Howard University to Lead New Institution for Tactical Autonomy Research; Lloyd Austin Quoted

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Howard University has become the first historically black college or university to lead one of the Department of Defense‘s university-affiliated research centers under a finalized agreement with the Department of the Air Force.

DOD said Monday that Howard University will receive $12 million annually over the next five years to fund research, faculty and students at the new research center, which will focus on developing autonomous military systems.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a two-time Wash100 Award winner, and Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, a three-time Wash100 Award winner, announced the science research partnership aimed at maintaining DAF’s research and development capabilities to develop tactical autonomy technologies.

“Autonomous systems make our military faster, smarter, and more combat-credible,” Austin said. 

He added that such systems provide commanders with relevant information to make informed decisions.

Howard University will also lead a consortium of HBCUs to conduct research and development projects aimed at identifying practical applications of autonomous technology under a five-year, $90 million contract awarded by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

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