The defence industry has acquired high-profile robotics, built partnerships with companies investing more in startups. Some defence contractors embrace AI and robotics companies as crucial subcontractors to bridge between DoD and Silicon Valley.
The defence industry technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are changing the industry and enable intelligent warfare in the decades to come. These emerging technologies will have a significant impact on defence contractors. Integrating AI into the design of traditional battle networks will immensely improve the performance of current platforms and forces soon. Prime contractors will maintain an advantage during this phase. However, as robotics and AI’s capabilities arrive at an inflection point, the U.S Department of Defence will switch to smaller AI-and robotics-based systems. It will also rely on non-traditional players to provide them.
Although many leading defence contractors have treated AI and robotics as ancillary markets, they have underestimated the long-term threat to their business. AI and robotics specialists are improving legacy systems and are building scale, know-how, and trust within the U.S Department of Defence (DOD). They are primarily working through traditional contractors for now. If faith in an independent autonomous system grows, the contractors who provide them will also gain trust and share.
Though the full AI-and robotics-driven revolution is a decade or so away, it is distinct that these technologies will radically disrupt the defence industry. Defence contractors should lead to AI and robotics, making the strategic changes and investments necessary to conquer these emerging segments.
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