The French army is to create a “red team” of sci-fi writers to imagine possible future threats.
A new report by the Defence Innovation Agency (DIA) said the visionaries will “propose scenarios of disruption” that military strategists may not think of. The team’s highly confidential work will be important in the fight against “malicious elements”, the report states.
It comes amid efforts by the French to innovate its approaches to defence.
An inventor piloted his jet-powered flyboard over crowds at Bastille Day military celebrations in Paris on Sunday. Tweeting after Franky Zapata stunned crowds, President Emmanuel Macron said: “Proud of our army, modern and innovative” with a video of the stunt.
Comprised of just four or five sci-fi writers, the group will be expected to think more creatively than more traditional elements of the army.
Through role play and other techniques, the team will attempt to imagine how terrorist organisations or foreign states could use advanced technology.
French Defence Minister Florence Parly said the country “holds all the aces in this race” for military innovation.
Also on display at the Bastille celebrations was the futuristic-looking Nerod F5 microwave jammer, a rifle-shaped weapon designed to target drones by blocking the pilot’s signals. There have even been plans for robots to support French troops in Mali, with experiments currently underway.