Human Augmentation – The Dawn of a New Paradigm

This publication is designed to set the foundation for more detailed research and development on human augmentation.



The Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre worked in partnership with the German Bundeswehr Office for Defence Planning to understand the future implications of human augmentation, setting the foundation for more detailed Defence research and development.  

The project incorporates research from German, Swedish, Finnish and UK Defence specialists to understand how human augmentation emerging technologies could affect the future of society, security and Defence.

Human augmentation technologies provides a broad sense of opportunities for today and in the future. There are mature technologies that could be integrated today with manageable policy considerations, such as personalised nutrition, wearables and exoskeletons. There are other technologies in the future with promises of bigger potential such as genetic engineering and brain-computer interfaces. The ethical, moral and legal implications of human augmentation are complex and hard to foresee but early and regular engagement with these issues must be thoroughly considered.

Human augmentation could signal the coming of a new era of strategic advantage with possible implications across the force development spectrum.

Who should read this publication

This publication seeks to inform a wide audience across the defence and security sector. It will be relevant to those involved in: policy and strategy formulation; science and technology; concepts and force development; capability and acquisition; procurement; personnel and workforce planning; and operational commanders and their staffs.


The content of this publication does not represent the official policy or strategy of the UK government or that of the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Furthermore, the analysis and findings do not represent the official policy or strategy of the countries contributing to the project.

It does, however, represent the view of the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC), a department within the UK MOD, and Bundeswehr Office for Defence Planning (BODP), a department within the German Federal Ministry of Defence. It is based on combining current knowledge and wisdom from subject matter experts with assessments of potential progress in technologies 30 years out supporting deliberations and deductions for future humans and society.

Published 13 May 2021