Defence secretary invests £66m to get robots on the front line
Chunk of Transformation Fund will be used to fast-track development of technologies including driverless logistics vehicles and miniature drones
The Ministry of Defence has pledged £66m in government funding “to fast-track military robotic projects onto the battlefield this year”.
Technologies that will be supported include “mini-drones” that can provide an aerial view of a battlefield, and remote-control systems for combat vehicles. The development of driverless vehicles that can deliver supplies to front-line troops will also be funded.
The goal is that the above technologies will be deployed on the ground by the end of the year, in countries including Estonia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
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The money will be drawn from the Ministry of Defence’s £160m Transformation Fund – a spending pot which defence secretary Gavin Williamson (pictured above) hopes to increase to £500m as part of the upcoming government spending review.
“This announcement is a clear demonstration of how our Armed Forces are reaping the benefits from our new multi-million Transformation Fund,” he said. “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.”
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