Drones are invading our everyday lives. In addition to taking photos and aerial photography, you can also deliver packages or plant trees. In addition to these civil applications, they are also used in the military sector. And those are impressive weapons.
For example, according to Futurism, a report by the United Nations Security Council reveals the use of autonomous drones by the Libyan armed forces to drive the anti-government forces of Marshal Haftar into flight.
While the document doesn’t explicitly mention that the devices killed soldiers, experts say this advance is ushering us into a troubling new era. “If someone was killed in the attack, it would probably be the first known historical case of the use of autonomous weapons based on artificial intelligence,” commented military analyst Zachary Kallenborn, reports Asiatimes.
An autonomous drone made in Turkey
The facts go back to March 2020. The kamikaze drones are said to have been used by the armies of the Tripoli National Unity Government against the men of Marshal Haftar during Operation Storm of Peace. The implemented model would be Turkish made, namely a small drone called Kargu-2. Designed by STM, an Ankara-based company, it is an attack drone that can be operated both autonomously and manually.
Its descriptions on the manufacturer’s website contain details that are as interesting as they are terrifying. In particular, to be effective, the machine claims to use machine learning and real-time image processing. Added to this is the ability to fly at an altitude of more than 2000 meters and a range of around 30 months.
A traveling ammunition
According to the UN report, the VTS Kargu-2 is a “traveling ammunition”. In other words, it stays in the air while waiting to hit a potential target. It thus acts as a kind of landmine from the air, capable of eliminating an enemy without human intervention.
Use of a military reconnaissance drone. Photo credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff
The document also specifies the conditions under which the weapon was used by Libyan government forces. “Logistics convoys and retreating HAFs have been tracked down and attacked remotely by unmanned combat aircraft or deadly autonomous weapons systems like the VTS Kargu-2,” says the Libya Expert Group that wrote the report.
Real air “terminators”
The fact that drones are involved in collisions is nothing new. Armed forces and terrorist groups often use remote-controlled aircraft to attack infrastructures and attack people.
The United States, Russia, China, and the United Kingdom themselves are developing “terminators” capable of launching strikes without human intervention, despite an international treaty prohibiting the use of fully autonomous weapons. The new thing about the incident in Libya is when it is confirmed that the drone used was able to operate autonomously. Apparently the era of killer robots seems to have begun …