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Autonomous Weapons: Training

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 269703, tabled on 26 June 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what training her Department provides on the operation of weapons systems.

Answered on

4 July 2019

The Ministry of Defence provides both individual and collective training on the operation of weapons systems.

There is a requirement to train all Recruits and Officer Cadets to operate a personal weapon system in Phase 1 (Basic) training. After that, the training requirement depends on the Training Needs Analysis. Those trainees who will be required to operate other weapons systems as part of their role will be trained during Phase 2 (Trade) training. This individual training meets the tasks that the weapons system operator will be required to perform, to the required standards and under the required conditions. Once the Serviceperson is trained, he or she will return to a Defence Training Establishment for further specialist operator training as required.

Some weapons systems require team, or collective training. This is provided either in the workplace, for example on exercise or during unit training time, or back in a Defence Training Establishment in a simulator, where a team can learn together. Once the team have learned how to operate the weapons system to the required standard, they will take part in wider collective training activity that requires the weapons system as part of the evolution.

Training for the operation of weapons systems, whether it be for an individual or for a team, is reviewed regularly to ensure it is relevant, effective, efficient, and safe.