back to article Terminator-style flying-HK killbots join US, UK forces

The US Air Force has announced it has ordered a further quartet of MQ-9 'Reapers', worth $59m, to supplement its initial fleet of seven. A decision on full-rate production is expected in 2009. Meanwhile, the head of the Royal Air Force said last week that the UK will also deploy its first fully-armed Reapers "later this year …


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  1. Dan


    Don't see how a robot pilot could be any worse at making decisions on who to frag than a human one. As any A10 pilot will tell you.

  2. Dave

    Great Robot Overlords

    Please spare my life and the lives of my children and we will serve you gladly for the rest of our mortal lives. We will be trustworthy servants of your Metallic Greatness, and will strive to assist you in your quest to rid this planet of the highly fallible humans.

    your most sincere and humble servant,


  3. Harry Stottle

    The Point of Drones is that they don't cost Pilots

    Which is exactly why we shouldn't permit them to be used against human beings. One of the few things that deters international bullies is the tiny risk that they might get hurt themselves. It is much easier to send in the drones than an A10. Lethal drones should be outlawed along with chemical and biological weapons and indiscriminate landmines etc.

    Of course, the world's biggest bully isn't going to agree with that - but exposing that disagreement would be a useful first step.

  4. John Imrie

    Make like a cow

    All you need to survive this attack is some livestock.

    Its highly unlikly that the US/UK army will want to spend the huge amounts that each of the arouments these flying robots use, blowing up cows. And its also highly unlikly that they will fly cloce to the ground, where they can be shot at.

    So it will be up to the pilots, human/machine to spot a human at a distance, at speed.

    Following a herd of cows around should fool the pilots.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh yeah, that harmless old dude in the wheelchair...

    Who arranged suicide bombings aimed not at military targets but deliberately intended to kill as many civillians as possible - nice guy. You also forgot to mention the reason the Israelis had to wait so long to kill him was because he was always careful to travel with two or more young children in the same vehicle in the knowledge that if the Israelis did nail him they'd probably kill the kids too and hand Hamas a propaganda coup - double nice guy! You can also gauge the social/moral quality of the people that followed Sheik Yassin by the fact that they considered it an honour to offer up their own children as human shields - nice guys all round. I'm happy for my taxes to be spent making sure more people like that dude in the wheelchair get there's without wasting more tax money and Allied soldiers trying to arrest and try them, and quite happy to deal with the moral non-dilemna.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Exactly what I thought (comment to: "Oh yeah, that harmless old...")

    But given what they teach their children, it does not surprise me:

  7. Gilbert Wham


    The Israeli army doesnt normally balk at killing children, as keeping a casual eye on the news from Gaza for any length of time will show. Not trying to argue one side or the other, just sayin'.

  8. Tony

    RE: Pardon

    "The Israeli army doesnt normally balk at killing children..."

    Then why the effort by the terrorists to keep children nearby?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem for us not if drones kill innocent civilians abroad...

    but they don't really have the capability to discriminate between London and Bagdad. They will bomb both cities when they get the orders. All we need is a single software failiure to get us blowed up by our own drones. I'm not talking about an AI or anything sci-fi, just a simple program error, like mixing up a waypoint marker with a targer marker. Stealth bombers are operated from the us, so they have to fly over the whole world for a single strike. Having drones like this makes the whole world a big target map. And don't forget that since most computer equipment is made in one of the Chinas (either democratic or peoples republic) makes it pretty easy to get this system hijacked and deliberately used against it's owners.

  10. peidyen pyper


    all of the discussion aside, does anyone really think that it's not inevitable that we weill use these things, first as drones piloted by humans, then as semi autonomous units, with mission decisions made by humans, but some autonomy on kill / no kil decisions, and finally as fully autonomous units?

    By the way, they can discriminate between Baghdad and London, the food in Baghdad is somewhat palatable :) (for those of you about to flame me, have a sense of humor :) please )


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