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7 Applications of IoT in Defence and Military

  • Manisha Sahu
  • Jul 20, 2021
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Current military operations are focused at a difficult, multifaceted, deeply distinctive, and challenging state – some with unanticipated accomplices and occasional foes. Military commanders work at a solid time and high rhythms of operation. The time span of officers is constantly shorter for acquiring a precise assessment, surveying, and deciding possible gaming strategies.


They also must draw from each possible source to ensure that the circumstances, closely and continuously, are taken into account and understand the consequences of their choices and plans as a whole and as relevant.


The notion of the Internet of Things (IoT) is one answer to these issues. The Internet of Things has been developed widely across the world with an emphasis on civil applications. IoT is a paradigm that takes into account the prevalent presence in the surroundings of a number of clever things/objects.


They may communicate and collaborate with each other in creating new applications/services through wireless and wired connections, so they can achieve common objectives. Items/things may be recognized and intelligently made by deciding contextually by aggregating information and sharing with other objects.


The military may become more efficient and effective by integrating sensor systems, actuators, and control systems with current military infrastructures. 


Also read: Application of Virtual Reality in Military


IoT applications in defence and military


With the Connected Devices architecture or its autonomous presence within the closed loop network of devices, IoT has already impacted several sectors. Many countries in military and defence applications are seeking to use the IoT as a means of addressing various issues in war and fighting. Below, there are distinct IoT defence and  military applications areas that have been highlighted.


1. Gather Battlefield awareness in advance


Survey the battlefield using airborne drones and connected cameras, to map the landscape and the positions of the adversaries and to transmit the data to the command centre. 


The officials are able to take strategic judgments using this information. These drones may also be utilised for self-employed border patrols and to alert military staff in the event of a violation or a threat. This eliminates any personal losses because it is unmanaged and does not offer a further risk because it may be operated over the distance.

The images shows survey of the battlefield using airborne drones and mapping the terrain structure into a 3D model.     

Mapping the terrain structure into a 3D model

2. Proactive health surveillance


It's quite difficult to monitor the health of a Fighter on the field. A large range of sensors can be attached to the soldiers' jacket, which can track, sense, and send alerts about its changing medical conditions to the Command Center where each fighter can be centrally monitored and in adverse situations can be removed from the field or medical supplements based on medical conditions can be administered.


Recommended blog - IoT in Healthcare


Based on this knowledge, the equipment needed for treatment by injured soldiers may be prepared in advance so that no time is lost.


3. Augmented Reality Remote Training


Automated models are created using the real field data from earlier times and then a training simulation environment is created. The combatants are fitted with VR/AR equipment which is then transferred to the simulated environment to capture and use for the evaluation of its accuracy, emotional check, speed of movement and other parameters. 


Soldiers may also enhance their goal and precision by practising with no physical injury in this setting and prepare themselves for the real fight. In the training, errors may take place and the same error during the fight might lead to a lifetime.


A flight simulator for pilots is available to check and obtain the near physical expertise of utilising a Flight Simulator before flying the aircraft. Pilots must carry out several manoeuvres to evade an enemy trail or a tracking missile.


Physical preparation for these circumstances can be expensive and can lead to death. For training pilots in such situations, simulation is the ideal choice.

The image shows that soldiers may also enhance their goal and precision by practicing with no physical injury in this setting and prepare themselves for the real fight.

 VR/AR equipment for remote training

4. Real-time fleet management for equipment and vehicles


The military invests optimally in the management of the fleet. It is difficult to monitor fleets and the state of the engine in real-time.


Adopting IoT in defence will allow real-time GPS monitoring, displaying speed and motor status, overall engine times, fuel economy, and much more for vehicles embedded with sensors.


Integration of AI with military transport can minimize traffic expenses and human operating efforts. It can also readily identify abnormalities and quickly forecast failure in the components of military fleets. Intelligent tracking also shows the operation of the driver and makes him responsible for every step of the vehicle.


Real-Time Fleet Management would save fuel expenditures by 25 percent according to the Defense Department.


5. Efficient management of inventory


In the military, weapons, tanks, cartridges and many more instruments are needed. These weapons are delivered safely, but manual administration and inventory updating of these goods is difficult and less effective. You may have visibility of stock and supply chain in real time using RFID trackers.


Even if it is delivered, moved, used or consumed with any device an RFID tracker is connected that informs the affected team on mobile. Extending the visibility in real time would enable military personnel to forecast which products are in demand or excess. It also streamlines logistical control, eliminates losses and robbery.


Recommended read: IoT in Fleet Management - Role and Applications


6. Target Recognition and Autonomous Reconnaissance


AI methods are developed in a complicated fighting environment to increase the accuracy of target detection. These approaches allow defence, via analyses of the reports, papers, news feeds and other kinds of unstructured information, to acquire a thorough picture of possible operational regions. In addition, AI enhances the capacity of these systems to determine the location of their targets via target recognition systems. 


AI-enabled target identification systems' capabilities include probability-based adversary behaviour projections, aggregated weather and environment, anticipated and flagged possible bottlenecks or vulnerability in the supply chain, mission approach evaluations, and proposed mitigation methods. Machine learning is also used to learn, track and find goals from collected data


Objective recognition also supports military or search and salvage efforts, or if hostages are involved. When RADAR/Sensing sensors detect activity, the US military already uses drones for the independent patrol near borders or sends drones.


In the event of a surprise enemy attack, this might save valuable lives of military men. These autonomous drones can conduct a first-hand examination of live food and take action based on the amount of hazard.


An object/target recognition used by a drone in combination with machine learning to recognise the vehicles, persons and monitor their movements from an altitude. These data are collected and analysed in real time, which gives the army staff the edge before they go to the attack.

The image depicts object/target recognition used by a drone in combination with machine learning to recognize the vehicles.

Object/ target recognition using drone

7. Transportation


IoT technologies are utilized to benefit companies in various respects, from supply chain logistics to public transport. It can assist in guarantee that products, especially food, arrive in a safe state by linking carriages with sensors to monitor the temperature.


Sensors and intelligent software can enable the driver to save gasoline, collecting data that can help the driver run the vehicle. In the future, linked infrastructure will also work to alleviate traffic and avoid accidents with connected automobiles.


(Check out: Data analytics in Oil and Gas industry)





From IoT's needs to their relevance to the kinds of dangers involved to standard practise, we looked at everything. The benefits of proven and verified applications in IoT defence may flawlessly monetize intelligence and strengthen military forces in the technology era. The technology makes it possible to handle a wide range of assets properly, to coordinate complicated procedures and build a network for strong military connection.


IoT can add its linked frame and sensor capabilities to the already efficient Army. In conjunction with machine learning, we may get a crucial understanding of the battlefield in almost real-time, allowing officers to benefit from the knowledge for changing the course of action and conducting a successful operation.


IoT may aid the military in all sets of operations, such as fighting on the battlefield, espionage, monitoring, search for and recovery of information on the enemy base or the terrorist hideaway.

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