Skynet Redux

It can fly faster than the speed of sound, cannot be detected by radar and has no pilot. This is the new robotic plane that will become the next generation of front line bombers for the British military.

The drone, which is named Taranis after the Celtic god of thunder, has been designed to fly intercontinental missions to attack targets and can automatically dodge incoming missiles.

You’re kidding, right? An armed, unmanned, intercontinental-capable drone? What could possibly go wrong with that?

…the Taranis is expected to provide a prototype of a new kind of bomber that will replace piloted planes and the current drones.

With a shape more similar to the US B-2 Stealth bomber, it intended to fly automatically using an on-board computer system to perform manoeuvres, avoid threats and identify targets. Only when it needs to attack a target will it seek authorisation from a human controller.

Whew; for a second there I thought it might be used for e-vil!

There are concerns, however, that as drones are made more autonomous, they will pose more of a risk if they go out of control and leaving computers to make life or death decisions is highly controversial.

Never mind. And as though the Australian outback hasn’t enough problems right now…

The aircraft, which has cost £125 million to build, is intended to be the first of a new generation of aeroplanes that will reduce the need to risk human lives on long, dangerous missions.

It is to be flown for the first time in a series of tests over the Australian outback in the spring in an attempt to demonstrate the technology to military chiefs.

Naturally other nations, to include France and the United States, are also developing unmanned drones. And while all ‘responsible’ parties involved insist that the final decision to kill…anything…using the drones will always rest with a human, not the drone, who the fuck do they think they’re kidding?

Moreover, a little over a year ago Iran snatched a drone all away from us. And they’ve had plenty of time to reverse-engineer it; do you really think – should Iran capture one of the unmanned drones – they would hesitate to convert it to total auto-fire, aim and forget? That’s like asking whether whack-jobs like killing people in tightly enclosed places with assault weapons: hell to the yeah.

I know I’m excited about President Obama’s Drones Over America program upgrading to unmanned drones! Before when a Predator stalked an OWS participant, or a common criminal, the decision to assassinate kill the American citizen had to go through President Obama’s disposition matrix and then be cross-checked against his classified “playbook” before the actual kill order was relayed to Camp Lemonnier. With the new improved unmanned drones there’s no longer the military equivalent of the old 3 day bank “float” between the time a check was written and then eventually honored by your bank. Sure, with drones that only translates into 30 seconds, but you can do some pretty darn good scrambling around in 30 seconds, perhaps even find cover.

But now? See a peacenik, kill a peacnik. 1-stop killing.

Because you can never tell when some farmer up in North Dakota will rustle some cattle and Homeland Security will have to be called in with their drones.

Better to be prepared.

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