Defence Minister Ron Mark welcomes $100m upgrade for Army

A new $100 million project by the New Zealand Defence Force moves to digitise its Army and special forces for 21st Century warfare.

New Zealand's future high-tech soldiers will be satellite-tracked and wear linked-up helmet-cams on the battlefield, while drones, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data are being considered for its arsenal while new gear for frontline soldiers will see them communicate directly with comrades and take orders from officers.

Defence Minister Ron Mark says that communication is often the first casualty during the chaos of war, and this cash-boost will give our soldiers the capabilities required in the digital age.

"We no longer will have an analogue Army operating in a digital world, our men and women in uniform [will have] the tools they need to function in today's dynamic and fast moving environment,” said Minister Mark.

This project to enhance the digital capabilities for the Army has been outlined under the 2019 Defence Capability Plan, and marks the second tranche of such measures, backed by a capital investment of up to $106 million rolled out over four years.

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