About Autonomous Systems Project


In 2014, the Innovation Hub launched two successive studies on Autonomous Systems in order to provide policy makers with a better understanding on the implications of the proliferation of Autonomous Systems (AxS) in a military perspective, the Innovation Hub has launched two parallel studies. Both of them are composed of an online forum and physical and online workshops.


    The online forum and workshop series support a study conducted by HQ SACT on the Operational and Policy Implications of Autonomous Systems as part of the Multinational Capability Development Campaign (MCDC)—a collaboration between 19 nations, the EU and NATO.

    The study explores and analyses operational and policy issues in order to provide senior policy makers with guidance on future implications of increasing autonomisation in defence capability.

    The specific benefits of autonomy have not been well-analysed in reference to military capability areas. Defence planners and policy-makers need to understand the “so what” questions :
    - what is really going to change in terms of how tasks are conducted?
    - what military capability areas will benefit from autonomy?

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    How to Counter Unmanned Autonomous Systems?

    The conflicts of the past decade have highlighted the prominent role of Autonomous Systems, be it UAVs, maritime, land or cyber robots. Yet it seems that still  little has  been done to prepare for countering these weapons that are getting each day more accessible, cheaper, more powerful and more ubiquitous. 

    Based on the recently issued Policy Guidance, this online forum and follow-on workshop support a study conducted by NATO Transformation Command on understanding the various aspects (operational, autonomy related, legal, legitimacy, financial and ethical) of the proliferation of Unmanned & Autonomous systems in ground, air, sea and Telecoms dimensions.

    The aim is:

    • to help NATO understanding the natures of threats that Autonomous Systems may represent to the Alliance
    • to identify the best options to counter Unmanned & Autonomous systems and to provide senior policy makers with guidance on related future implications and requirements. 

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