'Washington, D.C. – United States Army Secretary Mark Esper recently revealed that the military has a strategic vision of utilizing autonomous and semi-autonomous unmanned vehicles on the battlefield by 2028.
“I think robotics has the potential of fundamentally changing the character of warfare. And I think whoever gets there first will have a unique advantage on the modern battlefield,” Esper said during a Brookings Institute event.
“My ambition is by 2028, to begin fielding autonomous and certainly semi-autonomous vehicles that can fight on the battlefield,” he added. “Fight, sustain us, provide those things we need and we’ll continue to evolve from there.”
In a preview of the U.S. Army’s strategic vision, released on June 6, Esper said the integration of these forces would become a critical strategic component, quoting from the document:
“The Army of 2028 will be able to deploy, fight, and win decisively against any adversary, anytime, and anywhere … through the employment of modern manned and unmanned ground combat systems aircraft, sustainment systems and weapons.”
When Esper was reportedly asked about concerns regarding autonomous robots being a threat to humanity, he replied in jest, “Well, we’re not doing a T-3000 yet,” referencing the Terminator movie series about self-aware AI threatening the existence of humanity.'
Read more: What Could Go Wrong? U.S. Army Planning to Deploy Autonomous Killer Robots on Battlefield by 2028