The RAF’s AVM is keen for industry to shift attention away from autonomous air vehicles to an autonomous logistics chain to free personnel and focus on deterrents and threats facing the nation today.

Addressing delegates at the Air Power Conference on 11 July, AVM Simon Rochelle, capability chief of staff at the RAF, said that prospective industry partners have become ‘obsessed’ with autonomous air vehicles.

He suggested that a better use of resources would be to design an autonomous logistics chain, by which, an organisation could release manpower across logistics operations and work on separate more significant interests.

Rochelle also suggested a focus on capabilities rather than programmes was long overdue, telling industry that it had become ‘doggedly fixated’ on the latter, explaining that emerging threats are fast requiring multi-dynamic and multi-domain information.

‘Everything we do should be about deterrents as we are living in a permanently contested environment in which we have to be prepared for state-on-state conflict at a moments notice,’ he said.

Acknowledging that RAF acquisition processes had not always been delivered on time, Rochelle spoke on the need to improve steps, without ‘getting lost in doctrine, policy and admin.’ 

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