Army chief touts modernization efforts across the pond

DSEI NEWS: Army chief touts modernization efforts across the pond

US Army Autonomous Weapons System maneuvers through desert terrain during Project Convergence 20

Army photo by Pvt. Osvaldo Fuentes

LONDON – The US military is working with the UK in modernizing its forces, a military official said on September 14.

The land branch is partnering with its close ally on emerging technologies to better cope with the growing threat from Russia and China, noted U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Erik Peterson, Chief of Staff G-8 deputy.

“The United States Army has not [been] modernize in isolation, ”he told the Defense and Security Equipment International conference in London. “The United States Army shares our thinking on these issues with our friends and allies around the world, not least of which is this ever-growing special relationship with the United Kingdom.”

Peterson highlighted the involvement of the British armed forces in Project Convergence, a learning campaign led by the United States military and focused on artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomy and communications. Britain and Australia are observing the exercise this year, but will fully participate in next year’s event, Peterson said. The U.S. military has requested $ 106.8 million in FY2022 for Project Convergence, according to budget documents.

During the DSEI conference, General Sir Patrick Sanders, Commander of the UK Strategic Command, also identified artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced computing and sensors as key technological areas of interest. for the United Kingdom as it continues its military modernization.

The US military has focused on six modernization priorities: long-range precision fire, next-generation combat vehicles, the future vertical lift, network, air and missile defense, and soldier lethality.

Peterson highlighted the development of the military’s autonomy and robotic capabilities across the equipment portfolio. The service hopes to “lead with machines” where possible, especially if it keeps troops out of harm’s way.

“As long as a robot has the energy to do what it needs to do, it can stay alert and on duty indefinitely. It doesn’t require a break from comfort, sleep or a sense of purpose,” he said. he noted.

The military is also developing directed energy weapons, including the Short-Range Mobile Air Defense System, or M-SHORAD, which uses a 50-kilowatt-class laser.

“We need air and missile defense capabilities capable of defeating the full range of air and missile threats,” he said.

The threat from close competitors to Russia and China is increasing and can only be met when the United States and its allies have more advanced capabilities, he added.

“We have to have the credible ability to win the first battle,” Peterson said. “Demonstrating a compelling ability to win the first battle serves to deter aggression and is best demonstrated as a combined team of allies and steadfast partners. “

The subjects: International cooperation, Emerging technologies, International

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Joaquin Robertson

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