Military Review

I9 project. Autonomous combat drone for the British army

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Possible appearance of a promising i9 UAV - photo from an article in The Times


The British Department of Defense announced the development of a promising unmanned aerial vehicle under the working designation i9. This product is a limited size multicopter with its own shooting weapons and advanced controls. Such a UAV will have to expand the combat capabilities of troops when working indoors.

Secret development


The development of the i9 UAV is carried out by order and under the supervision of the British Strategic Command. The goal of the project is to find and work out solutions for creating a combat drone capable of working effectively in confined spaces, both by operator commands and independently.

The design itself is carried out by a startup company whose name has not been disclosed. The project has a high priority and is being developed behind closed doors. As a result, the Ministry of Defense cannot disclose the developer and publish the appearance of the product. However, The Times has already published a photo of a certain hexacopter with a suspension that looks like a small arms. Whether this product is related to the i9 theme is unknown.

The restrictions did not prevent the military department from disclosing the existence of a new project, the main technical features, goals and objectives, as well as the current stage of work. Despite the lack of the most interesting details, the available data allow us to evaluate the proposed concept and how to implement it.

According to open data ...


It is known that the new i9 UAV is a remotely controlled platform with advanced electronic equipment, its own optics and weapons. As i9 develops, it can receive new components and funds, incl. seriously affecting fighting qualities.

The basis of the complex is a helicopter-type drone with six rotors. The diameter of such a machine does not exceed 1 m, other dimensions and weight are unknown. It is argued that with the dimensions obtained, the UAV is capable of operating inside buildings and premises. The carrying system is protected from collisions with surrounding objects.

The UAV should receive a combined control system that allows it to work on commands from a remote operator or independently. In autonomous mode, the i9 must monitor the situation using certain sensors, build an optimal route and find potentially dangerous objects. In particular, the drone will be able to approach the walls - the problem of disruption of air flows and a decrease in the efficiency of propellers has been solved.


Infographic from The Times - drone attacks terrorists

The i9 has a video camera on board, the signal of which is transmitted in real time to the operator's console. Due to this, the operator can independently monitor the situation and control the flight. In addition, the video system is integrated with "technical vision" and artificial intelligence elements that ensure the detection and tracking of the enemy. Such functions are required to use the weapon.

The UAV's armament is a pair of smoothbore rifles of an unnamed type on a stabilized installation with guidance mechanisms. Ammunition, rate of fire, range of destruction, etc. have not yet been specified. At the same time, it is indicated that in the future i9 may receive other weapons - automatic shooting systems or even small-sized missiles.

Application methods


The promising i9 UAV is intended to support soldiers in urban areas and inside buildings. Depending on various factors, the drone will be able to do this work independently or at the operator's command. The limited dimensions will allow the device to fly through the existing openings and gaps, incl. inaccessible to humans.

With the help of a video camera and sensors, the UAV will be able to provide visual reconnaissance. It is possible that a mapping mode will be provided with a two- or three-dimensional model of the premises. The presence of such functions will greatly simplify the solution of a combat mission - already at the stage of preparation for a battle, maximum information will be obtained.

Artificial intelligence and technical vision will have to identify the enemy's manpower and report it to the operator. Despite the maximum autonomy, the i9 product will not be able to independently use weapons - the decision to open fire will remain with the operator. In this case, the process of target tracking, weapon guidance and firing will be automated, and only a permit for use will be required from a person.

Having your own weapon will allow the drone to participate in the assault on various premises. He will be able to independently search for the enemy and, having received permission, hit him. As a result, the assault and clearing of the premises by the forces of soldiers will be easier and with less risks.

The possibility of fighting other targets is mentioned. In particular, the i9 will be able to attack other UAVs of comparable size. For this, standard small arms or a ram can be used. It is assumed that the i9 complex will surpass fighters with standard weapons in terms of the effectiveness of the fight against drones.

Technology problem


The proposed concept of a reconnaissance and combat UAV for indoor work is of great interest to the army, but its implementation is highly complex. To develop a complex of the type i9, it is required to solve several rather complex problems of various kinds. Apparently, this is what Strategic Command and an unnamed startup are doing right now.

I9 project. Autonomous combat drone for the British army

A radical take on the i9-style UAV from the Daily Mail

The least difficult task is to develop a platform-hexacopter with the ability to suspend the required electronic equipment and a twin gun mount or other weapons. All the necessary technologies and component base are available, however, specific loads may place special requirements on the aircraft.

Of particular difficulty is the creation of artificial intelligence control systems capable of performing all assigned tasks. For the i9 complex, it is necessary to develop optical and other technical vision devices capable of quickly and reliably identifying dangerous objects, primarily armed people. At the same time, reliable fire control loops and communication means are required to ensure stable operation in buildings or premises.

Thus, the i9 project faces several difficult tasks, the solution of which can take a lot of time, effort and money. Moreover, their solution is a prerequisite. So, without controls and automation that fully meet the requirements, an unmanned complex will not be able to show characteristic advantages.

The result of the current work will be the emergence of both a new i9 complex and a set of technologies suitable for the development of new similar systems. Thus, in the distant future, British engineers can create a whole family of reconnaissance and combat autonomous UAVs with different capabilities and characteristics.

Unmanned perspectives


According to the published data, the i9 project has already reached the test of an experienced drone, but it still needs further refinement. Details of the tests were not reported. How soon they will be completed and what their results will be is unknown. Perhaps the British Department of Defense will continue to publish various news on the progress of work, and then show the finished sample, suitable for adoption.

How the current work on the i9 UAV will end is a big question. At the same time, the very fact of the appearance of such a project shows an interesting tendency. The armies are interested in obtaining fundamentally new drones with maximum autonomy, and the development of technologies already allows them to be created. With a favorable development of events, the British i9 is quite capable of becoming, at least, one of the first reconnaissance and combat UAVs with artificial intelligence. And it is already clear that he will not be the last in this class.
Author:
Photos used:
The Times / thetimes.co.uk, Daily Mail / dailymail.co.uk
17 comments
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  1. rocket757
    rocket757 7 October 2020 07: 23
    +1
    In general, something for every taste and color, if only it was effective.
    There will be more and more drones and they will perform different tasks. Progress, however.
    1. gridasov
      gridasov 7 October 2020 11: 21
      0
      No progress! The simplest mathematical dependencies do not allow increasing the payload without increasing the cost parameters, etc. Only new movers, which they do not have and lack the mind to come up with a way to development
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 7 October 2020 11: 27
        0
        Progress in general! And so, I always remind you that without NEW, capacious, powerful, in the case of drones, even small-sized, energy sources, everything will remain at the same time ... well, they can also come up with super productive engines.
        1. gridasov
          gridasov 7 October 2020 11: 41
          0
          You think logically! Therefore, I will only note that there are no fundamental decisions to create, first of all, a physical process with a high energy density. Modernization of basic and outdated technologies comes down to manual problem solving.
  2. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 7 October 2020 08: 22
    +4
    A terrible thing. I "unscrewed" him a ban on the use of weapons, provided him with a pattern recognition program, and you are wearing a perfect killer! I threw him a photo and an approximate location - and this killer will chase after the victim until the charge runs out. And when we read Bradbury "Fahrenheit 451" we thought - a mechanical killer dog is an impossible fantasy! Half a century has passed. And flying on the doorstep! With firearms and artificial intelligence ... With a video camera, possibly with an IR range. Against terrorists, yeah ... into whose hands it falls, that will be ...
    1. Hagen
      Hagen 7 October 2020 08: 49
      +2
      Quote: Mountain Shooter
      Against terrorists, yeah ... into whose hands it falls, that will be ...

      There will be craftsmen, they will put up a weapon with a silencer and, as they say, go out to build ... There will certainly be a non-governmental structure capable of acquiring or producing such a copter. The consequences will be the most sad. Solving contract killings using this technique will not be easy, if not impossible.
      1. Knell wardenheart
        Knell wardenheart 7 October 2020 12: 10
        +1
        Yes, in principle, even now, "craftsmen" may well equip such toys with fragmentation explosives, so it's strange that we still don't see madness and trash in this direction ..
      2. cat Rusich
        cat Rusich 7 October 2020 23: 34
        0
        flying AK-74
        Everything has already been invented ... There is no point in putting a shooter on the UAV (recoil + small ammo), it is better to use mini-missiles or a "classic of the genre" - a suicide drone (warhead - explosives (explosives)). Everything depends on the carrying capacity and duration of the flight, and the noise immunity of the control channel.
  3. Knell wardenheart
    Knell wardenheart 7 October 2020 12: 08
    +2
    Power supply of 6 screws, cameras, positioning systems, signal and video reception and reception, intelligent filling with a claim to autonomy, obvious overload with devices in relatively compact dimensions - what can I say, I already feel sorry for the autonomy of this product and the flour that the battery developers will have to endure for him.
    It will be expensive - it will be detected by a conventional motion detector. How will this cute toy open doors? Even banal bamboo "noodles" in the doorway will be an insurmountable obstacle for this product.
    IMHO - while this is a rather empty exercise, a toy will come out too expensive, and the autonomy time will be tens of minutes.
    1. KVU-NSVD
      KVU-NSVD 7 October 2020 13: 58
      0
      You write everything correctly. I will add that the dimensions are too bulky and in tight spaces problems will be inevitable. If you come up with a drone - an assistant in the assault, then you need a disposable (with the possibility of return) drone weighing within one hundred to one hundred and fifty grams, with a video camera (with an IR channel), a two-way communication channel and a charge of 30-50 grams of plastid. A couple of dozen of these drones and additional reconnaissance of the object will provide, and clear the path for the storming, and also try to hit such a kid upon detection
  4. OgnennyiKotik
    OgnennyiKotik 7 October 2020 12: 23
    -1

    Hmm .. I thought this drone reminds me.
  5. The comment was deleted.
  6. imobile2008
    imobile2008 7 October 2020 17: 54
    0
    Quote: Knell Wardenheart
    Power supply of 6 screws, cameras, positioning systems, signal and video reception and reception, intelligent filling with a claim to autonomy, obvious overload with devices in relatively compact dimensions - what can I say, I already feel sorry for the autonomy of this product and the flour that the battery developers will have to endure for him.
    It will be expensive - it will be detected by a conventional motion detector. How will this cute toy open doors? Even banal bamboo "noodles" in the doorway will be an insurmountable obstacle for this product.
    IMHO - while this is a rather empty exercise, a toy will come out too expensive, and the autonomy time will be tens of minutes.

    it's stupid to hang everything on one, you can send a dozen with different equipment, and another hundred kamikaze, especially for doorways!
  7. Mister X
    Mister X 7 October 2020 20: 56
    +2
    The first photo in the article impressed ...
    Recalled that
  8. Gunther
    Gunther 7 October 2020 23: 24
    -1
    The most interesting thing is the independent work of the unmanned aircraft, because the face recognition program has already been worked out, then the unmanned vehicle will be able, for example, to catch those who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus, or debtors on loans - if the target tracking is worked out, then the operator becomes unnecessary.
    R. Sheckley's parable "The Guardian Bird" of 1953 becomes a reality ...
    1. Mister X
      Mister X 8 October 2020 07: 11
      0
      Quote: Gunter
      catch those who are not vaccinated against coronavirus

      The world will soon cope with the "crown" without quadcopters.
      Hand washing, wearing masks, vaccines and medications.
      In addition, vaccination is everyone's personal business. Consider the reluctance of many to get the seasonal flu vaccine.
      Do you agree?

      Quote: Gunter
      loan debtors

      To drive debtors with shock drones?
      It's original!
      Back in the 90s.
      Don't you consider the option of fighting terrorism?
  9. Gunther
    Gunther 8 October 2020 08: 29
    0
    Quote: Mister X
    The world will soon cope with the "crown" without quadcopters.
    Hand washing, wearing masks, vaccines and medications.

    FFP3 (N95) mask filters particles 3 microns in size, coronavirus - 1 micron, will not help, and WHO spokesman Tarik Yazarevich clearly said that the mask gives a false sense of protection)))
    And early "vaccines" can give results similar to thalidomide catastrophe and worse.
    For example, a red-haired Chubais-less was injected with a vaccine and immediately twisted)))
    When choosing who to kill with a pilotless - a terrorist or a debtor of usurers, the choice will be in favor of usurers, hoof-fighting, Mister))))
    1. Mister X
      Mister X 8 October 2020 10: 41
      0
      Quote: Gunter
      FFP3 (N95) mask filters particles sized

      Quote: Gunter
      And the early "vaccines"

      Healthcare, Politics, Economics are endless topics of controversy.
      And there is always a suitable quote from a specialist who confirms / refutes this or that opinion.
      I hope you agree with handwashing and keeping your distance.

      PS
      At 33, I got chickenpox.
      He lived alone, I had a separate office, I did not babysit with children, home-work-market.
      All this is 10 minutes walk.
      Unexpectedly, right?

      And at 45 I was examined at the COVID center.
      There were some symptoms ...
      I was lying in the Green Zone waiting for the result.
      Seen enough there at different.
      There is a certificate that the test is negative.

      So I have an idea of ​​infectious diseases.