The Ministry of Defence is ‘actively’ funding research into technology supporting the development of armed autonomous drones, according to a report by Drone Wars UK.
It released the information despite an official government line which states how the UK “does not possess fully autonomous weapons and has no intention of developing them.”
The study, named ‘Off the Leash: The Development of Autonomous Military Drones in the UK’, identifies key technologies influencing the development of the future of armed drones.
The report goes on to map out agencies, laboratories, and contractors which are undertaking research into drones and autonomous weapon technology in support of the MoD.
It also examines the risks arising from the weaponisation of such technologies and assesses government policy in this area.
‘Off the Leash’ concludes on the fact that it believes drones will become the military technology which develops into the first truly autonomous weapon.
It adds that the incremental way in which drone technology is developing, and the ability to ‘bolt on’ new features, means that drones are ideally suited to morph into a future generation of autonomous weapon systems.