Unmanned Vehicles – Opportunities and challenges from a Canadian perspective


  1. Mackenzie, S.
  2. Yu, M.
  3. Kemp, C.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Ottawa Ont (CAN) Corporate Office;Public Works and Government Services Canada, Ottawa Ont (CAN) Government Consulting Services
This paper outlines a number of benefits and challenges associated with the ongoing efforts to develop unmanned vehicles (UXVs). These considerations are placed in the context of an arctic scenario to underscore a Canadian perspective. The trend towards increased UXV deployment is abundantly clear. The pace of deployment will be determined by, among other things, enabling technologies which improve persistence and range, stealth, payload options, time-tomission, autonomy, collaboration, decision-making and, ultimately, operator trust and confidence. Machine intelligence will be a core driver for a number of these factors. Concepts of operation and military doctrine will need to be evolved in parallel to technology development. UXV deployment can increase the gap between policymakers and weapon application. UXVs may therefore impact the balance between the use of force and the consequences thereof. A new policy of constraints upon force will likely be required. In the final analysis, the symbiotic relationship between machine intelligence-driven platform development and the operational requirements for unmanned vehicle capabilities will make UXVs the dominant military machines of the 21st century.
Report Number
DRDC-CORPORATE-CR-2009-017 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
30 Oct 2012
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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