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Ministry of National Defense unveils blueprint for an ‘army of cutting-edge science and technology’

-Holding meeting of main officers for future defense innovation
-Reshuffling of the Office of Defense Reform and the launch of a science and technology committee
-Establishing the foundation for prompt force integration of AI+unmanned combat
-Creating a consensus on the issue of ‘Defense Vision 2050’

Ministry of National Defense unveils blueprint for

The Ministry of National Defense unveiled its ‘future defense innovation initiative’ to move toward the future army based on cutting-edge science and technology. Under the initiative, the ministry decided to reshuffle the Office of Defense Reform, and launch a defense science and technology committee to be presided over by the minister.

To discuss the initiative, on July 28 the ministry held a ‘meeting of main officers for future defense innovation’ via videoconference, which was presided over by Minister Suh Wook. The meeting was held to build a consensus on the future defense innovation initiative and ‘Defense Vision 2050,’ and concentrate all members’ willingness and efforts for defense innovation. 

The meeting was attended by the Chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the Army·Navy·Air Force Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Commanders, major commanders and staff officers of the ministry·JCS·each armed service, the Vice Minister of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, the Director General for Industrial Policy of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), and officials from relevant agencies.

“Our military should promptly apply cutting-edge science and technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and unmanned systems, and concentrate on developing defense policies and strategies for the future,” Suh stressed in his opening remarks.

The opening remarks were followed by explanations on the background and progress of the future defense innovation initiative, Defense Vision 2050. The future defense innovation initiative is a blueprint for moving toward an army powered by cutting-edge science and technology based on key fourth industrial revolution technologies.

To reach the goal, the ministry is determined to work on the development of defense policies·military strategies, while establishing a future concept on the conduct of operations. The ministry will also apply the cutting-edge science and technology to the military area by launching a defense science technology committee, and establish the foundation for the prompt force integration of ‘AI+unmanned combat system.’

During the meeting, the participants also shared the plan for a reshuffle of the ministry, as well as the Office of Defense Reform, to take the lead in the future defense. The participants also agreed to perform tasks, such as the improvement of the defense planning management system and the launching of a future defense strategy innovation course.

‘Defense Vision 2050,’ slated to be issued in the second half of the year, was devised out of a recognition of the need for a vision to make a preemptive preparation for sudden changes in the future and take the lead. The ministry is setting the direction of defense policies – objectives, values, and concept of the future defense – jointly with JCS, each armed service, and research institutes.

“To predict the changes that an uncertain future will bring, Defense Vision 2050 forecasts the change tendency in consideration of comprehensive and wide-ranging elements. It will include future defense environment prospects, future war prospects and preparation, future defense vision, and the direction for the realization of the defense vision,” the ministry said in a statement.

During the meeting, there also was a presentation by JCS on the ‘concept on future joint operations’ and the MOTIE Director General for Industrial Policy’s presentation on the ‘ROK military’s role in developing the future science and technology.’

The JCS came up with ‘all-domain integrated operations’ as a joint operation concept to prevail in the battlefields of the future, predicting that “in future wars, the battlefield will be extended to cyber·space, and the development of the cutting-edge science and technology will lead to combat being conducted through a manned·unmanned combined combat system, decision-centric operations, nonlinear operations, simultaneous·parallel operations, etc.”

“The military commanders and the chiefs of relevant units and organizations who participated in the meeting share the view that our military should adopt and incorporate cutting-edge science and technology into their work, and push forward with the future defense innovation initiative to concentrate on the development of defense policies and strategies for the future,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

By Su-Yeol, Maeng < >

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