Innovative Technologies Shaping the 2040 Battlefield

Published in: European Parliament Think Tank web site (August 2021)

Posted on RAND.org on August 04, 2021

by Jacopo Bellasio, Linda Slapakova, Luke Huxtable, James Black, Theodora Ogden, Livia Dewaele

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Looking towards 2040, the global innovation and technology landscape is expected to evolve significantly, driving change in the nature of warfare as well as in the capabilities, concepts and doctrines employed by actors on the battlefield. As such, there is a need to understand this technological change and explore its potential influence and impact on the future battlefield, in order to formulate policies and investment decisions that are as future-proof as possible.

Providing an assessment of the risks, challenges and opportunities relating to the new and emerging technologies that are most expected to shape the future battlefield up to 2040, this study presents the implications stemming from consideration of individual technologies, as well as cross-cutting analysis of their interactions with broader political, social, economic and environmental trends. In doing so, the study highlights a need for EU institutions and Member States to pursue a broad range of capability development initiatives in a coherent and coordinated manner, ensure the development of an agile regulatory and organisational environment, and guide investments in the technologies most relevant to the European context.

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