European Defence Matters, Magazine issue 16

EDM Magazine issue 16

They are omnipresent in our daily lives and their potential keeps growing: smart machines and applications able to autonomously carry out tasks hitherto reserved for humans – from cutting grass to cleaning floors and driving cars. Certain autonomous functionalities have already made their way into the military domain where their possibilities are immense.

The question is not IF unmanned and autonomous platforms will become key components of our defence toolboxes, but HOW Member States, armed forces and industry decide to prepare for what could be a technological, potentially disruptive step change for defence.

The fact that unmanned/autonomous related aspects are included in several of the 11 EU Capability Development Priorities approved last June bodes well for the future as it shows that national and European defence planners agree on their enormous potential.