"Our Number Two priority is robots - light medium and heavy - [that] can move out on the battlefield, have a weapon, breach an obstacle, put out smoke [and] carry sensors," Coffman told a Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) webinar.
Robotic capabilities would be especially important for the US military in any land combat with China, which can deploy a million man army with 10,000 tanks and armored vehicles, Coffman emphasized.
"There are robotic companies here [in Detroit] rapidly pushing the edge. ... We will fight outnumbered against China: The more robots we can get in the field to reduce the burdens on humans, that is [vital]," he said.
Robots for the battlefield would give the US Army a position of relative advantage where-ever it fights, Coffman added.