“The fighter jet era has passed,” says Musk. The future, he averred, is “autonomous drone warfare.”
AFA 2020: China’s economy is going to eventually reach “at least twice” the size of the America economy, says SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk, so the only way for the United States to remain the dominant military power is for the US to rapidly innovate.
Musk’s words echoed those of Will Roper, Air Force acquisition czar, who spoke earlier today. Roper, who has said that innovation is the next battlefield, said that ensuring rapid, ubiquitous machine-to-machine connectivity is critical to winning the 21st Century war.
“If we can’t move at digital speed, we’ve lost,” he said bluntly.
SpaceX, Roper said, is one of only three industry “unicorns” — startups that have morphed into profitable firms — that DoD investment has helped to foster. The other two are data management firm Palantir, and Anduril Industries, an artificial intelligence startup with a primary focus on the defense market.
“That is the saddest thing I can say — only three,” Roper bemoaned.
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