ARTIFICIAL intelligence would launch counter cyber attacks and send robots on to the battlefield under a future Defence plan.

The Turnbull Government will today unveil a new $50 million research centre to create "trusted autonomous systems" - drones and robotics.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the Defence Cooperative Research Centre, based in South Australia, could be a game changer.

The news of another project for Mr Pyne's home state is likely to increase pressure for Queensland to be awarded the multibillion-dollar Land 400 project.

The future of defence could see driverless machines on battlefields to provide extra ammunition to soldiers or take an injured digger out of harm's way. There is also a potential for software to detect an attack and respond on its own.

Many companies already use field robotics. Rio Tinto has cableless drills, driverless trucks and trains.

Mr Pyne said Defence needed "autonomous systems to be highly trusted, robust and resilient", saying the new initiative would bring together "the best researchers to develop the intelligent military platforms of the future."