For the first time in history, an unmanned machine has engaged and destroyed another unmanned machine in real combat. It sounds like science fiction, but it happened a week ago in Iraq, when a MQ-9 Reaper killed a remote controlled vehicle carrying a bomb.
The MQ-9–operated by the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance and Attack Squadron–destroyed the RC car using a laser-guided 500-pound GBU-12 bomb in southeast Iraq. The commander of the squadron, Lt. Col. Micah Morgan, said that they “searched for, found, fixed, targeted and destroyed a [threat]with just one aircraft.”
With an entire wing of UAVs in the US Air Force, we won’t be surprised to see full-scale unmanned and robotic battles in the near future. The question is: if nobody is going to die–except probably civilians on the ground–what’s the bloody point of real war? Why not just organise a videogame league and get over with it? [Aviation Week]