Military Communication Market: Connecting the Lines of Defence with Artificial Intelligence

Military Communication Market - Inkwood Research

The early 20th century witnessed rapid mechanization across all dimensions of warfare. For instance, the replacement of horsepower with internal combustion engines resulted in significant transformation on the battlefield, including the integration of more effective weaponry. In the modern era, militaries across the world rely on combined operations, overseeing all components of armed forces working in close collaborative communication. Aligning with this, the global military communication market is set to grow with a CAGR of 3.75% during the forecast period of 2023-2032.

Digitizing the Battlefield: Importance of Artificial Intelligence in Global Military Operations

As a strategic technology that has already started leading the future of warfare, major developed countries globally are utilizing AI to enhance national competitiveness and protect national security. Over recent years, the development of cloud computation, big data, and machine learning have inevitably stimulated the implementation of AI across domains, including military warfare. Accordingly, several artificial intelligence applications are already under development by the United States as well as other nations for myriad military uses.

For example, in 2019, the United States announced a strategic AI plan to harness AI across several areas of the army, including weaponry, intelligence analysis, vehicle autonomy, and decision-making. As stated in the AI strategy, the United States and allied partners must adopt artificial intelligence to maintain its strategic position on future frontlines alongside safeguarding an open and free international order.

Emphasizing the importance of AI on the battlefield, Dana Deasy, the United States Department of Defense’s chief information officer, asserts, “The executive order is paramount for our country to remain a leader in AI, and it will not only increase the prosperity of our nation but also enhance our national security.”

In addition, the United States Department of Defense (DOD) leaders proposed an investment of $874 million in 2021 for AI-related technologies in order to boost deterrence against potential adversaries such as China, while enhancing efficiencies in command and control, computing, and logistics. Conversely, China also articulated its artificial intelligence approach, declaring that “the world’s major developed countries are taking the development of AI as a major strategy to enhance national competitiveness and protect national security.” (Source: DigiChina)

Security Beyond Borders: Notable AI Applications in Military Communications

Artificial intelligence, over time, has developed the potential to perform more complex jobs, nearly eliminating human input and intervention in certain defense situations. Hence, from processing data to combat simulation, AI solutions can benefit several different military functions, such as –

  • Threat Monitoring – When incorporated with AI, military personnel can utilize Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations to better evaluate threats while maintaining effective situational awareness. For instance, according to the Indian Ministry of Defence, an AI-based threat assessment software linked to national databases will be used to monitor the online presence of individuals, including on social media platforms, track vehicular movement, and acquire linkages and patterns. AI is thus evaluated to support the Indian Army in analyzing threats during operations, particularly in sensitive regions like Jammu & Kashmir. 
  • Cybersecurity – Cyber-attacks can jeopardize classified information, completely damage operation systems, and subsequently endanger military personnel and compromise missions. AI has the potential to safeguard data, programs, networks, as well as computers from unauthorized entities to access the same. Accordingly, as per Microsoft, AI technologies, especially in the arena of cyber missions, can offer the following:
    • Automated interpretation of signals generated during attacks
    • Effective threat incident prioritization
    • Adaptive responses to address the speed as well as the scale of adversarial actions 
  • Data Processing and Research – Modern warfare necessitate extensive strategic intelligence coupled with sophisticated integration of technological elements. War zones are a key domain where each distinct event is overloaded with high volumes of unstructured data. In this regard, artificial intelligence could create taxonomies of events from available information sets for the structuring as well as integration of data, thus facilitating real-time decision support.As wars become increasingly fuelled by information, AI can offer or recommend valuable options to commanders, otherwise not assessable by humans due to the volume of information or stress. Military powers across the globe are effectively working towards modeling a common platform in order to handle context-based challenges from the sea floor to space by virtue of disruptive technologies’ convergence, combined with different AI-enabled tools. 
  • Target Recognition – Target recognition systems fueled by AI may help predict enemy activity, analyze mission approaches, aggregate environmental data, and employ mitigation techniques. For example, the United States Army soldiers are currently testing new generations of electro-optical as well as infrared targeting technologies, one of which is termed Advanced Targeting and Lethality Aided System (ATLAS).According to Dr. John Graybeal, lead engineering psychologist (Center’s Human Perception Laboratory, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Center), “ATLAS uses an aided target recognition system that scans a field of regard, so the soldier is assisted by an artificial intelligence system that is also searching the scene.” (Source: US Army)
  • Warfare Systems – Warfare systems like weapons, navigation, sensors, aviation support, as well as surveillance can employ artificial intelligence to make operations less reliant on human input and more efficient. In this regard, the Pentagon (headquarters building of the United States Department of Defense) updated its autonomous weapons policy in order to take into consideration the latest advances in AI.

AI & Military Communication: An ‘Intelligent’ Milestone Across Armed Forces

Through the integration of AI-powered technologies such as natural language processing, and cognitive computing, communication on the battlefield has become more efficient, secure, and expeditious. Moreover, AI in military communication has also facilitated situational awareness, mission planning, and execution, thus enabling armed personnel to make informed decisions in real time.

With the global military expenditure crossing $2 trillion for the first time in 2021 and the US military spending amounting to $801 billion in the same year, the future market opportunities for AI in defense communication are expected to be vast.

Emerging economies are also set to observe swift defense growth, coupled with latency for rapid military innovation and development. This can be evidenced by India’s military spending of $76.6 billion, ranking the third highest worldwide – indicating an increase of 0.9% from 2020 as well as 33% from 2012. Likewise, Nigeria also increased its military spending by 56% in the year 2021 to reach $4.5 billion. Therefore, as the investments and potential applications of AI continue to augment within the defense sector, the global military communication market is expected to witness lucrative growth prospects during the forecast period.

By Shruti Vanjare


What are some examples of AI-powered military communication technologies?

Examples of AI-powered military communication technologies include speech recognition software, chatbots, intelligent virtual assistants, and predictive analytics tools. These technologies enable military personnel to communicate with each other, process large amounts of data, and gain insights into mission-critical information.

What are some of the top players operating in the global military communication market?

General Dynamics, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Thales Group, and others, are among the top players operating in the global military communication market.