In a bid to modernize battlefield resources, the Chinese Army has started trialing unmanned tanks, according to a new report from state-run publication Global Times. The upgraded military vehicles are currently being tested with a distant manned console, much like remotely operated drones. However, the People's Liberation Army Ground Force, aka PLAGF, also plans to integrate them with artificial intelligence, in order to make them nearly self-operable. A short video from CCTV, a prominent state television broadcaster in the People's Republic of China, recently appeared on the internet showcasing one of the unmanned vehicles being tested. The clip features a modified version of a dated Type 59 tank moving forward and backward like a remote-controlled car and a distant Chinese Army official manning its control-box a few meters away.
The US Army is working on a new mine detector that allows soldiers to see as well as analyze the size of an explosive hidden underground. The new device uses real-time spatial location tracking and a range of sensors to produce an image of the buried object, be it an active IED or some unexploded artillery shell. As seen in the video, the tech creates a colored map on a tablet as and when the surface is scanned by the device. The area highlighted in orange roughly represents the scale or the metallic object or a potential risk-zone, while other colors represent the safer areas. "You can immediately see the shape of the object and roughly its size," Christopher Marshall, a scientist in the Countermine Division of the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, said in a statement.
Science fiction has a funny habit of becoming science fact after enough time has passed. The wide-eyed wonder of children sitting cross-legged in front of the TV eventually becomes inspiration for incredible feats of engineering, or the means of our own destruction. The latest example of this phenomenon is a new, powered up exoskeleton the U.S. Army is testing, per Scout.
Popular Mechanics reported Tuesday, that the Russian arms manufacturer, Kalashnikov, which made the famed AK-47 rifle is embarking on a new project -- designing hoverbikes. The concept is similar to many existing hovercraft and flying car concepts -- it is battery operated and stays in the air using 16 sets of rotors. The vehicle, which hasn't been named yet, was showcased at Russian defense giant Rostec's headquarters on Tuesday. While the company has ventured into aviation with this latest effort, it will continue to make weapons and artillery, including the AK-47. The company has been recently diversifying and is actually combining its weapons capabilities with self-navigating vehicles.
The U.S. Army ordered units to halt the use of DJI drones, it was revealed last week, but officials still won't say why it banned the company's products. DJI told International Business Times it reached out to officials about the direction to discontinue the use of its drones, but the U.S. army did not respond to them. "The US Army has not explained why it suddenly banned the use of DJI drones and components, what'cyber vulnerabilities' it is concerned about, or whether it has also excluded drones made by other manufacturers," DJI said. In a letter obtained by sUAS News, the U.S. Army Research Lab and U.S. Navy found there were operational risks associated with DJI products. The memo cited a classified report, "DJI UAS Technology Threat and User Vulnerabilities," and a U.S. Navy memo, "Operational Risks with Regards to DJI Family of Products."
The U.S. Army has ordered units to cease the use of DJI drones, according to a memo obtained by sUAS News. The letter, dated this week, said the U.S. Army Research Lab and U.S. Navy found there were operational risks linked to DJI equipments. Officials cited a classified report called "DJI UAS Technology Threat and User Vulnerabilities," as well as a U.S. Navy memorandum called "Operational Risks with Regards to DJI Family of Products." The report and the memo were both dated May 2017, which suggests officials have been looking into this for a while. In the letter, the U.S. Army's Lieutenant General Joseph Anderson said: "DJI Unmanned Aircraft Systems [UAS] products are the most widely used non-program of record commercial off-the-shelf UAS employed by the Army.
An explosive-laden drone, sent by the Islamic State group (ISIS), was intercepted and shot by Kurdish forces in Iraq early this month, according to reports Tuesday. However, the drone blew up and killed two Kurdish fighters and injured two French soldiers. The incident reportedly happened on Oct. 2 in Erbil, which serves as the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, where French troops have been fighting along with Kurdish fighters against ISIS, according to the New York Times and French newspaper Le Monde. Neither Iraqi officials nor French authorities have confirmed the incident. About 500 French military personnel have been deployed in Iraq to fight ISIS.