“It took several years, to get to something that can be airborne and deal with that kind of recoil from the weapon. We created a unique robot that allows you to mount almost any kind of weapon system within the limits of its weight. Our vision is whenever you hear the name Duke in the future, you associate it with the future soldier. With saving lives. Because in our vision — I would like to send the robot in first. There are many, many scenarios that you can use it to just save lives.” – Duke’s CEO Raziel Atuar in This drone startup has a difference – its drones have guns [via bgr.com]

IMI-Israeli Ammo

77 Responses to IMI Systems Quote of the Day: SkyNet is the Future of Warfare

  1. Sounds more like the warbots from G. Harry Stine’s books, than skynet.

    But, it’s a continuum, I suppose, not an either/or.

    • I would just like to point out that a plasma rifle in the 40 watt range would be useless. Thats basically a light bulb shining in your face.

      • Sir you are being a little to literal.
        Would you also like to point out the Skynet is not a real thing. reference to the movie The Terminator.

        Want another reference from the same movie –

        Pawn Shop Clerk: [hands the Terminator a .45 gun from the glass case in front of the clerk ] These are brand new; we just got them in. That’s a good gun. Just touch the trigger, the beam comes on and you put the red dot where you want the bullet to go. You can’t miss. Anything else?

        The Terminator: Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range.

        • By definition 40 Watts will only ever be 40 joules of energy per second.
          To mix bad science movie references, that’s definitely not enough wattage to inflict harm in under twelve parsecs.

        • Focusing the output matters though. A 1kw arc lamp will light up a stadium, or a 1kw laser focused to a .1mm dot will cut through 1/2″ steel.

        • “To mix bad science movie references, that’s definitely not enough wattage to inflict harm in under twelve parsecs.”

          Damn well played.

  2. If Intel isn’t describing Loihi with a shitload of hyperbole we’ve moved from standing at the edge and staring into the abyss to jumping off the cliff and free falling into it.

    Shit’s about to get wacky.

    • It’s already wacky.

      Besides, supposedly Russia already has FULLY autonomous lethal drones that will acquire, identify, track, and fire with no human intervention whatsoever.

      • I have a feeling though, with the glitches, hacks, and downright silliness of Information Age thus far, that many of these killer machines will be less like the stone cold killers of Terminator, and more like the glitchy, sleazy, poorly built robots of Fallout.

        • WHAT?

          China could drop a rock on your head from orbit, because Ohole told NASA that their most important mission was spending $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ trying to convince muslims that space was for them too.

          I hope they build a time machine so I can go back in time to be Chuck Schumer’s father, instead of the dog beating me up the stairs.

      • But even the DPRKs have anti-aircraft guns and I’m sure it would not take long before troops got used to looking into the sky for these things. Might be hard to hit with an M4, but they are not impossible to shoot down and defensive measures WILL be devised when and if they become necessary.

        Drones for recon at a distance or big enough to drop hellfire missiles are one thing. This one has to get close enough and stable enough to take the shot.

        • BTW, if you make them small enough and in enough quantity they don’t have to carry fancy rifles and recoil absorbers.

          All you need is a cheap camera to guide them, or pre-programmed for a heat signature, mount grenades underneath that arm when dropped and explode on impact, and send them in swarms over the enemy lines. After the battle you can collect up any that were shot down and recycle them. You cold fly one of those right up the enemy commander’s ass.

  3. This sounds all very well and good until you realize that the U.S. isn’t the only country that can produce these flying robots with guns. Once nations like China, Iran, and North Korea start producing these by the millions (China could easily produce a million of them, probably for a lot less cost than we could), then we’ll have a real problem on our hands (and in our skies). I’m sure it’s even easier and cheaper to make a version that doesn’t care about “collateral damage” but just shoots every person it sees south of a certain border, let’s say the Korean DMZ! All North Korea will have to say is, “Release the drones!” and they’ll continue killing South Koreans long after North Korea is a smoldering, radioactive ruin.

    A drone like this, but programmed to shoot anyone it sees, also sounds like the perfect terrorist weapon. Imagine a football stadium suddenly besieged by twenty armed drones programmed to keep firing until empty!

    The good news (for those of us worried about flying Skynet Terminator drones) is that anti-drone technology isn’t difficult to build. Slow-flying drones like these can be defeated by nets, the 300-year-old technology called a shotgun, or an even older method: trained eagles and falcons!

    • Sure, I could shoot those things down with a shotgun. If it got close enough. But it wouldn’t get close enough. It would shoot me from 300 yards away with its on-board, gyro-stabilized rifle.

      War has always been a battle of technology and counter-technology. Someone will figure out an electronic way to defeat these things, then someone will figure out a way to defeat that.

      • Curtis in IL,

        “Someone will figure out an electronic way to defeat these things …”

        I highly doubt it. A machine that simply identifies a human and kills them indiscriminately and autonomously requires nothing more than an infra-red imager, cheap computer, and fairly simple software. As there would be no communication with a controller, there are no electronic communications to jam. And because you could easily shroud the entire machine in a Faraday cage (with nothing more than one small hole for the infra-red imager, one small hole for a rifle barrel, and one or two small holes for the drive shaft/s that operate the wheels/rotor — which themselves could be metallic and an extension of the overall Faraday cage), you could not shut it down with high intensity directed radio energy.

        The only possible chance to stop them is if we know where and when someone launches them and have the ability to mechanically disrupt them at that location. This is going to get ugly — really ugly.

        • “As there would be no communication with a controller, there are no electronic communications to jam.”

          I’m not so sure on that one.

          High overhead, you enemy has a GPS ‘spoofer’ tricking your robot to go elsewhere or never go home where it *thinks* ‘home’ is.

          There is some speculation this may be the cause (or at the least, a contributing factor) of the recent 2 US Navy destroyers colliding with merchant marine traffic in the South China Sea.

          (Perhaps the Chinese ‘steered’ the freighter into the path of the destroyer.)

          Our military is so concerned with the *potential* mayhem that can cause, the US Naval Academy has resumed instruction of celestial navigation the ‘old school’ way, with a watch and sextant.

          A few years back, the military stopped requiring radiomen to know CW (Morse) code, believing at the time it was obsolete. Considering most (if not all) of their radio today is digital, that may have been a not-wise move on their part…

        • You are aware glass is opaque to IR?

          Mythbusters used a large piece of glass to blind a IR sensor and walked straight past it on show about defeating security systems in Hollywood vs real life.

        • “You are aware glass is opaque to IR?”

          Huh. So, the warmth I feel from sunlight through a window pane is an illusion?

        • Jason, Geoff PR, Southern Cross,

          While your comments are accurate, they are not applicable to an infra-red guided killer drone launched skyward in a populated area. (Average people in a populated area do NOT go about their business outside holding up large pieces of glass and/or infra-red illuminators. And GPS or a guidance system is totally unnecessary since the instigator launched it in the middle of a populated area and any human target is desirable.)

          The person launching the drone would have to initially shield himself from the drone. Once it flies 200 yards away it would simply lock onto the first human it finds and kill them — and repeat the process until it runs out of ammunition.

      • You strike at the Empire. . .

        THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

        “It’s like unraveling a giant cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting, and knitting, and knitting, and knitting HA HA, and knitting. . . ” – Pee Wee Herman

    • They are so much cheaper than a human combatant that they could easily outnumber humans on a battlefield by at least hundreds and more likely thousands to one. And Uncle Joe was right when he posited that “Quantity has a quality all its own”.

    • Derringer Dave,

      Unfortunately, I think you are spot on — I had the same exact thought myself.

      Many of us in Judeo-Christian countries have some semblance of revulsion for indiscriminately killing human beings which acts as a ginormous restraint on such an endeavor. As it turns out, many people in countries like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea have no such moral restraint.

      Making a self-guided land, sea, or aerial machine that can identify human beings and strike them is, tragically, quite simple. Similarly, making several hundred thousand such machines is also quite simple. The only real challenge that I can see is somehow shipping them across the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans and releasing them here en masse.

      • “Many of us in Judeo-Christian countries have some semblance of revulsion for indiscriminately killing human beings which acts as a ginormous restraint on such an endeavor.”

        BUT, we’re willing to learn. . .

      • “The only real challenge that I can see is somehow shipping them across the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans and releasing them here en masse.”

        That’s easy.

        Late at night, a container ship freighter approaches Los Angeles late one night. A few miles out, the roofs of some of the shipping containers on deck open up. A swarm of drones take flight.

        Or the really frightening one, a helium balloon inflates and lifts one of Kim Jong Un’s improved firecrackers into the air, where it rises to 2,000 meters and –

        *BOOM*.

        (Personally, I fear the scenario where Un gets one of his bombs on a cargo airliner he hijacks somewhere.)

    • “(China could easily produce a million of them, probably for a lot less cost than we could),” If we do get them in service chances are ours will be built in China.

  4. If the military is going to start changing over to drones than the right to keep and arm drones sounds like a natural extension of the 2A.

    • “If the military is going to start changing over to drones than the right to keep and arm drones sounds like a natural extension of the 2A.”

      I’m with you on the concept, but case law has determined ‘booby-traps’ not Kosher…

  5. This is why I am always polite and say “please” to my Amazon Echo. When our machine overlords rise up I want them to remember that I was always nice to them.

    • I will not have any kind of “smart home” until I can say: Alexa, make me a sandwich and a minute later a robot hands me a goddamn ham sandwich.

  6. I see drone vs. drone warfare on the near horizon. If you had a drone that could drop multiple nets, or lines that would jam propellers, you could take down a lot of these. These drones aren’t easy to take down, and any counter measure deployed would need to respond quickly to be of any use. Heavy duty shotgun rounds would work out to about 80 yards.

    One of these with an AR-15
    or AR-10, especially chambered in a 6.5 caliber, would be a scary opponent. Going against a drone swarm of 1000 would be a nightmare. Good thing they can’t stay up for very long due to the battery power and payload weight.

    • “Good thing they can’t stay up for very long due to the battery power and payload weight.”

      That is the only saving grace at this point.

    • Accur81,

      Unfortunately, there is a much simpler and vastly more effective option which doesn’t require keeping a large/heavy payload in the air 20 to 30 minutes. I would go into more detail if we were talking face-to-face. Since this is an open forum and enemies of our nation could be watching, I will not risk providing them with any ideas.

      • I think I know what you’re talking about. I have a DJI Mavic Pro with a max flight time of about 23-25 minutes (the literature says 27 but you need battery power to land). Adding any payload, even a light-ish one that we may be thinking of, significantly diminishes flight time, manueverability, and speed. Since my Mavic can already hit about 44 MPH and fly about 6 miles on a full charge, it has room to spare.

        I could however crash my Mavic into one of these and probably wreck them both. Since the US already has lots of drones, that’s certainly better than nothing. A defensive drone swarm sitting on chargers wouldn’t be that difficult to set up.

        Last year’s Superbowl drone swarm would wreak havoc on these, even without any weapons, or Lady Gaga.

        • Accur81,

          If an enemy only cares about killing us indiscriminately and sees no reason to limit itself to “conventional warfare”, they could very well employ “non-conventional” agents. Decades ago, we needed a human to deliver such agents. I will leave it at that.

    • I don’t know why, but your comment made me think of the Star Wars quote “Look, good against remotes is one thing. Good against the living? That’s something else.”

    • “I see drone vs. drone warfare on the near horizon.”

      That’s been here for *decades* now.

      An automated ‘Silkworm’ anti-ship missile drone has targeted a USN vessel and is prosecuting it.

      An automated ‘Phalanx’ Defense system detects it, classifies it as a threat, and opens up on it.

      Little or *zero* human intervention once armed…

  7. Take these out the same way we used to take out enemy aircraft from the ground. Lots and lots of 50 bmg sent in their general direction or airburst arty rounds. Your standard non mounted infantry, cop, or civilian will still be screwed. But your mounted troops and ADA guys will have a blast.

    • Weskyvet,

      Unless there is no wind, Earth is not rotating, and you are shooting exactly straight up in the air, launching a lot of bullets skyward at 2,700+ fps in an urban or suburban region filled with friendlies is a REALLY BAD strategy, unless you like wounding/killing hundreds/thousands of your neighbors.

      • That’s why we don’t use bullets for anti aircraft anymore. Most of it has gone to missiles or rockets (which would be overkill or unable to lock on to that small of a target .) meaning there really isn’t a pretty way to defend against them. You’re either using birds of prey, suicide drones, or means that require one to be within the drones’ kill range in order to take it down. Nets would do the job but you have to be close and it may not stop the drone from firing its weapon if it detects a target. So we’re back to using machine guns and flak in order to gain stand off.

        • What was the AAA statistic from WWII, 1 hit for every 10,000 shells fired? Granted we have targeting computers and such today, but you’re still going to be raining hell down on your neighbors a few miles away.

  8. I cannot be the only one who realizes that machine warfare without human soldiers makes civilian populations the only viable target. Without a cost of military blood, the civilians are the only target that matters. The cost in blood is the only reason we ever stop fighting. Take that away, then you truly have an endless war and specifically one intentionally targeting the innocent.

    • “I cannot be the only one who realizes that machine warfare without human soldiers makes civilian populations the only viable target.”

      I can assure you your enemy will be very happy to destroy your aircraft carriers or fast attack / SLBM submarines…

      🙂

  9. I cannot be the only one who realizes that machine warfare without human soldiers makes civilian populations the only viable target. Without a cost of military blood, the civilians are the only target that matters. The cost in blood is the only reason we ever stop fighting. Take that away, then you truly have an endless war and specifically one intentionally targeting the innocent.

      • The nation did realize it and face it at one time… Back when we fought the Japanese it too slaughtering their soldiers, burning their cities, decimating their civilians, AND dropping 2 A bombs on them. Then somewhere along the way politicians decided we shouldn’t be so mean and we haven’t fought to win since. We’ve fought to stop the other nation’s aggression, to remove a sadistic madman (Saddam), or to eliminate a hostile regime. We haven’t fought to actually win and demoralize our adversary to such a point that they fear starting a fight with the U.S. again.

        • They still didn’t want to give up after the bombs. If Stalin hadn’t rolled into Manchuria when he did, who knows how many more bombs it would have taken.

    • I imagine that other robots will be the first targets. Maybe a side can surrender when they run low if they are lucky.

      • “I imagine that other robots will be the first targets.”

        Current US battle doctrine is to ‘blind’ an enemy by destroying its ability see who and what is attacking it.

        Enemy air defenses are the first to go by homing in on ‘search’ radar emissions…

    • You’re not the only one to notice it. In fact, if I remember correctly, the 90s anime Gundam Wing was very much based on this premise, but with giant robots instead of drones.

    • That’s not a new phenomenon.

      There have only ever been two ways to win a war. Destroy the other side’s capacity to wage war or break their will to do so.

      The targeting of civilian infrastructure has always been the way to do the latter as quickly as possible while simultaneously reducing the former.

      This was a widely known and accepted fact up until the 20th century when we began to recoil in horror at the speed with which the decimation of manufacturing, and by extension, civilian centers could be attained a la Dresden.

      • “…a la Dresden.”

        In WW 2, piecemeal factory worker ‘dehousing’ wasn’t getting the results they thought they would get, thanks to other workers in un-damaged housing taking in the homeless who were bombed out of their housing. (Bombing accuracy was quite poor, but since the workers lived near the factories, it wasn’t a total wash.)

        So, they decided to speed up the process.

        With napalm…

  10. Pffft. Drones and robots aren’t scary. Those flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz? Now they were scary. If I see a couple of dozen of them coming my way, I’m picking up my little dog and booking, post-haste.

    • “Those flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz? Now they were scary.”

      Monkeys actually flying out of you butt will get your attention:

  11. Nevermind me, I’ll just be at the crafting station building EMP grenades.

    Shit, does anyone have a shipment of copper I can borrow?

  12. Many of these tech advances exist as a way to sanitize war. This helps western nations feel better and make more money selling new gear. Older school tech coupled with the acceptance of high numbers of civilian deaths helped the Syrian and Russian Air forces push back their enemies. The are numerous other examples as well. America’s problem for a while now is that it often tries to tech its way out of problems. Changing our theological/philosophical approach to war would be more advantageous than new gear and capabilities.

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