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Army to Pursue ‘With Urgency’ Autonomous Systems Strategy

Maj. John George, the Army’s director of force development, said the service also plans to direct funding to meet the priorities outlined in the robotics and autonomous systems strategy. “Funds are going to accelerate development through demonstrations, experimentations and prototyping,” he said. The Army will use a “buy, try and acquire and decide approach.” Its [the Army’s] robotics portfolio has already seen an increase in recent years, he noted. From fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2019, research, development test evaluation and procurement funding went from $120 million to about $320 million in the most recent budget request, he said. Concurrently, science and technology investments in this category grew from $77 million to $105 million, he noted. “The resources that we’re going to put in place are going to speed delivery of cutting-edge technologies to the war­fighter by implementing our open architecture, the modularity strategy with common chassis for man-transportable robotic systems increment 2, common robotic system-individual and common robotic system-heavy,” he said. Kevin Mills, associate director for ground vehicle robotics in the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, said senior leaders over the last six months moved about $1 billion in the fiscal years 2020 to 2024 program objective memorandum to focus on manned-unmanned capability gaps. Money was also reallocated in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 for these priorities, “which, in my career, has been unheard of,” he said. Source: National Defense Connie Lee Jun. 1, 2018