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Europe's Killing Machine!! The Killer Drone Prototype

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Europe's Killing Machine!! The Killer Drone Prototype

Post by Ted-Pencry on 3/12/2012, 17:58

This drone may have an awkward name. But several European governments think the nEUROn is their ticket to a future of flying killer robots.

The video shows the first flight of the nEUROn, a drone with a 41-foot wingspan and an empty weight of five tons, which on Saturday launched from France’s Istres air base. The takeoff of the stealthy, batwing-shaped drone, jointly developed by six European countries, was nearly a decade in the making, and tests will continue in France, Sweden and Italy for years to come.

In fact, the nEURON won’t actually join any European air forces. Much like the U.S. Navy’s stealthy X-47B — which, as David Cenciotti of The Aviationist notes, the drone kinda resembles — it’s just a demonstrator aircraft, meant to show that European companies can successfully develop an attack-sized, stealthy unmanned plane. Concept proven, the follow-on aircraft will both evade radar and release air-to-ground missiles, the Euros hope, thereby putting them at the front of the pack in emerging drone technology. The U.S. has the only acknowledged stealth drones in existence, the X-47B and the mysterious RQ-170 Sentinel, although defense giant BAE Systems is developing an allegedly stealthy drone called the Taranis and photos on the internet indicate China, at the least, is working on stealthy drones called the Crossbow and the Wind Blade. (Iran also claims to be reverse-engineering an RQ-170 that it captured last year.)

The Europeans have another hope for the drone. Not only should the project show that European defense firms are capable of technological achievements like the nEUROn, its backers want to show they can pull it off as austerity measures on the continent ravage defense budgets. Dassault Aviation, the French defense firm that’s taking the lead on the nEUROn, boasts of its “innovative process in terms of management and organisation of a European cooperative programme.” The nEUROn program may help convince cash-strapped continental defense ministries that they’ve got a technologically advanced way to cut back on their manned air forces. That is, if the nEUROn can keep its electronic synapses firing.


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Re: Europe's Killing Machine!! The Killer Drone Prototype

Post by Sabre on 3/12/2012, 18:23

Interesting read. I saw recently the US had released information on their X47-B Stealth Drone. The only human input after it has been programmed its task is the decision to fire on the target, the take-off, landing, flying the mission and acquiring the target all carried out by Artificial Intelligence.

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Re: Europe's Killing Machine!! The Killer Drone Prototype

Post by Sabre on 3/12/2012, 21:43

U.S. Navy 'stealth drone' takes to the sea for tests: The autonomous X-47B is hoped to be first carrier-borne unmanned aircraft
The drone will be the first to be piloted entirely by artificial intelligence
Tests hope to prove it can take off and land from an aircraft carrier
It has a claimed range of 2,000 miles and flight time of six hours

A stealth drone set to be the world's first unmanned, robot aircraft piloted by artificial intelligence rather than a remote human operator has taken to the sea for tests.
If the futuristic killer drone completes all its sea trials then it will be first aircraft capable of autonomously landing onto an aircraft carrier.
In development for five years, the X-47B drone is designed to take off, fly a pre-programmed mission then return to base in response to a few mouse clicks from its operator.
Scroll down for video

Touchdown: The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator is hoisted onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia
It is the U.S. military's latest robot weapon and comes amid fears that the handing over of warfare to artificial intelligence could lead to disastrous unforeseen consequences.
The difference between the X-47B and previous drones is that it will not be pilot movement by movement by a remote - like a remote control car would be.
Instead, it will be controlled by a forearm-mounted box called the Control Display Unit which can independently think for itself, plotting course corrections and charting new directions.

Howzat for Artificial Intelligence! The robot that can catch a ball (and even miss it occasionally like the England cricket team)
Robocod: Homeland Security adds underwater drones to their arsenal with robots based on fish
A human will always decide when a robot kills you: Pentagon's 'reassurance' over fears of machine apocalypse
The unmanned drone will be set an objective by a human operator, for example a target to look at, and it will fly there using technology such as GPS, autopilot and collision avoidance sensors.
It emerged this week that the Pentagon has issued a new policy which promises that humans will always decide when a robot opens fire, but it is not clear whether the X-47B has been designed according to that edict.

In flight: The X-47B has a claimed unrefuelled range of 2,000 miles and a flight endurance of more than six hours
Contractors hoisted the test prototype of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System on to the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman on Monday in preparation for its first carrier-based testing.
A team from the U.S. Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System program office also embarked on the carrier to oversee the tests and demonstrations, which will begin in the New Year.
It is hoped that the X-47B, which boasts a wingspan of more than 62 feet (wider than that of an F/A-18 Super Hornet), will demonstrate seamless integration into carrier flight deck operations through various tests.
VIDEO: See the X-47B in Flight Cruise Mode:


Sailors watch as the drone is hoisted into place: The X-47B stealth drone is the first unmanned aircraft designed to be piloted by artificial intelligence rather than by a remote human operator

Autonomous: In development for five years, the drone is designed to take off, fly a pre-programmed mission then return to base in response to a few mouse clicks from its operator
The size of a jet fighter, yet without a tail fin, the stealth drone is produced by Northrop Grumman, which also produces the similar, except larger and manned, B-2 Stealth Bomber.
It caused a stir over the summer when it was mistaken for a genuine UFO as it was transported through Washington D.C. on its way for tests at a navy airbase in southern Maryland.
Unlike drones currently in service with the U.S. military, the X-47B is designed to be almost completely autonomous, needing only to receive orders from a human operator rather than actually being piloted by remote.
However it is not yet clear whether the drone will be able to open fire without explicit authorisation from its controller. The Pentagon this month vowed that no robot weapon would be able to decide when to attack humans.
That promise came as Human Rights Watch issued a warning that autonomous 'killer robots' could find their way onto battlefields within 20 years, or 'even sooner'.
That possibility is particularly alarming in light of increasing fears that human scientists could one day lose control of computer-based artificial intelligence systems.
Cambridge University has even opened a centre where leading academics will study the existential threat that out-of-control robots could potentially pose to humanity.

Sitting on the dock of the bay: It is hoped that the X-47B, which boasts a wingspan of more than 62 feet, will demonstrate seamless integration into carrier flight deck operations through various tests
The aircraft is as yet not equipped with military hardware, but is designed for ample space to accommodate bombs and surveillance equipment.
Not having a pilot eliminated the need for much of the life support equipment and other essentials that humans need to survive at high altitudes.
The aircraft has a claimed unrefuelled range of 2,000 miles and a flight endurance of more than six hours. It can carry two 2,000lb bombs.


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