Army Conducts AI-Enabled Target Identification Exercise Under Scarlet Dragon Program; Lt. Gen. Erik Kurilla Quoted

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The U.S. Army used artificial intelligence to identify and destroy targets as part of the fourth test fire for a program that uses existing platforms and networks for machine-to-machine learning, Army Times reported Thursday.

The Army’s XVIII Airborne Corp worked with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps for the Scarlet Dragon program, which used nearly 20 units and platforms and scanned 7,000 kilometers of satellite imagery across four states on the mid-Atlantic seaboard using software derived from the Department of Defense’s Project Maven.

“The Scarlet Dragon series is designed to increase our joint warfighting capability and how AI-augmented decision making significantly increases the scale, speed and accuracy of our targeting process,” Lt. Gen. Erik Kurilla, XVIII Airborne Corps commander, told the publication.

The recent live-fire exercise involved the use of large volumes of data from an intelligence agency and enabled the Corp to work through joint all-domain operations.

“It’s about seeking ways to achieve decision advantage in large-scale combat operations,” Kurilla said. “It’s about learning, as an organization, how to employ data as a strategic asset in the joint fight.”

The Scarlet Dragon program’s first exercise occurred in December 2020, while the second exercise held in March focused on tasks related to multidomain operations. The Corp tested the Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) interoperability in June for the program’s third exercise.

The Army is expected to integrate Scarlet Dragon-related work into its Project Convergence initiative that will link all sensors, shooters and joint systems for an integrated battlefield management platform.

Army officials said Scarlet Dragon’s next live fire will focus on data-centric warfare and is set to occur in early 2022.

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