DEPSECDEF Hicks: DoD Wants Thousands of Drones to Counter China’s Military Mass Advantage

A Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel (USV) operates with guided-missile destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) in the Arabian Gulf during exercise Phantom Scope, Oct. 7, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Pentagon is betting that by fielding thousands of attritable autonomous systems across domains in fewer than two years, the United States can overcome China’s advantage of mass in manpower, ships, aircraft and missiles, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said in a Monday speech.

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