Thursday, July 24, 2014

Objections, Disagreements, and Timetable for UCLASS

Dr. Peter Asaro, vice-chair of the International Campaign for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), has told Etopia News that:

“Of course… weaponizing the X47B [a UCLASS prototype] would likely be part of a follow-on project and prototype. See

“That said, the prototype X47B has 2 weapons bays, and the spec sheet claims it is designed to carry 4500 lbs of ordinance (  What is unclear is how the targeting and delivery of that ordinance might be controlled (direct human control like Predator/Reaper, pre-programmed GPS coordinates like a Cruise missile, or automatic target recognition).  If it were the latter, automatic target recognition, then it would be an Autonomous Weapon System (AWS), according to the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, i.e. a system capable of choosing and attacking targets without meaningful human control.”

Pentagon brass and Congressional advocates spar on specs

 You can learn more about divergence of views between those of top officials at the Pentagon and the Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee here:

Pentagon is going ahead with the process

Regardless of the possible objections of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots or the disagreements about the appropriate capabilities for the UCLASS systems, the Navy says it is going forward with its RFP and awarding of a contract to build the “air vehicle segment” of that system.  According to a Navy spokesperson on July 24th:

“The Navy plans to release the final RFP this summer for the air vehicle segment. Contract award is planned for mid 2015.”

Unanswered Questions:

Will the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots be able to win a ban on a "lethal and autonomous" UCLASS?  Will the Chairman or the Admiral get the kind of UCLASS he prefers?  Will the UCLASS be able to give the U.S. air superiority in anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) situations?

Get the latest UCLASS news from Etopia News.  Follow Etopia News on Twitter at: @etopianewsnow and on Facebook, at Etopia News.


Hanna Dettman said...

interesting. looking forward to hearing more about this.

Hanna Dettman said...


looking forward to hearing more!