Sunday, February 14, 2010

UK Police Welcomes Armed Robot Drones Soon

This is getting to be too bleak and dismal a future for the rest of us.

Wired U.K. tells us what kind of assistance the Britain's 'coppers' are going to have: surveillance drones and armed robot drones. Not content having CCTV everywhere to monitor everyone, they will have drones to keep track of and attack, albeit non-lethal (supposedly), everyone that moves.

(Skynet cannot be too far away...)

Future police: Meet the UK's armed robot drones
(David Hambling, 2/10/2010 Wired UK)

"Police forces all over the UK will soon be able to draw on unmanned aircraft from a national fleet, according to Home Office plans. Last month it was revealed that modified military aircraft drones will carry out surveillance on everyone from protesters and antisocial motorists to fly-tippers [people who dump waste somewhere other than an authorized landfill], and will be in place in time for the 2012 Olympics.

"Surveillance is only the start, however. Military drones quickly moved from reconnaissance to strike, and if the British police follow suit, their drones could be armed -- but with non-lethal weapons rather than Hellfire missiles.

"The flying robot fleet will range from miniature tactical craft such as the miniature AirRobot being tested by Essex police, to BAE System's new HERTI drone as flown in Afghanistan. The drones are cheaper than police helicopters -- some of which will be retired -- and are as wide as 12m in the case of HERTI."

The article continues to explain what kind of "weapons" are being considered to be mounted on the drones. They include:

  • LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device), which was used against G20 protesters in Pittsburgh; it can permanently damage hearing.
  • Light-based personnel immobilization device; think strobe light that can make you dizzy and disoriented, or worse, cause seizures.
  • Double-barrelled 44mm Flash-Ball gun
  • Taser, which has killed how many people by now?
The picture is iDrone, developed by a French company.

I can't wait to find out what the U.S. military and law enforcement have in store for us. After all, the U.S. has become such an expert in using drones, blasting funerals and wedding parties in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


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