British troops are starting tests of more than 70 examples of futuristic technology including surveillance drones and unmanned vehicles on Salisbury Plain. One of the key areas is autonomous last mile resupply.
The last mile, which represents the dangerous final approach to the combat zone, is crucial to ensuring soldiers have the food, fuel and ammunition to keep them alive.
The Autonomous Warrior experiment will last four weeks and test a range of prototype unmanned aerial and autonomous ground vehicles which aim to reduce the danger to troops during combat.
Defence secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Our troops now have the chance to test out a huge range of robotic kit in what will be the biggest exercise of its kind in our history.
“This equipment could revolutionise our Armed Forces, keeping them safe and giving them the edge in an increasingly unstable world.”
The Royal Tank Regiment Battle Group from 1 Armoured Infantry Brigade are providing the bulk of exercising troops and taking responsibility of command and control. Overall there will be over 200 multi-national, cross-service personnel. The US Army, Royal Marines, RAF and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) will join industry partners and academia in working alongside them, experimenting with over 70 products and systems.
The exercise will finish with a battle group experiment, where the best ideas and products will be tested in simulated operational environments.