The Defence Secretary has committed £66m of defence’s new multi-million-pound Transformation Fund to fast-track military robotic projects onto the battlefield this year.
It was announced today at the Autonomous Warrior Exploitation Conference at the Science Museum, Kensington that the British Army will benefit from:
- New mini-drones, providing troops with an eye-in-the-sky to give them greater awareness to outmanoeuvre 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 defences.
- 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.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
This announcement is a clear demonstration of how our Armed Forces are reaping the benefits from our new multi-million Transformation Fund. Each of these new technologies will enhance our Army’s capabilities whilst reducing the risk to our personnel and I’m delighted we will be revolutionising frontline technology by the end of the year.
The MOD has always embraced pioneering technology and this fund will ensure the UK stays at the forefront of global military capabilities and ahead of our adversaries.
The injection of funding from the new £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. The Defence Secretary will also look to make a further £340m available as part of the Spending Review.