The military has traditionally seen many technology adoptions from time to time. From Virtual Reality to Internet of Things there are several technologies which have been adopted even when they were relatively new.
The issue of cybersecurity is closely related to military organizations around the world. So secure communication is an example of how military blockchain applications are demonstrating their potential.
The ability to transmit secure communications between units is one of the fundamental requirements for any military organization. Today, cybersecurity is widely considered within the armed forces. That’s why decentralized ledgers, smart contracts, and related technologies offer interesting opportunities to solve problems within the military space.
Blockchain Military Applications
The integration of AI and blockchain with drone technology gives birth to formidable opportunities in blockchain military applications. Not only these applications can analyze and accurately report on footages in real time, but AI can also yield autonomous drones. Then drones can fly entirely independently without requiring any human intervention and control.
Blockchain-based applications can record and store data collected by AI-enabled drones in real time. These applications can even record the flight decisions and actions performed by the drone. So, with each drone working as a part of a decentralized network, even if it’s destroyed later, whatever data it has gathered would still be safely recorded and stored on the blockchain.
Battleships have weapons of different fire powers, such as missile launchers, torpedo launchers, and anti-aircraft batteries. In the face of enemy fire, all these weapons must work together perfectly. Warships from many countries, including the US, Japan, and Spain rely on the Aegis Combat System.
Although used for more than 50 years, Aegis is an important piece of military technology. It uses a complex system of radars and powerful computers to make decisions in fractions of a second. It controls the deployment of weapons, deciding when and in what direction to fire, in response to threats in fractions of a second. But it has one crucial weakness: it’s a centralized system; If you take down Aegis, and you can take down the ship. This is where blockchain will come into play.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the military term for 3D printing. It is believed that AM has not achieved adoption in all supply chains is due to the absence of a Digital Thread.
A digital thread consists of 1. The indefinite ability to store and reference data, 2. The means to identify if a design does not work properly or needs improvement, 3. And the scalability to advance the production process, applying process improvements using data collected at each previous step.
The US Navy has already seen the potential that blockchain can bring to AM processes. Since 2017, it has committed to integrating blockchain into every step of an AM operation. The use of a decentralized network in this way meets the requirements of the digital thread. Provides secure and theoretically unlimited data storage. It also allows data sharing throughout the AM process using the network nodes.
The U.S. DoD is also working with companies with expertise in blockchain innovation. In May 2017, Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) received a Phase 1 grant by the DoD to develop the cybersecurity architecture for a blockchain-based messaging application.
Several other nations besides the US are also looking to adopt blockchain technologies in defense programs. For example, news sources have reported that Voentelecom, a telecommunication company that provides communication and integration services to federal executive authorities and the Ministry of Defense in Russia, is considering possible applications for blockchain in the Russian military.
China will reportedly also use blockchain for its ability to quickly distribute funds and protect sensitive data.
If military research and development ultimately have a direct benefit for defense applications, the general public could also see major benefits, as technological progress made by militaries also benefits other industries. Advancements in cryptography could ultimately benefit the security of the future Web 3.0 by protecting user data on decentralized social media platforms, improving cybersecurity, and allowing for greater security of cryptocurrency payments.