Killer drone armed with a SHOTGUN developed by UK military to take out terrorists inside buildings
A DEADLY drone that can fly inside buildings and take out enemies with a mounted shotgun has been developed by the UK military.
The metre-wide killing machine hovers under six propellers and can identify targets using artificial intelligence before opening fire.
Engineers were able to build the unmanned weapon, called the i9, after overcoming the "wall suck" problem facing drones flying indoors.
This causes drones carrying heavy payloads to crash because of the air they displace in small rooms, The Times reports.
The Ministry of Defence developed the fighter with an undisclosed company specifically for use in urban settings.
That could include a building filled with armed personnel. Operated remotely, the drone would fly in and take out foes before soldiers infiltrate.
The current design is fitted with a twin barrel stabilised shotgun, although the craft could get a rocket or chain gun upgrade in future.
"UK Strategic Command has been developing a capability under Project i9 to develop an armed urban warfare unmanned aerial system (UAS)," MoD told MailOnline.
"Project i9 has successfully created a prototype capability, which is being used for experimentation with end users now.
"This type of UAS will reduce the threat to life of personnel by giving tactical commanders the option to send a remotely-controlled machine into dangerous scenarios rather than put personnel or military working dogs at significant risk."
The i9 is just a prototype for now, and the MoD hasn't provided any clues over when a full version will be ready for deployment.
The drone uses a camera powered by "machine vision" – which works like the software in self-driving cars – to identify targets and objects.
A mixture of AI and physics helps keep the weapon upright and stable in the air.
A solider operates the i9 remotely by watching its camera feed through a screen.
The operator chooses when to fire the shotgun after the drone has picked out targets. The craft cannot discharge its weapon using AI alone.
It's hoped the technology will make the "breach" part of urban missions, in which soldiers enter a building or compound, safer.
Significant casualties were suffered by the army in Afghanistan as troops entered buildings blockaded by armed combatants, according to The Times.
MoD told MailOnline they were not able to share a photo of the device because it was developed by a startup company in stealth mode.
That means it's in negotiations about Series A funding and so does not have a public profile.
The i9 won't be the UK military's only bit of killer drone tech.
Last month, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace unveiled a drone capable of dropping torpedoes and airlifting troops to safety.
Dubbed the T-400, the unmanned craft can carry heavy loads up to 12 miles and has been described as the "pick-up truck of the air".
Britain's armed forces are being reshaped to be "fit for tomorrow's battles, not fighting yesterday's", Mr Wallace said.
Terrifying space weapons of the future
Here are three of the scariest…
Rods from God
- A strange but utterly terrifying weapon has been dubbed "rods from the God" and is based on the concept of creating man-made meteorites that can be guided towards the enemy.
- Instead of using rocks rods the size of telephone poles are deployed.
- These would be made out of tungsten — a rare metal that can stand the intense heat generated by entering Earth's atmosphere.
- One satellite fires the rods towards the Earth's atmosphere while the other steers them to a target on the ground.
- Reaching speeds of 7000mph they hit the ground with the force of a small nuclear weapon — but crucially creating no radiation fall out.
- As bizarre as it sounds, a US Congressional report recently revealed the military has been pushing ahead with the kinetic space weapons.
Molten metal cannons
- This intriguing idea is being developed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
- It is called the Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition or MAHEM.
- This game changing rail-gun can fire a jet of molten metal, hurled through space at several hundred miles per second by the most powerful electromagnets ever built.
- The molten metal can then morph into an aerodynamic slug during flight and pierce through another spacecraft or satellite and a munition explodes inside.
Space force ships
- Already the United States is powering head with its spacecraft, although China is busy developing one of their own.
- The top secret American XS-1 under development by DARPA.
- It can travel ten times the speed of sound and launch missiles.
- Meanwhile an unmanned craft is currently being developed in the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Centre in Mianyang, Sichuan province, which is also known as Base 29.
In other news, the UK military is developing drones that drop torpedoes and airlift wounded troops, according to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
Russia recently showed off its "ground force" of killer robots in an unsettling video.
And here's how the Ancient Greeks predicted killer robots, driverless cars and even Amazon Alexa speakers.
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