Russian military officials announced today that machine gun wielding “battle bots” have entered the final stage of testing, ushering in a dangerous new era of warfare. While initial plans for the “Terminator-like” death robots are initially slated to guard intercontinental missile sites as early as 2020, military experts predict we could see non-human infantry as a primary weapon to be used in ground assaults and defense in the not too distant future.
Major Dmitry Andreyev of Russia’s Defense Ministry Strategic Missile Force made the announcement Friday that testing of the battle bots was entering its final stages. “Trials will be focused on exploring mobile and stationary robotic systems,” reported Andreyev, “including those that are responsible for the formulation of remote-control means of stealth technology and sighting.”
In April of last year Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces reported that silo protecting robots will carry a 12.7-mm machine gun and can fire continuously for 10 hours interrupted, with the potential to fight for up to a week straight without maintenance or reloading. With a speed of 45 kilometers (close to 28 miles) per hour and no fatigue factor to compensate for, the weapon could prove to be the most formidable assault weapon in the history of mankind.
In 2007 the United States had abandoned its SWORDS project, bomb-disposing robots, due to its “un-commanded and unexpected movements.” In May of 2014 the United Nations held the first discussions on the topic of robotic warfare, citing the dark potential of a future where unmanned killing machines led military assaults.
Russia has already begun utilizing armed robots on its fifth-generation submarines. In June of 2014, Admiral Viktor Chirvok, commander-in-chief of Russia’s Navy reported cited the “combat capabilities of multipurpose nuclear and non-nuclear submarines will be improved in the future by the integration into the arsenal of promising robotic systems,” adding ominously that, “this is already planned and plans are being carried out.”
P.W. Singer, senior fellow with the Brookings institute, sees robotic warfare as the most significant development in human behavior in more than 5,000 years. While at first glance they seem to be a natural and useful tool for military arsenals, the United States included, he warns problems will arise as these systems grow more complex and increasingly dangerous as artificial-intelligence develops which threatens to potentially move the decision-making away from humans to the robotic systems themselves. “Warfare will go open source. I’ve talked to a researcher that told me $50,000 worth of robots could shut down New York City for a day,” warns Singer.
The Russian Government admitted last year that a new military laboratory for robotic warfare had already become operational. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced plans to build the facility in 2013, expressing an interest in utilizing the robotic warriors to thwart “terrorist” threats but it has been long suspected the nation was moving toward utilizing the technology for first-strike offensive capabilities.
In addition to the current project of androids with driving and firing skills, the government-published Rossiiskaya Gazeta has listed robotic combat systems capable of firing on their own accord, without disclosing specifics. President Vladimir Putin has long dismissed this as “rumor and stuff of science fiction fantasy,” but as Russia moves ever closer to incorporating non-human assault soldiers into its regular military apparatus, a frightening new era of battle bot warfare seems to have been ushered in.
By Dignitas News Service