Future Trends

Deputy Defense Secretary Unveils Strategy Focused on the Rapid Deployment of Autonomous Systems

Kathleen Hicks

Deputy Secretary

Department of Defense

Deputy Defense Secretary Unveils Strategy Focused on the Rapid Deployment of Autonomous Systems

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks has unveiled a new initiative to ensure that the Department of Defense stays ahead of China’s military buildup.

Hicks, a 2023 Wash100 awardee, said during the National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies for Defense conference that the “replicator initiative” will see the DOD field thousands of autonomous systems within the next 18 to 24 months. According to Hicks, developers will use attritable, autonomous systems in all domains, which would give the U.S. military more agility and nimbleness to address future threats.

The initiative will focus on tech production and the creation of a whole-of-department approach to quickly field technologies, the DOD said Monday.

U.S. military officials say autonomous technologies will be the future of threat deterrence and response.

According to North American Aerospace Defense Command chief Gen. Glen VanHerck, future domestic threat detection capabilities will feature autonomous and uncrewed systems. VanHerck explained that autonomous technologies could be installed off the coast of homeland threats or linger in locations to monitor adversarial activities.

The DOD requested $842 billion for fiscal year 2024 to advance threat deterrence and national security capabilities. Some of the funds will go towards unmanned aerial vehicles, specialized support aircraft, command and control, missile warning and tracking and other matters related to force readiness.

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Category: Future Trends

Tags: autonomous systems China Department of Defense Future Trends Glen VanHerck Kathleen Hicks replicator initiative