UK Army gets £66m to boost military robotic projects

British Army robot

The government has said it's going to contribute a budget of 66 million to fund research and development of robotics to deploy in battlefields.

The money, contributed as part of the Ministry of Defence's Transformation Fund, will help develop technologies such as mini-drones, autonomous vehicles for testing the strength of the enemy and delivering supplies for use in warzones. They can be pushed out ahead of military front lines through remote control, thereby keeping soldiers out of immediate danger.

The government is hoping some of the projects developed as part of the initiative will be deployed to Estonia, Afghanistan and Iraq by the end of the year. Defence secretary Gavin Williamson said also said an additional 340 million may be made available later as part of its spending review.

"This announcement is a clear demonstration of how our Armed Forces are reaping the benefits from our new multi-million Transformation Fund," said Williamson. "Each of these new technologies will enhance our Army's capabilities whilst reducing the risk to our personnel and I'm delighted we will be revolutionising frontline technology by the end of the year."

The government's multi-million-pound Transformation Fund aims to build a highly-innovative armed forces for the future of defence and warfare, with the funding to fast-track projects that could change the way the military operates, making it one of the most digitally transformed parts of the government.

"The MOD has always embraced pioneering technology and this fund will ensure the UK stays at the forefront of global military capabilities and ahead of our adversaries," Williamson added.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.