Robots poised to take over wide range of military jobs

Henrik Christensen, director of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute. (K.C. Alfred / Union-Tribune)

 

The wave of automation that swept away tens of thousands of American manufacturing and office jobs during the past two decades is now washing over the armed forces, putting both rear-echelon and front-line positions in jeopardy.

“Just as in the civilian economy, automation will likely have a big impact on military organizations in logistics and manufacturing,” said Michael Horowitz, a University of Pennsylvania professor and one of the globe’s foremost experts on weaponized robots.

“The U.S. military is very likely to pursue forms of automation that reduce ‘back-office’ costs over time, as well as remove soldiers from non-combat deployments where they might face risk from adversaries on fluid battlefields, such as in transportation.” Continue reading

Enemy drone swarms are coming for American troops, Army warns

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Graphics depicting drone attacks from the Army’s new manual | (Army art/Courtesy War is Boring)

 

With easy access via online storefronts and similar sources, terrorists and rebels and even government forces from Iraq and Syria to Ukraine’s breakaway Donbass region have been increasingly using small drones. With little training, insurgents can use these tiny flying machines to spy on their opponents, direct artillery strikes, or even possible attack targets directly.

Now, the U.S. Army is warning troops to be on the lookout for these specific threats in a new manual.

In July, the ground combat branch released a new publication called Techniques for Combined Arms for Air Defense. The handbook includes sections specifically dealing with drones in “groups 1 and 2.” Continue reading

Space: The Final Military Frontier

Caption: Satellite surveying Earth (©iStock.com/Daniela Mangiuca)

 

Dependence on satellite technology has turned Star Wars into strategic reality.

Right now, unmanned killer robots hover in the skies above the Middle East, ready to rain down death from above on America’s enemies. They are guided by pilots sitting hundreds of miles away, bouncing their instructions off satellites. Smart bombs are guided within inches of their targets using America’s gps satellite-navigation system. When America’s special forces take out a high-value target, their commanders and even the president in the White House can watch and respond in real time, thanks to satellite communication. American commanders view the battlefield and watch their soldiers move across it using American surveillance and positioning satellites. They rely on this information to coordinate attacks and avoid friendly fire. American missile-warning satellites are watching the atmosphere of the entire planet for any possible missile attack on the United States or its allies.

Continue reading

Sea Transportation: The Russian Ghost Fleet

In a move reminiscent of early 1942 in the Pacific, when American officers were ordered to buy or charter any ocean going shipping they could find to aid in mobilizing forces to halt the Japanese advance, Russia carried out a similar program along the Black Sea coast starting in April 2015. Continue reading