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Aerospace & Defense Industries

Eye in the sky: Japan seeks AI-guided surveillance for patrol planes

Ministry aims to debut tech in 2024 for short-staffed Self-Defense Forces

Japan's Defense Ministry plans to outfit patrol aircraft with AI to boost intelligence gathering capabilities. (Courtesy of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force)

TOKYO -- Japan will begin research on using artificial intelligence to bolster surveillance by naval patrol aircraft, as a changing national security environment forces the Self-Defense Forces to take on wider roles despite a personnel shortage.

The AI would help ascertain whether a target spotted by conventional radar is an enemy vessel or some other threat. Machine learning through previous data would be used to develop the ability to identify a vessel from images that are difficult for the human eye to decipher.

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