Hacking
The military exercise is slated to take place in late March and last around two weeks, ending in early ApriliStock

The Royal Navy is all set to train its warriors on how to counter and conquer threats in cyberspace. A major military training exercise will reportedly see the Royal Navy use AI (artificial intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things) and such to train sailors in cyberwarfare techniques in efforts to ensure full combat readiness.

The Royal Navy's training exercise, dubbed Information Warrior 17, will see forces trained for battle with tech weapons. The military exercise is slated to take place in late March and last around two weeks, ending in early April. It has been designed to ensure that the navy is prepared for various challenges posed by the threats in cyberspace.

"The pace and scale of technological change in the world today is breath-taking. The Royal Navy is no less affected than anyone else by the challenges of cheap, smartphone computing power with high-grade encryption. And more is coming in the Internet of Things," said project director Colonel Dan Cheesman of the Royal Marines, the Inquirer reported.

He added: "AI, robotics, automation and quantum computing are all future uncertainties. As a result, the Royal Navy, priding itself on its long history of world-leading innovation, is focused on the implications for maritime and littoral warfare in the Information Age."

The training exercise will also test the operational effectiveness of the Royal Marines, warships and submarines when responding to real-life cyberattacks and threats. It will test not just defences but also the navy's ability in leveraging tech tools like AI to improve its offensive and response strategies, including weapons targeting.

"This will result in a ship that can operate for longer periods of time and at less risk to personnel, with less running costs. Our ships and submarines will become even more effective and give the Royal Navy the edge in operations," the navy stated on its website providing information on the exercise.

The navy is also looking into developing a comprehensive computer system, using AI, for its fleets, which would enable it to share information more easily across units to boost battle responses. "The Royal Navy (RN) wants to use AI technology to develop a Ship's 'Mind' at the centre of its warships. This will enhance efficiency in the fleet and allow fast, complex decisions to be made automatically which will make warships and submarines safer and more effective in fast-moving, war-fighting situations," the navy said.

The training exercise will also test the navy's cyber defence capabilities. The navy noted: "The risk of cyber attacks against our ships and submarines is as real a threat as traditional weapons such as rockets, missiles and torpedoes. A lot of the combat systems, communications systems, power and propulsion control systems are run by computers, and a successful cyber attack on these would disable a ship rendering it ineffective."

"The Royal Navy stands ready to lead the charge in the information domain, just as we do at sea, from the sea and in the air over the sea," First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones said.

"Exercise Information Warrior will push the boundaries of innovation, by introducing cyber, information exploitation and artificial intelligence into the UK's most important multi-national maritime exercise, Joint Warrior."