Spending on unmanned systems across all domains of warfare is expected to receive a major bump in the next fiscal year, a new report found.
The 2018 national defense strategy highlighted autonomy and robotics as top acquisition priorities for the Pentagon.
"Unmanned systems and robotics are key technology areas that enable the U.S. to counter the range of evolving threats posed on the modern battlefield," research analyst David Klein said in a recent report released by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
The Defense Department funding request for unclassified programs related to these technologies increased 28 percent in 2019 to $9.6 billion, Klein said in the study, "Unmanned Systems and Robotics in the FY 2019 Defense Budget."
That amount includes $4.9 billion for research, development, test and evaluation projects, and $4.7 billion for procurement. The budget blueprint calls for spending almost $7 billion in 2019 on unmanned aircraft, $1.3 billion on unmanned maritime vehicles and $700 million on ground robots.
Nearly $2.5 billion would go toward sensors and payloads; more than $2 billion for platform development; nearly $2 billion for navigation and control technologies; and more than $1 billion for autonomy capabilities.
"Each service shows growth from FY 2018 to FY 2019, with the Navy experiencing the largest increase at over $1 billion," the report said.
The Navy would invest nearly $4 billion, the Air Force nearly $2.5 billion and the Army more than $2 billion in unmanned technology. Other Defense Department...