US Department of Defense Directive
November 21, 2012
SUBJECT: Autonomy in Weapon Systems
1. PURPOSE. This Directive:
a. Establishes DoD policy and assigns responsibilities for the development and use of autonomous and semi-autonomous functions in weapon systems, including manned and unmanned platforms.
b. Establishes guidelines designed to minimize the probability and consequences of failures in autonomous and semi-autonomous weapon systems that could lead to unintended engagements.
Autonomous or semi-autonomous weapon systems
a. Before a decision to enter into formal development, the USD(P), USD(AT&L), and CJCS shall ensure:
(1) The system design incorporates the necessary capabilities to allow commanders and operators to exercise appropriate levels of human judgment in the use of force.
(2) The system is designed to complete engagements in a timeframe consistent with commander and operator intentions and, if unable to do so, to terminate engagements or seek additional human operator input before continuing the engagement.
(3) The system design, including safeties, anti-tamper mechanisms, and information assurance in accordance with Reference (a), addresses and minimizes the probability or consequences of failures that could lead to unintended engagements or to loss of control of the system.
(4) Plans are in place for V&V and T&E to establish system reliability, effectiveness, and suitability under realistic conditions, including possible adversary actions, to a sufficient standard consistent with the potential consequences of an unintended engagement or loss of control of the system.
(5) A preliminary legal review of the weapon system has been completed, in coordination with the General Counsel of the Department of Defense
External link: http://www.auvac.org/publications/view/337