A Look at the X-47B Stealth Drone in Flight
A LOOK AT THE X-47B STEALTH DRONE IN FLIGHT - The X-47B is hailed as the world’s first unmanned stealth drone that is piloted by artificial intelligence and is the latest arsenal of the U.S. Military’s drive for more robotic weapons.
The X-47B has some impressive systems with an equally impressive specification list:
- Design: Tailless, cranked-kite
- Wingspan: 62ft
- Length: 32ft
- Max Altitude: >40,000ft
- Speed: High subsonic
- Max Unrefueled Range: >2,100 nautical miles
- Max Unrefueled Flight Time: >6 hours
- Take-off Weight: 44,000lbs
- Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U
- Twin Weapons Bays: 4,500lbs payload
As with most things that are automated there are fears that taking a human being out of the equation is a dangerous proposition. Computers, however far advanced, lack moral judgement and therefore leaving a weapons system in the hands of a computer chip has caused a number of people to express their concerns. The Pentagon has however stated that the X-47B or any other robotic weapon would be able to determine when and if to fire upon human beings.
As humans many of us have fears that one day computers and robots will take over the world as depicted in the Terminator Movies. How far off are we from this type of reality? Well with the official testing of the X-47B I would have to say we are much closer than many of us are really comfortable.
In fact the Human Rights Watch group have already voiced their concerns that robots could be deployed on the battlefield within less than 20 years and leading academics from Cambridge University are now undertaking a series of studies in the pursuit of determining the threat of weaponised robots may pose to humanity.
With today’s advancements in computer chips and robotics many fear that we are taking this a step too far and that the once entertaining movies, such as Terminator, could one day come back to haunt us and leave us fighting for our very survival.