotic soldiers from overseas, or will India create its robotic soldiers under the “Make in India” program?
Or, just as Russia surprised the world with its intervention in the Syrian civil war, India could also enter and exit hot zones or create them in pursuit of its national interests.
The robotic soldier would change the border dynamics with China, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, for sure.
Information gathered by - Bangalore BTM Robotics training center, Bannerghatta Robotics training center.