The Defense Secretary announced on 5 March that $86,9 million (£66m) of Defense funding will be made available to fast-track acquisitions of new robotic systems and ensure that military robotic projects get onto the battlefield this year.
At the Science Museum where Autonomous Warrior Exploitation Conference was hosted, it was announced that the British Army will benefit from:
- New mini-drones, providing troops with an eye-in-the-sky to give them greater awareness to outmaneuver enemies on the battlefield.
- Systems to fit Army fighting vehicles with remote-control capability, so they can be pushed ahead of manned vehicles and used to test the strength of enemy defenses.
- New autonomous logistics vehicles which will deliver vital supplies to troops in warzones, helping remove soldiers from dangerous resupply tasks so they can focus on combat roles.
The injection of funding from the new $210,7 million (£160m) Transformation Fund will see some of this equipment set to deploy to the likes of Estonia, Afghanistan and Iraq before the end of the year. According to UK military chiefs, these are game-changing capabilities; and not just for combat operations. They are equally useful in disaster relief and humanitarian operations