Parliament: Robots armed with machine guns to fight alongside soldiers

NS men in action at the SAF Multi-Mission Range Complex - a first of its kind three-storey indoor live firing range located at Pasir Laba.
NS men in action at the SAF Multi-Mission Range Complex - a first of its kind three-storey indoor live firing range located at Pasir Laba.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's soldiers will have robots fighting alongside them in the future, in the form of unmanned ground vehicles armed with machine guns.

In the skies, micro unmanned aerial drones will provide troops with greater situational awareness.

These were the scenarios for the next generation of Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), which were revealed by the Defence Ministry on Friday (March 3) during the Budget debate in Parliament.

To design and build these robots, a robotics laboratory will be set up in April in the DSO National Laboratories, Singapore's national defence research and development organisation.

The laboratory will be a "one-stop facility" that allows defence engineers to work on prototyping, integration, simulation and testing of systems prior to field trials for the SAF, said Mindef.


GRAPHIC: MINDEF

 

The next generation SAF will also tap data analytics, such as through the integration of data from multiple sources such as cameras and ground sensors from various agencies, to enhance counter-terrorism operations, said Mindef.

 

To build capabilities in these areas, the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) will set up an Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also announced that an inaugural Singapore Defence Technology Summit will be held in early 2018.

The event, expected to run on a biennial basis, will bring together thought leaders from governments, industries, academia and think-tanks from around the world to discuss the implications and opportunities of technological advancements for defence.