The US Army has started testing new warfighting capabilities during the Army Warfighting Assessment (AWA) 17.1  exercise.

Autonomous weapons and unmanned aerial systems are being tested during the exercise, which will also include soldiers from the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Italy.

Participating troops will implement 41 concepts and capabilities that were designed to meet 20 'warfighting challenges' put forward by the army.

"Autonomous weapons and unmanned aerial systems are being tested during the exercise."

Feedback on the new capabilities will then be analysed by the US Army's Brigade Modernization Command.

Brigade Modernization Command commander major general Terry McKenrick said: "We determine some findings and recommendations; we then brief that through a series of governance forms, and then it goes up to the department of the army, where senior leaders … can prioritise and make decisions.”

The event is being conducted to examine how new concepts and capabilities are integrated into battlefield scenarios.

The AWA 17.1 is the first AWA, and is being held this year instead of a Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) exercise.

McKenrick said that the army will host one AWA and one NIE each year, in place of two NIEs a year.