The head of the UK’s armed forces has suggested that as many as 30,000 “robot soldiers” could be fighting alongside humans in the near future as the British army is forced to modernise. General Sir Nick Carter is reported to have said that an armed forces that is “designed for the 2030s” could include large numbers of autonomous or remotely controlled machines in its work. “If I projected forward another 10 years, I think we should be in no doubt that warfare will look different, there will be robots on our battlefield in future — there already are today,” he said, but admitted that lack of clarity over budget was a challenge.
The Treasury has made a decision to produce only a one-year Spending Review, while military chiefs were expecting a three-year plan. This comes as it announces the military is to make £1 billion in cuts over the next year.
At the same time the government has approved a rise in its defence budget with £16.5 billion in additional funding made available for spending on shipbuilding, space, cyber, research and other sectors over a four-year period.