The US military may hold the crown for most people whacked from an autonomous weapons platform but it is far from the first to try remotely-piloted death machines. According to one former mafioso, the Graviano family was testing radio-controlled, explosives-laden kamikaze craft for the handling of its staffing issues two decades ago.
Gaspare Spatuzza, former henchmen of the Palermo-based Gravianos, has told investigators that he'd been ordered to develop the system. “Graviano ordered me to buy a radio controlled aircraft,” he said. “He said others had already bought them and we needed to carry out tests for transforming them into flying bombs by loading them with explosives.”
Spatuzza reportedly spent about a million Lira (€500) on the aircraft and successfuly figured out how to best deliver the plane and its radio-detonated payload but there are no reports of the family ever having used one for a hit -- yet.