The Indian Air Force (IAF) is embracing cutting-edge immersive technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR), to bolster operational efficiency and training effectiveness. As part of its commitment to self-reliance and the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, the IAF has integrated AI into its machine planning systems and adopted VR simulations for cadet training at various air force stations (AFS) across the country. During the 27th media orientation capsule course at AFS Hakimpet, Telangana, senior IAF officers provided valuable insights into the successful implementation of these technologies and their impact on pilot training and operational readiness.

At AFS Hakimpet and other air force academies, fighter pilots undergoing Stage-2 training seem to be benefitting from hands-on experience with VR headsets. The cadets can virtually experience flying in a simulated environment on the ground, enabling them to gain valuable skills and confidence before taking to the skies in real aircraft. This indigenous VR simulation training has proven to be cost-effective, significantly reducing expenses that would have otherwise been incurred on flying hours using actual aircraft. The VR headsets provide a 360-degree view of the flying experience, enhancing the trainees' situational awareness and decision-making capabilities. The adoption of this technology aligns with India's goal of promoting self-reliance in defence and leveraging home-grown innovations.

Indigenous AI In Machine Planning Systems

The IAF is also making strides in developing indigenous AI-based machine planning systems. Collaborating with defence startups, the IAF is creating modules for machine planning, weapons systems and radar systems using homegrown technology. This move not only enhances operational efficiency but also strengthens India's defence capabilities by reducing dependency on foreign technologies. The integration of AI empowers the IAF with advanced data analytics and decision support tools, streamlining mission planning and execution processes.

The Indian Air Force's adoption of immersive technologies and commitment to indigenous innovation reflects its dedication to staying at the forefront of modern warfare capabilities, say the officials. By integrating AI and VR into training and operations, the IAF aims to achieve higher levels of efficiency, preparedness and success in safeguarding the nation's airspace and responding to humanitarian needs, the officials stressed.