Robotic & Autonomous Systems (RAS) Strategy
‘Understanding the best use of autonomous systems will ultimately be what separates militaries that capitalise [sic] on the advantage of autonomous systems from those that do not.’
The use of advanced and networked technologies on the battlefield is increasing, and future warfighting is expected to centre on human-machine teams in both the physical and virtual sense. Army’s Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Strategy V2.0 articulates how Army aspires to leverage emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomy, and robotics to gain operational advantage. This document builds on the first iteration of the Strategy in 2018 which led to rapid acceleration in both knowledge and demand for RAS across Army.
RAS covers a wide range of interconnected technologies, including uncrewed systems, AI, self-learning machines, and systems more able to make sense of their environment. The increased use of RAS capabilities will continue to evolve the way Army trains and fights – enabling increased tempo, decision-making and reducing risk. In turn, this will afford commanders new opportunities in achieving competitive advantage in some of the most dangerous tasks in the future operating environment. RAS technologies also provide significant opportunities to improve the way in which we learn, adapt and train.
The purpose of the RAS Strategy is to ensure Army can generate and maintain a combat advantage. By optimising the use of RAS capabilities, we can determine the best ways to team with machines and systems. Of particular importance will be systems that can improve the speed and accuracy of decision-making to generate tempo This will require imagination and a clear understanding of risk. Our modernisation processes will need to be more agile to best leverage the velocity and scale of technological developments.
This presents a range of options to enhance, augment, or replace those capabilities currently in service or under development. Army will need to continue managing the productive tension between being simultaneously Ready Now and Future Ready. RAS will create opportunity to influence concepts, doctrine and force design.
This version of Army’s RAS Strategy aims to identify and harness emerging opportunities through an applied focus that emphasises a ‘learn by doing’ approach, taps the knowledge, skills and potential of our people in partnership with industry, academia, allies and partners.
LTGEN Simon Stuart, AO, DSC
Chief of Army