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Over the next decades, the British army may enlist tens of thousands of robotic soldiers. In the face of new emerging technologies and changing military landscapes, and as part of a major military overhaul, the United Kingdom’s Army is about to shrink by 10,000 soldiers. Part of the move to restructure the military is to invest more heavily in military robots, drones, and other tools of high-tech combat. Overall, the update represents an adaptation to the changing face of warfare — with more of an emphasis on cyberwarfare than ground troops.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said “increased deployability and technological advantage” meant greater effect could be delivered by fewer people, setting out plans for new capabilities such as electronic warfare and drones in the Commons.
The UK’s Army had about 80,000 troops — considerably fewer than a decade ago. The plan now is to bring that number even further down to about 70,000, mostly by letting soldiers retire or leave and choosing to not replace them, according to the BBC.
Meanwhile, the Army is investing more heavily in drones and combat robots — something that a British general previously suggested could make up a large fraction of the armed forces.
General Nick Carter, chief of defense staff for the British army, said that a massive push for a robotic military, in which large numbers of autonomous or remote-controlled robotic soldiers replace human fighters, could be operational by the 2030s.
The shift also means putting more resources into cyberwarfare by expanding the military’s national cyber force and establishing a space command that sounds like it will function similarly to the US Space Force, as reported by futurism.com.
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