© Flickr/IDF/Cpl. Zev MarmorsteinKilling machines
Within no more than five years, autonomous robots are to join the ranks of the Israeli military on its most dangerous combat missions in the air, under the water and on the ground, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) general claims.

The Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv is looking forward to seeing unmanned logistics convoys, small autonomous underwater vehicles and gliders aiding Israeli soldiers during fighting and in peacetime. It is going to happen in the next five years, according to Brigadier-General Nir Halamish, head of the military research and development unit of the Ministry's MAFAT R&D Bureau. Halamish outlined Israel's blueprint for unmanned vehicles through 2025, Defense News reported.

It's already a matter of fact that robots operate on the ground and underground at the border with Gaza as guards, but their deployment is reportedly going to be broadened to other territories in the nearest future, perhaps within months. "These [UGVs] are the first at any event, which prevents our soldiers from coming into contact with the enemy at the outset," Halamish said.

He added that the ultimate goal of the Israeli military is to make systems of all kinds 90 percent autonomous within a decade. One key feature of the IDF's plans to autonomize land warfare is a so-called "robotic advance guard," which would accompany manned units in high-threat situations. "This advance guard is to be deployed hundreds of meters ahead of the manned force. We hope to get there in the coming years," Halamish explained.

This doesn't mean robotic armies will appear by 2025 - the IDF plans to integrate unmanned systems into human units first. They will provide cover to soldiers that operate in the most dangerous areas, thus reducing the risk of losing lives.
Autonomous robots such as hovercraft and drones will also escort ground troops with payloads, including heavy weaponry, munitions, food rations and so forth. By implementing logistical robots, Israel may soon be able to extend the tactical range of its troops.