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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 copiedright on 11/8/2007 10:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
I would have to disagree with that. The world wars of the 20th century were the first wars in which civilians were targeted during the conflict, due to the factor of war production.

Most conflicts before the 19th century were actually operated by clear rules of war, battlefields were defined, kings were not targeted purposefully. They were partially a quick 'game' so that soldier/farmers could quickly get back to their crops.

quote:
your wives and daughters raped, and your children sold into slavery.


Are you aware that estimates state that one in three woman in wore torn parts of Europe had to resort to prostitution. And as for rape, you might want to have another look at the fall of Berlin, or even Vietnam. Hell why not look at the War in Iraq, with the sexual abuse of prisoners.

quote:
By the time of WWI/2, civilians were largely insulated from the direct effects of war.


Not true. Modern time has seen the battlefields expand and civilian collateral damage clearly increase as the destructive capabilities of warfare increased. Yes, the Romans burnt Carthage and the viking pillaged, but the recent wars have decimated entire regions, not just cities.

quote:
Desert Storm showed us a new kind of war


I also view asymmetrical warfare as uncivilized.

However I do agree with your idea that with this kind of tech wars could be fought without deaths, to one side at least.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007













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