Navy Lost Control Of Drone Due To 'Software Issue'

Oh, here's something. You know those "drones" that are supposed to be the "future of warfare". A software malfunction caused the US Navy to lose control of one for half an hour earlier this month, letting it joyride in restricted airspace.

The charmingly named, 9m-long MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing unmanned aerial vehicle was flying at an altitude of 600m on August 2, when the Navy completely lost control of the craft due to, they say, a "software issue". It continued to fly, guided only by its own probably-evil robot brain, for about half an hour, covering 37km, until control was re-established when it was just 60km from the US capital.

Thankfully, the incident has prompted the US Navy to ground all six of its Fire Scout drones while they figure out what happened. The New York Times says that "the Navy did not describe the scene inside the ground control station as operators sought to re-establish communication with the drone," but I'll bet they were all like "oh shit oh shit oh shit". [New York Times]

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