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UK, US, Australia Jointly Test AI-Enabled Drone Swarm

The British military has conducted its first military trial of an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled drone swarm in collaboration with the US and Australia.

The trilateral drill, held at Upavon Airfield in southwest England, was part of the AUKUS Advanced Capabilities Pillar program to develop and test leading-edge technologies.

According to the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the drone swarm detected and tracked military targets “in a real-time representative environment.”

The event allowed the three countries to share AI models to ensure compatibility with participating unmanned aerial systems.

Among the platforms deployed in the exercise were the Blue Bear Ghost and CT-220 drone, the Challenger 2 tank, Warrior armored vehicle, and Viking uncrewed ground vehicle.

“This trial demonstrates the military advantage of AUKUS advanced capabilities, as we work in coalition to identify, track, and counter potential adversaries from a greater distance and with greater speed,” UK Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Rob Magowan said.

Delivering Operational Advantages

DSTL explained that the need for AI-enabled systems has increased as the strategic environment rapidly evolves.

Autonomy and AI will transform the way defense operates, and adapting such technologies at pace can help the US, UK, and Australia maintain operational advantages on the battlefield.

The recent trial is considered a vital step in allowing AUKUS to access the best AI, reduce duplication of effort, and ensure interoperability.

“Accelerating technological advances will deliver the operational advantages necessary to defeat current and future threats across the battlespace,” Magowan stressed.

“We are committed to collaborating with partners to ensure that we achieve this while also promoting the responsible development and deployment of AI.”

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