Drones alone not the future and will not replace soldiers on battlefield, defence expert says

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War in Ukraine


Militaries around the world are racing to build deadlier, more cost-effective drones after seeing how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have transformed the conflict in Ukraine. However, one land warfare expert believes that, although they play a critical role, they are not "in, and of themselves, the future" and nor are they going to replace soldiers on the battlefield. Instead, Dr Jack Watling, a Senior Research Fellow for the defence and security think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), is questioning whether the current focus of innovation is in the right place. Speaking to Forces News, he explained: "People focus on the bit that flies – the bit that flies is very easy to make." Getting the drone to the right location, extracting gathered data quickly and updating the design and software so that it will work tomorrow, "is a whole different question", he explains.