Monday, July 21, 2014

X-47B stealth drone won’t be weaponized, says major sub-contractor

The X-47B is a next-generation drone that may serve as a model for future unmanned combat air systems (UCASs) that could eventually supplement or replace the elite manned fighters that are the charismatic predators in today’s military ecology.  For more about the X-47B, look here:

You can watch the X-47B taking off from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush at:

You can watch it landing on the same deck at:

You can watch a strikingly-similar drone called the Taranis being developed for the UK by BEA Systems at:

And the Chinese version (“Sharp Sword”) is on display here:

The French are also working on an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV).

Representative McGovern seeks to ban "killer robots"

U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) has declared his intention to seek a legislative ban on “lethal autonomous unmanned systems.”  Learn more about his campaign against “killer robots” here:

Wondering if the X-47B might qualify at some point as a “lethal autonomous unmanned system” that would be banned under the provisions of legislation implementing Representative McGovern’s proposal, Etopia News contacted Rockwell Collins, a major sub-contractor who provided the communications system for the American unmanned drone, as you can read about here:

Here’s what Rockwell Collins Senior Public Relations Specialist David Gosch said in reply about the proposed legislative ban on such lethal autonomous systems in the case of the X-47B:

“It really doesn't apply to the X-47B, which is a demonstrator program and will not be weaponized.”

Etopia News wrote back asking about the applicability of the proposed ban to follow-on versions of the X-47B that may be built utilizing the lessons learned from the demonstrator program, and which could be weaponized, possibly with nuclear weapons.  A reply is awaited and will be published upon receipt.

Etopia News is also waiting to hear back from Representative McGovern’s office regarding his views on the applicability of his proposed ban on lethal autonomous unmanned systems to various configurations of the X-47 platform, present and future.

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