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BAE Systems Black Knight   (Source: Defense Update)
BAE Systems' Black Knight is a formidable weapon for the battlefield

In early October, DailyTech brought you the story of Foster-Miller's MAARS (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System). The MAARS followed in the footsteps of previous battlefield robots like the REDOWL PakBot and the SUGV Early.

The 300-pound MAARS, on the other hand, brought serious firepower and technology to the table. The MAARS features a M240B Medium Machine Gun and uses GPS tracking to reduce the risk of friendly fire.

While the MAARS is an impressive piece of machinery, BAE Systems is taking battlefield robots to the next level with its Black Knight. The Black Knight is a semi-autonomous 9.5 ton tank based on the Bradley fighting vehicle.

The Black Knight can be controlled from the traditional commander's station or by remote control via the Dismounted Control Device (DCD). Due to its advanced programming, the Black Knight can also autonomously plan routes and avoid obstacles without user intervention.

When it comes to the Black Knights armament, human intervention is required to fire rounds (thankfully). Considering that the Black Knight is armed with a 30mm gun and a coaxial machine gun, it's good to know that this tank won't be rolling around firing at anything that moves.

BAE Systems detailed how admirably the Black Knight performed during a demonstration in early 2007.

"While the Bradley Technology Demonstrator was engaging an enemy target from cover in a support by fire position, the Black Knight was able to autonomously move to a covered position and observe the target, using its sensor package to provide battle damage assessment data back to the Bradley," explained BAE Systems.

"If the enemy target needed to be re-engaged, the Black Knight could effectively neutralize the target, but the command to fire would always be made by a remote Soldier and only after the data necessary to make positive identification is received."

It may be years before such potent machinery is available for use on actual battlefields, however.

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RE: Playing with fire
By BladeVenom on 11/8/2007 1:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
I would hardly call WW2 a civilized war. Bombers and rockets allowed civilians far behind the fighting to be targeted. Read about the Japanese and especially the Rape of Nanking. There are too many Nazi crimes against civilians to even begin to mention. Stalin turned a blind eye to rape in East Germany, and most POWs never did leave prison camps alive. There were far more civilian casualties than military casualties in WW2. By that measure it was far less civilized than the Napoleonic Wars.

RE: Playing with fire
By masher2 on 11/8/2007 1:53:10 PM , Rating: 3
> "I would hardly call WW2 a civilized war"

Civilization is relative. Compared to the Mongol invasion of Europe, or say, the Spanish conquest of Mexico or Peru, it was quite civilized. Acts like the Rape of Nanking were outrages in earlier eras, they were standard operating procedure.

RE: Playing with fire
By BladeVenom on 11/8/2007 3:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
If you want to go really far back, I'd say Alexander the Great was more civilized than Hitler, Stalin, or Tojo.

RE: Playing with fire
By masher2 on 11/8/2007 4:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
Only for someone whose knowledge of Alexander is limited to the Hollywood film.

How about his siege of Tyre, in which he sold the entire city into slavery? Or Ora, Denoit, Aornos or Massaga, where he slaughtered the entire population of each city -- men, women, and children? Or all the cities burned to the ground in Persia? Or his routine policy of executing his own troops whenever they complained? And ask yourself how all those troops were paid? They certainly weren't paid for Alexander himself...his wars were financed with the money he looted from civilians along the way.

RE: Playing with fire
By BladeVenom on 11/8/07, Rating: 0
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