Saturday, March 23, 2019

Terminator Times #56

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones):

Kratos' XQ-58A Valkyrie was to make its first flight.   It did and it was beautiful.  The intent is to make the Valkyrie, a Loyal Wingman, where a flock of them could be managed by an single F-35.  In the process, Kratos stole Boeing's thunder.

A Dutch magazine claimed USAF F-117s conducted airstrikes in Syria.  The Drive semi convincingly argues the F-117 returning to combat for strikes in Syria were unnecessary because the US gov has at least 8 stealthy Avenger drones capable of conducting strikes.

The USAF may make the KC-Z tanker a drone with a podded refueling boon.

US ANG Reapers are now operating out of Poland (pictures).

US Army Gray Eagle drones are wildly successfully hunting Daesh in Syria.

The US Army is starting its unmanned-manned teaming demos for rotocraft.

The US Coast Guard wants to accelerate its ScanEagle deployments.

USMC wants 3 Reapers in the 2020 budget.

An analyst claims the USN carriers need unmanned aircraft and the new fighter to stay relevant.

The USN BQM-177A target drones has reached IOC.

The US Navy gave Northrop a $89.5M contract to support the MQ-4C Triton.

The US gov will no longer report civilian casualties from outside warzones from drone strikes.

The US and India may be teaming up on an air launched UAV.  it may or may not be related to the Gremlins project being run by DARPA.

The Boeing Loyal Wingman is designed to help Australia counter China.

A Chinese made CH-4 UCAV killed a T-72 tank in Yemen.

Colombia and Spain are jointly developing a UAV.

General Atomics was awarded $123M to build 4 Reapers for the Dutch.

Houthi UAVs are infiltrating Saudi airspace.

Latvia bought the Penguin C UAV.

Rolls Royce will make engines for Bell's V-247.

The Russian army is receiving medium range UCAVs in 2019.

Ukraine has received the Bayraktar UCAVs from Turkey.

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Bolos and Ogres):

The US Army unveiled the ATLAS program and the world freaked out.  Why?  It is meant to be a virtual crewman, not a killer robot.

The US Army unveiled its plans for its unmanned combat vehicles.

The US Army awarded QinetiQ the CRS(i) contract.

Europeans are looking at UGVs for their ground forces.

The Rheinmetall Mission Master UGV was cleared to fire 70mm rockets.

Russia unveiled its Marker UGCV.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (Roboats):

The US Navy is planning on awarding the contract for the new medium class USVs by the end of the year.

The US Navy wants to buy two large 2,000 ton USVs armed with VLS in the 2020 budget and build two per year afterwards.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicle:

Norway's Kongsberg Maritime is expected to complete development of its AUV.


US SOCOM is testing the Sarcos exoskeleton.  Think Ripley's power loader, not Heinlein's Starship Troopers.

Software Bots:

DARPA is launching CAML, an machine learning program that can explain how it comes to conclusions.

The USAF is planning the 'skyborg,' the cooperative AI that will fly combat drones.


The argument to ban AI from warfare.

Is it even realistic to attempt to ban AI weapons from warfare?

The US Army is seeking robotic and ai systems for demo.

The British Army is adding robo and autonomous systems.

Google's work with China is eroding the US military advantage.

Germany is being urged to lead the treaty to ban 'killer robots.'

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