Philip Perconti, director of the Army Research Laboratory, told National Defense in an interview published Thursday that ARL is focused on 10 research-and-development initiatives aimed at providing troops technological edge in future combat environments and one of those is the long-range distributed and collaborate engagements program.
He said the program is aligned with the development of long-range precision fires, which serves as the Army’s top modernization priority, and that the lab seeks to help the service branch come up with networked weapons equipped with sensors and other components.
Perconti cited the use of artificial intelligence for mobility and maneuver program and how the initiative supports the Army’s second modernization priority, which is to develop next-generation combat vehicles.
“The near term autonomous platforms will have some level of teleoperation and perhaps some level of autonomy on their own. … “We’re knee deep in this because you won’t find the answers necessarily in the private sector,” Perconti said.
Other ARL programs Perconti discussed are the science of additive manufacturing for next-generation munitions; convergence of lethality, protection and autonomy to dominate ground combat; foundational research for electronic warfare in multidomain operations; versatile tactical power and propulsion or VICTOR; the physics of soldier protection to defeat evolving threats; quantum information sciences; and transformational synbio for military environments or TRANSFORME.