Military Robotics

UAV Destroys Unmanned System in Real Combat in Iraq

Posted 27 Aug 2008 at 14:06 UTC (updated 27 Aug 2008 at 14:07 UTC) by jlin Share This

An article in Aviation Week states that last week, a MQ-9 Reaper UAV destroyed a "vehicle carrying a remotely controlled explosive device in southeast Iraq". Gizmodo claims that this is "the first time in history" that two unmanned systems "engaged and destroyed" each other. Other articles do not go that far; they only state that this is the first combat engagement for this particular UAV. The Reapers have reportedly have been in combat in Iraq since July 18 of this year, and in Afghanistan since last year. One source says that "the Reaper costs about 80 percent less than a manned fighter-bomber," "uses more than 90 percent less fuel, and can stay in the air over a target three or four times longer than a jet fighter". The smaller and less powerful MQ-1 Predator UAV is also being used in combat missions.

Robots vs Robots , posted 27 Aug 2008 at 15:32 UTC by Rog-a-matic » (Master)

I've wondered how long it would be until robots or remotely controlled devices became proxies for humans in war.

Extrapolating this event to its logical conclusion, battles will be fought machine against machine. War will become more like a drag race where those with the best machines (and strategy of course) will win.

Ultimately this means that machines could be used to exact the spoils of machine wars against the humans behind the loosing side. Visualize that.

It sounds far-fetched...

Stupidity, posted 28 Aug 2008 at 08:00 UTC by horar » (Journeyer)

Your comments are so short-sighted and inhumane that I am left speechless with pity for you and those who think like you.

However, since you are so eager to speculate about things like this, I'd like to remind you of some of the "visualizations" of those who have already devoted a considerable amount of time and research to speculating about this topic.

e.g. movies such as "Terminator" and "War Games", and stories such as "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley and "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" by Harlan Ellison.

Speculation and Science Fiction are often quite helpful, posted 28 Aug 2008 at 13:19 UTC by steve » (Master)

I don't think it's stupid or inhuman to speculate about the future. Often that speculation serves as a warning to others against following undesirable paths. Less imaginative people often stumble into disasters, basing their actions on faulty assumptions like "all change is good" (liberals) or "all change is bad" (conservatives).

By speculating about the likely outcomes of various scenarios involving robots we may be able to choose the more desirable ones. Would you prefer to live in the future of the Terminator movies or the future described in Clifford Simaks' stories of spiritual robots who are friends of mankind, for example?

Not new, posted 30 Aug 2008 at 23:02 UTC by motters » (Master)

Of course Tesla envisaged a time when warfare would become "a mere spectacle of machines". Also during the first gulf war in the early 1990s patriot missiles engaged and destroyed scud missiles - two automatically piloted systems in combat with each other.

This sort of thing will obviously become more common, and I expect to see UAVs attacking UGVs and vice versa in future wars. I also expect to see UGVs policing curfews, attacking civilians, occupying cities and so on. Even a decade ago this would have sounded like pure sci-fi, but now it looks far more realistic.

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