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The U.S. army is considering the feasibility of shrinking the size of the brigade combat team from about 4,000 soldiers to 3,000 over the coming years, and replacing the lost soldiers with robots and unmanned platforms.
Defense News quotes a senior U.S. army officer that said recently “I’ve got clear guidance to think about what if you could robotically perform some of the tasks in terms of maneuverability, in terms of the future of the force,” he said, adding that he also has “clear guidance to rethink” the size of the nine-man infantry squad.
He mentioned using unmanned ground vehicles that would follow manned platforms, which would require less armor and protection, thereby reducing the weight of a brigade combat team. The Army is already on a path to shrink from 540,000 soldiers to about 490,000 by the end of 2015, and will likely slide further to 420,000 by 2019, according to reports.