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RoK Army sets up ‘Army Tiger Demonstration Brigade' to lead AI integration

The RoK Army has created a ‘demonstration combat brigade' to test manned-unmanned operations that leverage technologies including AI and unmanned systems such as this 6×6 unmanned surveillance vehicle developed by Hanwha Defense. (Hanwha Defense)

South Korea's Ministry of National Defense (MND) has disclosed details about plans to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and unmanned systems into Republic of Korea (RoK) Army combat brigades during the coming decade and beyond.

The MND said the plan is progressing through the recent creation of the ‘Army Tiger Demonstration Brigade' within the RoK Army's 25th Infantry Division in Yangju, Gyeonggi-do province, which is responsible for command-and-control operations.

The MND said that South Korea's Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup had visited the new brigade one day earlier. The brigade was formally established in June and, according to the MND, is drawing up new “concepts, structures, and tactics” that utilise advanced technologies.

Citing Lee, the MND said in a statement that the Army Tiger Demonstration Brigade has been established to support the RoK Army's integration and use of Industry 4.0 technologies. “The brigade will utilise AI, manned-unmanned systems, and intelligence-based concepts. The brigade is experimenting with its structure to optimise these capabilities,” he said.

The RoK Army plans to operationalise the Army Tiger Demonstration brigade in 2025, before gradually converting all combat brigades into similar units, with integrated use of AI and unmanned systems, by 2040. The MND has said, however, that the plan is dependent on successful combat trials of the new demonstration brigade. The trials are scheduled to start in 2024.

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