Wednesday, April 06, 2005

New trends in robotic warfare

First we spoke about the US rolling out war robots in Iraq. Then Israel admitted to having a flying companion for warriors on the battle field. Now it looks like there is a deluge of such weapons out there!

An Australian company, Metal Storm, is working on a weaponised helicopter UAV called the Dragonfly. Apart from a 40mm canon, and a fully-electronic ballistic system, "the Dragonfly can carry imaging, communication, and environmental sensors useful in gathering remote intelligence".

Metal Storm has now armed the Talon (the American warrior robot in Iraq) with electronically fired grenades. The UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle) will have a 40mm weapons system with a 4-barrel array loaded with 4 rounds per barrel. This is significantly more than from any competing system.

Finally the US Navy could in future use robotic, inflatable boats to monitor coastal waters and protect against enemy submarines. The advantage with a robotic craft is that it can be made to work tirelessly and round the clock. The 30 to 35 feet long, Protector is being built by a team of American and Israeli defense contractors.