The head of the armed forces has suggested that the British Army could feature as many as 30,000 robot soldiers by the 2030s.
Yes, just when you thought that the world couldn't become any more terrifying and disconcerting, here's some chat about non-human killing machines fighting futuristic wars.
Speaking to Sky News on this Remembrance Sunday, General Sir Nick Carter said that the armed forces would need 'to think about how we measure effects in a different way', as well as calling for the government to proceed with a five-year integrated review in to defence that was promised earlier.
Obviously, the public purse strings have tightened a bit of late because of - well - you know why, don't you?
However, Carter went on to argue that 'an armed forces that is designed for the 2030s' could include a load of weaponised automatons or remotely controlled war machines.
Carter said: "I mean, I suspect we could have an army of 120,000, of which 30,000 might be robots, who knows?"
He did say that he wasn't sure and wouldn't be pressed on the exact numbers, but he seems to think that this is a likely future development, and he'd know, wouldn't he?
The investment into robot or remotely controlled warfare was set to be right at the heart of that aforementioned five-year defence review, but Rishi Sunak has thrown the whole thing into doubt by putting off the cross-government spending review that was due to take place next month.
In a move that is hardly shocking for someone who is head of the armed forces, Carter said that he wants a long-term financial deal, and explained that negotiations with the government were 'going on in a very constructive way'.
The general continued: "Clearly, from our perspective, we are going to argue for something like that [a multi-year budget] because we need long-term investment because long-term investment gives us the opportunity to have confidence in modernisation."
With the army struggling for recruitment, and numbers of trained staff below target, drafting in a load of mechanised war machines probably appeals to many in charge.
The Ministry of Defence still says that only a human will be able to fire a weapon, but it's no secret that they're researching all manner of mechanised reconnaissance and armed technology.
Carter also issued a stark warning that the UK could be dragged into a future conflict if 'escalation led to miscalculation' in an existing conflict. He put that down to the world being 'a very uncertain and anxious place'.
You're telling us, mate.
He added: "We have to remember that history might not repeat itself but it has a rhythm and if you look back at the last century, before both world wars, I think it was unarguable that there was escalation which led to the miscalculation which ultimately led to war at a scale we would hopefully never see again.
"I'm saying it's a risk and we need to be conscious of those risks."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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