The ‘last mile’, which represents the extremely dangerous final approach to the combat zone, is crucial to ensuring soldiers have the food, fuel and ammunition to keep them alive.
The UK’s 2018 Army Warfighting Experiment – Autonomous Warrior – will push the boundaries of technology and military capability in the land environment, testing the autonomous last mile resupply. The experiment will test a range of prototype unmanned aerial and ground cargo vehicles which aim to reduce the danger to troops during combat.
To make sure that soldiers are kept supplied while reducing risks to valuable logistical personnel, Britain’s Ministry of Defense is keen on replacing supply troops with robotic and autonomous systems (RAS). In 2016, for example, the Royal Navy carried out Unmanned Warrior, where it demonstrated the ability of prototype RASs to work together to perform surface, underwater, and aerial maneuvers for surveillance, intelligence-gathering and mine countermeasures, reports newatlas.com.
British soldiers will test and evaluate the effectiveness of robotic and autonomous systems on the battlefield at the experiment which will be launched in November.
As well as demonstrating the vehicles during the last mile, Autonomous Warrior will also develop capabilities in surveillance which will greatly improve the effectiveness of long-range and precision targeting by service personnel, according to gov.uk.
The exercise is the result of a large collaboration between the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, US Army, MOD, Dstl and around 50 industry participants.
Autonomous Warrior will play an integral role within the £800 million Defence Innovation Fund which supports ground-breaking ideas aimed at transforming both defence and British industry.
The land-based exercise follows on from the hugely successful ‘Unmanned Warrior’ which the Royal Navy demonstrated autonomous systems diving, swimming and flying together to engage in surveillance, intelligence-gathering and mine countermeasures.
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