The 4km wide demilitarised zone separating North and South Korea is the most heavily contested stretch of land on the planet. And if the massive contingent of troops, tanks, bunkers and land mines weren’t enough of a trespassing deterrent, this eagle-eyed auto-targeting gun turret should do the trick.
Dubbed the Super aEgis II and touted by its maker, South Korean defence firm, DoDaam Systems, as a “Total Security Solution”, this automated turret is capable of locking onto and firing upon a human target at a distance of 3km. The SEII uses a 35x CCD colour camera capable of operating in low light and adverse weather conditions as well as a dual field of view FLIR camera that can pick out a man-sized target 2.2km away in complete darkness and a laser range finder. The entire platform sits atop a gyroscopic stabilizer to ensure accurate shots in high winds and after recoils.
The SEII is also quite versatile. It is typically equipped with a 12.7mm machine-gun, though virtually any weapon in the South Korean arsenal can be integrated into the device, from grenade launchers to surface-to-air missiles. And at just 140kg, the SEII can easily be mounted on the back of a truck. It operates in both fully autonomous mode — targeting, tracking, and firing on targets without any human assistance — or in “slave mode” wherein a remote human controller aims and fires.
While the Armistice Agreement of 1953 limits the number of weapons that can be pointed over the 38th parallel by both sides, DoDaam Systems Vice-President Park Sung-ho believes that the SEII could very well find use along the DMZ. “We have certain circumstances where North and South Korea are confronting each other and currently soldiers are operating a lot of military equipment.” Park explained to Reuters. “If the job can be replaced by non-human guarding and monitoring robots, it could reduce the number of labour forces and military forces. And it could also reduce human losses under real combat situations.” Let’s hope tensions in the DMZ never come to a head. But if they do, SEII will be right there on the front lines. [Geekology – Reuters – Wikipedia 1, 2 – DoDaam]