Robotics and AI to solve logistics risk

During the second Gulf War and the Afghanistan campaign, Western forces experienced a factor that had been highly underestimated until then: the vulnerability of the logistics chain. Thus, almost half of the US losses in Iraq were soldiers assigned to logistical tasks, often from the National Guard. With the extension of the range of artillery systems, Air-to-Ground and Ground-to-Ground missiles and rockets, and the proliferation of drone detection systems, this vulnerability has further increased in recent years, especially in an environment high intensity.

For this reason, the armed British and U.S. have each launched a program intended to secure these logistical convoys, particularly those operating near engagement zones, using robotic systems. The French Army has also started thinking about the subject, and is even expecting demonstrators for 2021, in order to potentially launch a program during the current LPM.

However, while robotics would reduce the human risk of these logistics convoys, it will not strengthen their resilience and efficiency. It will therefore be a question, beyond the initial objectives, of being able to consolidate the efficiency of the logistics chain and reduce its vulnerability. 

Several avenues are jointly being studied for this problem, based on robotic land vehicles, land or aerial drones, as well as exoskeletons allowing an infantryman to transport large loads.

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