If you’ve ever wanted to get blown to smithereens by an unknown monster drone from beyond the horizon, boy, do we have good news for you.
Estonian firm Milrem Robotics and Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering have teamed up to create the spiciest boy of all: a combat-ready unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) that can fire “beyond visual line of sight” or BVLOS. That is to say, it can fire far beyond what its human operator can see, prompting us to wonder if the “S” in ST Engineering secretly also stands for Skynet.
A human can use wireless controls to operate the tank-like UGV “from a distance of 1000m and 2500m in urban and rural areas, respectively.” Its deployment in an urban area is a little disturbing, considering that firing into the wild unknown seems much better suited to an open space. But hey, if you want to blast the bejeezus out of as many things as possible, it makes perfect sense!
In a press release, Milrem and STE claims that the UGV’s command system “significantly decreased the cognitive workload on the operator, reducing operator fatigue and improving combat performance.” Translation: this drone is easy to use, pretty overpowered, and can be controlled from what appears to be a military-grade iPad.
Ultimately, this thing sounds like the unholy love child of a Fallout Fat Man and a sniper rifle that can hit targets that you can’t even see. Better yet, it’s armoured to the teeth and ready to roll, with enough power to go for 15 hours of constant operations.
Weak, fleshy human ground troops can turtle behind it while it clears a path to… victory? Bloodshed? Gore and mayhem? All of the above? We’re just hoping that these tank drones of death will be on our side when World War 3 inevitably happens.