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Russia’s killer Lancet drone are running on US AI’ – Times of India



In the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Russia‘s utilization of the Lancet Kamikaze drone, which incorporates American AI technology, highlights complex global supply chain issues. The drone, notably equipped with Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 module, is a critical example of how Western technology, specifically from the United States, ends up in military hardware used by other nations, a report in the Asia Times said.
The Lancet-3 drone, a type of loitering munition, integrates the Jetson TX2 — described by Nvidia as the most power-efficient embedded AI computing device.This technology, which includes a Pascal-family GPU and is assembled mainly in China and Taiwan, underscores the global nature of modern manufacturing and the difficulty in controlling the end-use of exported technology components.
The geopolitical implications are significant. Despite regulations and export controls, critical components like the Nvidia TX2 and the Swiss-made U-Blox GPS navigation system, which is resistant to jamming and spoofing, find their ways into Russian military applications. These components are legally sold through distribution systems that do not restrict subsequent sales, including to countries like Russia, China, or Iran.
This situation poses a dilemma for US policymakers. Washington has taken steps to limit the transfer of AI technology and manufacturing know-how to China, yet the effectiveness of these measures is questionable as critical technology still reaches potential adversaries. The scenario is complicated by the fact that much of the AI chip production occurs outside the United States, mainly in Taiwan, a region susceptible to geopolitical tensions and natural disasters.
The Biden administration has initiated efforts to bolster domestic chip manufacturing through the Chips Act, which provides subsidies to reinvigorate US production capabilities. However, this does not address the immediate issue of AI technology proliferation abroad.
The case of the Lancet drone serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by the US in maintaining control over its technological exports. As Stephen Bryen, a former deputy undersecretary of defense, notes, the ongoing use of such technology by adversaries like Russia in military conflicts is a significant concern that requires urgent attention.

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