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Una nuova frontiera per i droni


U.S. Army orders its first batch of suicide drones


Small size, quiet motors let aircraft find target, sneak in and deliver knockout blow


The backpack-size "Switchblade" drone and its launch tube give individual soldiers a new level of precise control over an explosive weapon. Rather than calling in supporting artillery fire or airstrikes, soldiers can simply launch the Switchblade from out of sight, confirm a target on a live video feed from the drone, and then command the robotic device to arm itself and fly into the target at high speed.

"The unique capabilities provided by the Switchblade agile munition for standoff engagement, accuracy and controlled effects make it an ideal weapon for today's fight and for U.S. military forces of the future," said Bill Nichols, deputy product director at the Army's Close Combat Weapons Systems project office.

Operators can even call off strikes at the last second after arming the Switchblade. That kind of control allows soldiers to retarget in case an enemy moves out of sight, or avoid collateral damage if a civilian wanders too close.

The drone, created by AeroVironment, is able to fly in both autonomous robot mode or as a remotely piloted air vehicle. Either way, its small size and quiet electric motor allow it to approach targets without warning. It can even switch off its motor and glide in for a stealthy attack.

"Just as our small unmanned aircraft systems provide game-changing reconnaissance capabilities to ground forces, Switchblade provides a revolutionary rapid strike capability to protect our troops and give them a valuable new advantage on the battlefield," said Tom Herring, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.




U.S. Army Awards AeroVironment $4.9 Million Contract for Switchblade Agile Munition Systems and Services


When drones decide to kill on their own


The Next Wave in U.S. Robotic War: Drones on Their Own


The U.S. military’s current fleet of drones will soon be overtaken by a new wave of robots that will be faster, stealthier and smarter — operating virtually without human intervention, experts say.

The Pentagon is investing heavily in “autonomy” for robotic weapons, with researchers anticipating squadrons of drones in the air, land or sea that would work in tandem with manned machines — often with a minimum of supervision.

“Before they were blind, deaf and dumb. Now we’re beginning to make them to see, hear and sense,” Mark Maybury, chief scientist for the U.S. Air Force, told AFP.

Unmanned aircraft are now overseen by “pilots” on the ground but as the drones become more sophisticated, the role of remote operators will be more hands-off.

Instead of being “in the loop,” humans will be “on the loop,” said Maybury, explaining that operators will be able to “dial in” when needed to give a drone direction for a specific task.

“We’re moving into more and more autonomous systems. That’s an evolutionary arc,” said Peter Singer, an expert on robotic weapons and author of “Wired for War.”

“So the role moves from being sort of the operator from afar, to more like the supervisor or manager, and a manager giving more and more of a leash, more and more independence,” he said.

Despite the dramatic advances in technology, the American military insists humans will remain in control when it comes to using lethal force.


Dalla Corea del Sud South Korea developing kamikaze-style drone that dive bombs the enemy at 250mph


South Korea is developing a kamikaze suicide drone codenamed 'Devil Killer' capable of dive bombing targets in North Korea at 250mph.

They new weapon, which weighs 55 pounds, is equipped with an electric motor and has a folding wings with a span of around 5ft.

It is designed to be pre-programmed with a route and can identify targets using either its video camera or GPS device.

Devil Killer can be programmed for automatic strikes or manual control and if it can’t acquire its primary target, it can be redirected to another mission.

Details of its explosive payload and range are unclear but it is expected to be deployed by 2015.


Dalla Corea del Nord N.Korea 'Developing Kamikaze Drones'


The North Korean military is developing unmanned "suicide" attack aircraft to target South Korean troops on the northwesternmost islands, a South Korean Army source claimed Sunday.


The drones the North is trying to develop would be equipped with a small bomb that can carry out a suicide attack on a target up to 250 km away. Intelligence agencies speculated the development is not complete.

They "are less sophisticated than up-to-date unmanned attack aircraft that the U.S. used in the Afghan and Iraq War," a military expert said. "But our military could suffer damage if development succeeds and the North launches kamikaze-style attacks."

The North is also suspected of remodeling the Pchela-1T, a propeller-powered drone it imported from Russia, into an unmanned attack aircraft and having deployed reconnaissance drones built based on the Chinese D-4 aircraft.

The kamikaze drones are likely to be deployed at the 4th Army Corps in Hwanghae Province, which shelled Yeonpyeong Island in 2010.

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