The robot armies of the future will soon assemble in Scotland for NATO’s Unmanned Warrior 2016. The first-of-its-kind event brings together the world’s most advanced arms manufacturers with the world’s wealthiest militaries to debut the next generation of drone warfare, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and underwater robots. Unmanned Warrior will coincide with the UK-led Joint Warrior exercises, a twice-annual NATO training exercise that unites thousands of army, navy and air force service members. The robot wars themselves will begin in October and run the gamut from surveillance and reconnaissance to live-firing exercises.
Whatever these companies have developed must be pretty awesomely destructive, because the UK is putting a lot into hyping Unmanned Warrior. The Royal Navy’s promotional site looks like it’s trumpeting some strange techie conference in the highlands even though this isn’t exactly a public-facing event. This is designed to be the first-ever “robot war.”
“In our view the unique selling point of Unmanned Warrior is its ability to provide a playground, if you like, in which we can simultaneously demonstrate unmanned systems and do so across a range of warfare disciplines,” Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Sir Philip Jones told press last year. You see, it’s all in good fun!
Exactly what the world’s militaries will find waiting for them once they are out of the public view is entirely a matter of conjecture. We know Boeing and DAPRA have built autonomous submarines, and we know drone warfare is the way of the future. Drone tanks are certainly in the cards, as is smart technology for the world’s soldiers.
We don’t yet have an RSVP list, but all the world’s most destructive big shots are expected to attend. It’s the event of the season, and no one who will matter in the robot wars of the future will want to miss out.