Magnificent flesh without soul. The corpse, fearlessly standing over the abyss of its own destruction. A clot of military matter, programmed to destroy any one whose description will coincide with the “picture” loaded in his memory. The machine does not know pity and fear - the black automatic "ramp" is carried in a shaky stratosphere, leaving countries and continents under its wing ...
There are serious prerequisites for the fact that the “military pilot” profession will completely disappear by the end of this century. Man - extra weight on board. The robot is smarter, stronger and more courageous than any pilot. In addition, it does not require additional payment for risk and is generally unpretentious when choosing working conditions.
The digital brain does not require an ejection seat and cockpit workspace. He does not need long-term training and regular training to maintain qualifications: mathematical models and behavior algorithms in battle are forever loaded in his memory. Having stood in the hangar for a decade, the robot can at any moment return to the sky, taking the helm in its strong and skillful "hands".
Machines are tougher than man. Ten, twenty, thirty hours of uninterrupted flight - the robot shows constant vigor and is ready to continue the mission. Even when the overloads reached the terrible 10 "same", filling the pilot's body with lead weight, the digital devil will retain clarity of consciousness, continuing to calmly calculate the course and calculate the position of enemy aircraft.
But this is a matter of the near future.
Nowadays, the level of computer technology is still insufficient to create fully autonomous "UAVs". Engineers have to repeatedly increase the performance of computers. And to mathematicians and programmers - to solve many applied tasks, to build mathematical models of the behavior of machines in aerial combat and when working on ground targets in conditions of an unpredictable combat situation and opposition from the enemy.
In fact, all adopted percussion and reconnaissance "drones" ("Predator", "Reaper", "Global Hawk", etc.) are remotely controlled UAVs. All decisions are made by a team of operators exercising permanent control over the device. Cameras and radars mounted on board the UAV provide a “presence effect” over the battlefield, without jeopardizing the lives and health of people. And the shift work of the operators allows the drone to be continuously in the air for dozens of hours.
Remote-controlled UAVs are a long-standing practice in stories world aviation. Actual samples of such systems appeared back in the 30s of the last century, and soon found widespread use in the form of radio-controlled air targets. By the middle of World War II, the Interstate TDR-1 unmanned torpedo bomber, equipped with a 900 kg bomb and a camera with a viewing angle of 35 °, was flying with might and main in the USA. It is known about the reliable sinking of a Japanese ship and successful attacks onshore facilities. Nevertheless, the unique program was soon covered up - the Yankees felt that they had enough brave pilots.
Nowadays, remote-controlled UAVs are relevant only when performing the simplest tasks: specific and radar reconnaissance, monitoring the poppy harvest, shooting at al-Qaeda leaders jeeps in the complete absence of air defense and enemy fighter aircraft.
"Predator and Reaper are useless in a combat environment."
- Head of the United States Air Force Combat Aviation Command, General Mike Hostage
General Hostej did not discover anything new. Low-speed turboprop UAVs cannot be considered a full-fledged replacement for supersonic fighters. "Reaper" was designed specifically for low-intensity conflicts, where it is used as a light scout and hunter for terrorists.
Heavy reconnaissance UAV RQ-4 Global Hawk
Much more serious sounds another: a remotely controlled UAV a priori can not perform complex tricks and lead an air battle. The reasons are obvious:
1. Already, to control the scout RQ-4 Global Hawk requires a broadband channel with a data rate of 50 Mbps. Creating a line for remote control and control of a fighter is an extremely difficult technical task. Moreover, such a solution seems irrational due to the influence of the fundamental laws of nature - the radio signal lag (UAV - satellite - operator).
2. There is a threat of violation of the control of BRLA by the enemy EW. And if control interception can be viewed as another “urban legend” (256-bit “key”, directional radiation antennas, linking reliable radiation sources to specific coordinates - thus the risk of “hacking” is reduced to zero), then jamming the signal and “clogging with noise "UAV control lines can be the real cause of the loss of expensive apparatus.
SATCOM Directional Satellite Antenna
The Air Force requires an extremely intelligent machine with the makings of artificial intelligence, capable of independently analyzing the environment, determining the nature of the threats, and if necessary - applying weapon for selected targets. Operator intervention will be limited to confirmation of permission to use weapons. However, you can do without these flirting with the UN and the liberal public - let the iron monster classifies goals and destroys everything. So much the worse for the enemy!
A robot cannot harm a person or by its inaction allow a person to be harmed.
- A. Azimov, "Round dance"
Old Isaac was deeply mistaken. It will happen very soon - an electronic "eye" will take a man’s sight, and the microcircuit will indifferently issue an order to attack.
Most of the necessary technology exists today.
The Tomahawk cruise missile demonstrates the ability to independently navigate the terrain using relief maps, GPS signals and digitized images of the target.
Pilotless subtle UAV X-47B landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier in robotic mode.
The Advanced Scientific Research Agency (DARPA) conducted a successful experiment to refuel Global Hawk UAVs from another flying drone in a fully automatic mode.
Robots confidently beat people in chess. In California, Florida and Nevada, unmanned vehicles are allowed to travel on public roads. The day is near when driver's licenses and pilot licenses will be completely abolished.
Fears of possible failures and accidents are pure profanity. The history of world aviation is littered with the wreckage of airplanes, broken by the pilots. In this sense, a robot is much safer than a human being - he is not inclined to joke and violate instructions. He does not lose consciousness from lack of oxygen and is not subject to panic in a critical situation. And there are no perfect robots - this is their main similarity with humans.
Statistics combat use of "Reaper". The number of attacks made. The number of dead. The main performance characteristics of the shock UAV
Over the past few years, “drones” have overcome several stages of their evolution at once. Robots have learned to fly with the preservation of the combat system, independently carry out take-off, landing, refueling and other complex maneuvers. It remains to embody all the proven technologies in a single design - and feel free to go into battle!
British "guardian of heaven"
One of the first owners of autonomous percussion "drone" can be the Royal Air Force. It was there, on the shores of Foggy Albion, that work was underway to create a new generation of drone UAVs that would surpass all existing models of unmanned aerial vehicles in their characteristics. And will be able to make a tough competition to manned combat aircraft.
The ideas and dreams embodied in the design of the B-2 "Spirit" and the promising X-47B, rallied in a single burst, forming a masterpiece of scientific and design ideas called BAE Systems Taranis. The project of an unobtrusive automatic bomber with a strategic range of flight, developed in the interests of the Royal Air Force of Great Britain. According to the plans of the defense company BAE Systems, their new development has all chances to replace a significant part of the fleet of attack aircraft. Delivery of the first production machines is planned for 2030-s.
A number of large companies were involved in the development of the latest UAVs, among which are BAE, Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation System, as well as the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain.
"Taranis" (named after the Celtic god of thunder) is an unmanned aerial vehicle, made under the "flying wing". During the first flight tests, the take-off weight was 8 tons. Never before has man made such perfect flying robots: strategic range, supersonic flight speed, stealth technology, but most importantly - for the first time in the world, an artificial intelligence scheme was on board the UAV! "Taranis" without the help of a person is able to go to a given area of the globe, independently detect and destroy a target. In addition to the shock component, the possibility for reconnaissance and air combat is provided.
Work on the creation of "Taranis" were conducted in 2005 year, but only now they started talking about him seriously as a car from the future. The first prototype appeared in 2010. The first flight was scheduled for 2011, but, as often happens, the schedule was stalled, and Taranis disappeared from public view for a long time. Are there such “projects” being developed all over the world ?! Only a few of them grow to the stage of the first flight and, in an exceptional case, are put into service.
But as it turned out, the project "Taranis" is not dead. 5 February 2014 of the year, BAE Systems has released information about the flight tests of the machine, conducted in special secrecy at the Australian Woomera test site in August 2013 of the year. The British are unabashedly moving towards their goal and will surely bring their plans to a logical conclusion.
Among the critics of the new apparatus, two points of view prevail. The first is quite expected to speak about the inadmissibility of allowing the machines to decide human fates. It is immoral, sacrilegious and, quite simply, dangerous. However, the live pilot is also not immune from mistakes - cases of "friendly fire" and the accidental death of the civilian population occur regularly in any war.
Other experts have expressed doubt about the possibility of a full replacement of existing fighter-bombers with Taranis. It is easy to understand by looking at the characteristics of the machines: the Eurofighter Typhoon engine makes up almost 12 tons, while the Taranis is equipped with a Rolls-Royce Adour TRD with only 2,94 tons.
However, this problem has nothing to do with the very idea of an automatic UAV. Do not forget that in the existing form "Taranis" is nothing more than a concept demonstrator of new technologies. And it is not known what this drone will turn into at the time of its adoption. For example, in the US, a program to create a heavy stealth drone X-47C with a combat load of 4,5 tons has already been announced. A little less than that of a typical bomber (despite the fact that we are talking about internal bomb-compartments - the suspension of ammunition is made without violating the secrecy).
Everything goes to the fact that sooner or later the sky will be dominated by machines. Robots will save us from all the hard, difficult and dangerous work. And people will fall on their knees before them and give them tea.