New Zealand invests in cyber army -

The New Zealand Defence Force wants to spend $469 million creating itself a new cyber army.

The kiwis have cut back on their defence force dramatically and this represents a huge investment from a nation which was once defended by six Skyhawks.

Under the plan, the new Network Enabled Army initiative would see combat units kitted out with drones and robots as well as sensors that would monitor the location, and the health and condition, of soldiers and vehicles.

The Defence Force has invited technology suppliers to a briefing day at its Trentham military base and hopes to take a business case to the cabinet in October.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald  programme manager Colonel Phil Collett said the spending would be over 20 years and the Defence Force would only be playing catchup with other nations.

Mostly it is focusing on drones and robots. At the moment, the kiwis have no surveillance or reconnaissance systems and it is getting worried at the risk of "friendly fire". We guess that is because they tend to work closely with the US army.

The spending will also involve updating the army's radios.

Although New Zealand is hoping to award the contract to local developers it is unlikely that they would be able to get it on their own - there are just so many robots which can go into combat strung together with spit and number eight fencing wire.