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British Army Seeking to Automate Supply Delivery to Soldiers

The British Army has begun a six-month experiment to determine the feasibility of automating the delivery of combat supplies to soldiers deployed on difficult missions.

Dubbed Project Theseus, the experiment hopes to utilize self-driving air or ground platforms to provide soldiers in hostile environments with necessary supplies such as ammunition, food, and fuel.

The army aims to reduce the risk to military personnel entering battlefields to deliver military equipment through the project.

According to the service, contracts of 3 million pounds ($4 million) each have been awarded to HORIBA MIRA, Rafael, and Marlborough Communications Limited to provide ground and air automated resupply systems.

In December 2021, HORIBA MIRA demonstrated its autonomous platforms, including a drone that successfully picked up ammo boxes and dropped them to soldiers some distance away.

Project Theseus will reportedly include a large-scale experiment in March.

Autonomous vehicle
British autonomous vehicle for supply delivery. Photo: Sergeant Ben Beale/British Army

Increasing Mission Success

In addition to delivering military equipment to troops over the last mile on the battlefield, the project seeks to identify the most effective tasks to automate with the help of artificial intelligence.

Major Matt McGarvey-Miles said that autonomous systems can play an important role in providing support to soldiers tasked to defend the country.

“Doing so will increase combat power through increasing mass and tempo of resupply, as well as reducing risk-to-life for our people, leading to an increased probability of mission success,” he explained.

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