News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terrorunited-statesspace-and-tech-weapons — Viewing Item

US sends armed robots into iraq { July 2007 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Armed robots to go to war in Iraq

By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:15am BST 07/08/2007

American forces have deployed robots equipped with automatic weapons in Iraq, the first battlefield use of machines capable of waging war by remote control.

A US division of British defence company QinetiQ revealed that the 3rd Infantry Division, which is based south of Baghdad, purchased three Talon Sword robots for operations in Iraq.

Sword robots are a modified version of track-wheeled bomb disposal devices in use around the world.

Soldiers operate the robots with a specially modified laptop, complete with joystick controls and a ’kill button’ that terminates its functions if it goes awry.

According to the industry magazine, Defence News the US military has 80 remote controlled armoured robots on order but funding constraints has delayed delivery of all but a fraction of that number.

The devices are armed with M240 machine guns or .50 calibre rifles and are likely to be most valuable during raids on suspected enemy compounds.

Commanders can minimise casualties by putting a machine in a situation where there is a high risk of an ambush or booby trap-style explosion.

“Anytime you utilise technology to take a US service member out of harm’s way, it is worth every penny,” said John Saitta, a consultant on the project.

“These armed robots can be used as a force multiplier to augment an already significant force in the battle space.”

While the concept of robots at war conjures images of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator movie character, current models are more mundane.

Far from taking on human characteristics, the robots look like small stripped-down tanks.

The Sword’s uses are limited by the quality of the terrain and the intensity of the battlefield mission.

At just over £100,000 per unit, the comparatively low cost is a boon for a Pentagon struggling to reign in operational expenditure.

Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have seen constant technological innovation by the US military. Last month the US airforce displayed an unmanned drone, the Reaper, that is capable of dropping 1.5 tons of laser guided bombs.

Until recently the field of surveillance has seen the fastest spread of robots.

Airborne drones come in all shapes and sizes.

Drones as small as a 12-inch classroom ruler are used to feed footage back to military Tactical Operations Centres (TOCs).

No longer just the radio room, TOCs are now multi-media hubs providing a range of battlefield views to commanders.

It’s a role set to grow as the US military acquires new offensive capabilities, ushering in an new era of war by remote control.

The US military yesterday announced the death of an al-Qa’eda leader responsible for the civil war’s most significant attacks, destroying the al-Askari shrine in Samarra.

A statement said Haitham al-Badr, the top al-Qa’eda leader in Salahuddin province, was killed during an operation that mopped up 80 radicals last week.

Iraq’s political woes grew deeper yesterday as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected the resignations of six Sunni Muslim cabinet members including deputy premier, Salam al-Zobaie.

The ministers reiterated their intention to quit as their Accordance Front party withdraws from the national unity government.

Air force wants bigger than moab { November 8 2004 }
Air force wants offensive space weapons { May 18 2005 }
Automated killer robots are threat to humanity { January 2008 }
Bush sets defense as space priority { October 18 2006 }
Congress backs pentagon budget heavy on future weaons { June 11 2004 }
Darpa hypersonic bomber { July 1 2003 }
Dolphins trained in attack and kill missions { September 25 2005 }
Israeli us laser downs long range missile in test
Laser beam weapon to be mounted on boeing
Laser beam weapons from space ready for battle
Military role in space set to expand { January 2006 }
Nasa scramjet soars almost 7000 mph
Nasa test of scramjet makes aviation history
New military bomb turns the enemy homosexual
New sonic weapon to iraq { March 9 2004 }
New weapon can shoot around corners { December 15 2003 }
Northrop grumman lasers to zap sams
Pentagon airborne laser weapon on schedule { March 22 2006 }
Pentagon envisioning costly internet world vision { November 13 2004 }
Pentagon project death ray bomb { August 14 2003 }
Pentagon sonic devices inflict pain deafness { March 7 2004 }
Pentagon to test space weapons { March 15 2006 }
Robocop army soldier closer to battlefield { February 16 2005 }
Robot legs [jpg]
Robot plane drops bomb in test
Robotic legs could produce super troops { March 10 2004 }
Russia urges us to avoid space arms race { May 19 2005 }
Scramjet propelled warfare to new era { March 29 2004 }
Segway human transporter robot killer
Us military takes step towards weapononizing space
US plans to build experiemental bomb { July 17 2004 }
Us secret gas { October 29 2002 }
US sends armed robots into iraq { July 2007 }
Us tests biggest bomb moab
US to defend space with military force { December 14 2006 }
Us wants space superiority { November 7 2004 }
Use of unmanned drones surges over iraq { July 5 2007 }

Files Listed: 37


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple