Army ‘needs more Bond geeks to fight off threat from abroad’
For all his genius inventions and life-saving gadgets, James Bond’s Q has always been second best.
When the world needs saving, 007 is always your man... but not any more. For General Sir Patrick Sanders yesterday said warfare in the future will require ‘access to fundamentally different skills and talent’.
He warned if the military fails to adapt to the digital age, it will ‘at best become exquisite but irrelevant, and at worst we will die’.
He added the traditional image of defence as involving aircraft carriers and jet fighters was now ‘dated’.
General Sanders, who heads the
UK’s Strategic Command, called for the Armed Forces to invest in artificial intelligence technology to meet the challenge posed by adversaries such as russia and China.
Speaking at the Defence Security Equipment International arms fair yesterday, he said: ‘We are going to need access to fundamentally different skills and talent and to place equal value and afford equal status to computer scientists, data engineers and cyber operators as we do on the traditional warrior elite. I have more need of Q than I do 007.’
Q was played by Desmond Llewelyn
in the James Bond films between 1963 and 1999. Famous for his catchphrase ‘now pay attention, 007’, he would demonstrate to Bond an array of deadly gadgets that saved the spy’s life later in the movie.
The role was taken over by Ben Whishaw for the most recent films in the series.
In March, the Government’s integrated review of security, defence, and foreign policy set out plans to modernise the UK’s military, with a new focus on cyber and space warfare that is likely to see the Army shrinking by 10,000 troops.
It called for the UK to establish itself as a ‘science and tech superpower’ by the end of the decade.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence announced yesterday that the Armed Forces are to begin trials using revolutionary laser weapons.
The new system – operating without ammunition – will be used to ‘detect, track, engage and counter’ unmanned aerial drones.
The MoD said so-called ‘directedenergy weapons’ had the potential to provide troops with ‘unprecedented offensive and defensive flexibility’ while cutting costs and reducing risks of collateral damage.
A royal Navy Type 23 frigate and an Army Wolfhound armoured vehicle will be among the first to be fitted with a laser device. Trials will take place between 2023 and 2025.