NEWS… BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT
A terrifying new gun-toting drone has been announced, capable of carrying both sniper and assault rifles.
The so-called SMASH Dragon can also be loaded up with 40mm grenades.
Israeli-based firm Smart Shooter developed the flying death machine, and say it boasts combat-proven technology that ensures ‘precise target elimination.’
The company says it develops weapons like this for law enforcement and military uses.
It claims: ‘Extremely lightweight and therefore allowing long mission endurance, SMASH Dragon integrates a unique stabilisation concept with the SMASH technology that enables the system to accurately hit static and moving targets while flying.’
The remotely operated drone features proprietary target acquisition and tracking algorithms, as well as sophisticated computer vision capabilities.
Smart Shooter say the system successfully completed live firing tests and is currently under advanced stages of development.
Michal Mor, Smart Shooter CEO, said: ‘Smart Shooter’s SMASH technology offers precise elimination of threats at ground, air and sea.
‘We are now happy to offer the same precise, combat-proven target engagement technology mounted on an unmanned aerial platform that can be controlled from a distance.
‘When it comes to drones, platform weight is a critical factor as it impacts mission endurance and cost, and we are proud to announce that the extremely lightweight SMASH Dragon meets this criterion.’
This isn’t the first time drones have been turned into killing machines.
In 2020, a group of Libyan rebels were attacked by drones acting autonomously, according to a UN report.
The report alleged these ‘unmanned combat aerial vehicles and lethal autonomous weapons systems’ attacked the rebels without any input from a human operator.
According to the March report from the United Nations Security Council’s Panel of Experts on Libya, Kargu-2 quadcopters were deployed in the North African nation in March 2020.
The incident occurred during a skirmish between the Libyan government and forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, commander of a breakaway faction of the Libyan National Army.
The Kargu-2 drones can be flown by human operators or they can use on-board cameras and artificial intelligence to seek our targets autonomously.
When it gets close enough, the drone then detonates on impact.
The report was provided by an anonymous source to New Scientist.
It was widely discussed as the first time an autonomous drone – not dissimilar from the SMASH Dragon – hunted down and attacked a human.
At present, the Ministry of Defence policy for the UK’s armed forces is that only a human can fire a weapon.
But the Army has struggled with recruitment for several years and it may be the case that in decades to come, technology is needed to plug the gap left by human soldiers.
So the drones carrying and firing sniper rifles could become a more common sight in any future conflicts.
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