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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2002 9:43 pm 
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If you would look at any of the major news websites you would see that in Yemen a CIA Predator drone actually hit what they were aiming for and killed a car full of al-queda members.So this is a obivous success for the use of drones and I was wondering what everybody's thoughts on the future of drones in war.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2002 10:22 pm 
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Sorry for sounding out of the loop ("Gee, that's news," says my friend Long Tran sarcastically) but what are drones, exactly?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2002 10:37 pm 
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Drones or UAV(Unmanned Aerial Vehicals)are remote control small planes that are mostly used for recon,spying and recently attack missions.Some even say that in the coming years all aerial combat will be done by remote control planes and the current generation of human fighter pilots may be the last.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2002 10:56 pm 
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::Shudder::

I sure hope not . . .

Something about that scenario just seems too . . . artificial, too cold and uninvolved . . . I mean, without the tempering thoughts of human lives in the balance, wars would be a lot easier to start . . . and lots easier to finish without having to think about human civilians . . .

I don't think I could accept a world with machines standing in for humans where human beings could still do the job.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2002 11:38 pm 
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Well, all we have so far are UAV's, but the government has been experimenting with other types of unmanned combat vehicles. One example was a Humvee that can drive itself. (Though not very well --yet.) There was another experiment with shaped charges that involved a tiny remote contol vehicle that could destroy armored vehicles. They had one disadvantage though, because the recoil from the blast always smashes the vehicle to bits. In the future they could make inexpencive suicide drones that could destroy million dollar main battle tanks.

Still, I think that humans will be in warfare for a while, because AI is very difficult. A human can distinguish between friend or foe much better than any AI can.

Oh, and as for the problems of taking human soldiers out of warfare, all I have to say is that I think it is great. In any future war, we will have fewer American soldiers come home in body bags, if any at all, and our Metal Marines will beat the shit out of any mere human army that dares threaten us.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 1:31 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 5:49 am 
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I think the military is only focusing on making a robotic Air force.I think the marines would rebel before they let some robots take over their job.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 10:16 am 
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Yes, my point is that without human lives to worry about, the tone towards war would end up being a lot more casual because there'd be less responsibility for the government actions . . .

I doubt that once they perfect drone tech for planes that they'll be content to keep it that way . . . Governments never have been . . .

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 11:02 am 
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On 2002-11-04 22:38, The Goldstandard wrote:
One example was a Humvee that can drive itself. (Though not very well --yet.)


And I hope that this dosen't get any better, cos then I will not be able to drive one.

I love humvees!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 11:13 am 
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drones have been at war for decades, they were used for recon i 'Nam and in the gulf, a huge turning point in Man/Machine relations was wne Iraqi troops began surrendering to them in teh later stages of teh war, low flying recon drones actually took prisoners who saw them as representitives of the US forces and legit recipiants for their white flag waving, troops were then sent in to lead the already surrendered troops away

the DARPA's currently working on converting tanks as well to teh automatic role, and before you say that peopel are betetr at friend/foe recognition, elctronic/computer systems have taken that over in 1st world armies for quite some time FFR friend-foe recognition systems are standard in most large armoured vehicles and aircraft where distance or contitions (poor vis due to light/smoke etc) mean that humans can't see, the machines take it over for them

using armed drones is somewhat contraversial, so only sucesses have been announced, plus they're hi tech/secret so theyr'e kept pretty quiet other than 'our pilots are safe' press releases

but hey, if both sided have them in a war, it'll be drone vs drone, RTS wargame style, no human casulties etc..

more likely it'll be hi tech drones killing camel herders in the desert tho, but hey

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 2:14 pm 
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When I talked about friend versus foe, I meant it more in terms of close combat, in perhaps a city where the enemy could be anyone. They have yet to create an AI that can reliably distinguish between friend and foe in this situation.

Oh, and Kitsune, how would machinces make war more casual? Every war brings destruction and mayhem to the civilian population of the losing country, sometimes even both countries. I don't think we will ever eliminate the bloodshed, and I don't think that we will simply go around willy nilly starting wars everywhere. What would be the point of doing that?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 3:20 pm 
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Obviously, if we ever come up with a machine that can duplicate human movement enough to be effective in such a situation, I'm pretty sure sufficient AI will be available as well.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 3:39 pm 
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UAV's have distinct disadvantages in combat

1. The pilot is looking at a screen or monitor, which is inevitably processed and pixelated

2. No matter how panoramic it is, his/her view is not as dynamic as it can be with their head in the aircraft

3. (and possibly most important) the pilot cannot 'feel' the aircraft. The best pilots can tell exactly how close they are to a stall by how the aircraft feels and is handling, and this allows them to be able to pull off maneuvers very close to the edge of the envelope without losing control, but if you move the pilot out of the aircraft, he or she could no longer do this, and no number of dials and readouts could replace their instinct in this area.

(during the Vietnam war, several of the pilots that went on to found Miramar Naval Air Station developed maneuvers that purposefully stalled the F4, and used that to make the aircraft do things it was never built to do.)

4. Autonomy: the UAV must constantly remained data-linked to its base

So, even though I believe UAV's will take a more prominent role in the future, I dont forsee them ever being superior manned aircraft.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 8:47 pm 
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I think wars would go on forever if all the combatants were artificial - I saw it on Star Trek once in the day so it must be true, dammit!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2002 5:45 am 
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While drone warfare will increase the chances of human survival in wars, I'd certainly not like to think that we'd have plenty of wars in the future. Drones will eventually become cheap, mass-produced soldiers, a la Star Wars battle droids. There'll be less responsibilty from the government to stop wars, since no one is getting hurt except the earth. And God knows some governments just spurn the land.

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