Russia Announces Plans For Battle Robots To Guard Missile Silos By 2020
Machinery is not new to the battlefield- the drone controversy in the U.S has been going on for several years. But now Russia has announced plans to join the game in a big, big way. Back in March, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced that Russia had begun developing a "remote-controlled firing system" to protect its intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites. Today, Russia's Defense Ministry spokesman Dmitry Andreyev revealed that testing on these machines, dubbed battle robots by Russian media, would be concluded by the end of the year.
Details about the robotic defence system are, understandably, few and far between, but what we do know sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi actioner. Earlier on in the year, it was revealed that the robots will be armed with 12.7mm machine guns which they could transport at speeds of up to 45km/h. Weighing in at around 900 kg, the robotic sentries will be able to fight for 10 continuous hours while they can remain on active standby for up to 7 days.
While it has been reported that Russia is years behind in the field of robotics, it's clear that the superpower is looking to make up ground. Moscow is investing heavily in remote combat options, and Andreyev announced today that Russian authorities hope to have these robotic sentries live and active at key missile silos by the year 2020. As part of this initiative, Andreyev also mentioned that Russia will begin training its own military robot operators starting next year. Questions have been raised about the ethical nature of remote combat, and while these Russian defense systems will be operated by humans, they do have the ability to identify and neutralize targets on their own.
Other commentators have been unsure about putting such high-powered weaponry under the guard of remote-controlled machines, but as John Oliver pointed out with alarming accuracy, humans aren't necessarily always the best option for guarding the most dangerous objects in the world either.