Unmanned killer robots are the next target for worldwide militaries, and The Netherlands is leading the charge. In a surprising turn of events, the region has become the first NATO country to deploy automated weaponised ground vehicles in combat.
The Netherlands and Killer Robots
Constructed by Estonian defence company Milrem Robotics, The Netherlands has deployed unmanned ground vehicles in its military. These UGVs were revealed in a recent military press release, boasting the region’s technological prowess.
The military’s UGVs have been dubbed Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry Systems. Essentially, the killer robots are automated tanks, complete with treads, that can be outfitted with a variety of weapons for combat.
In a video released online, the THeMIS robots are shown moving through a forest and deploying a drone for soldiers to control. Afterwards, the automated tank spots an APC and takes it out with a .50 calibre machine gun turret.
While these types of unmanned vehicles have been seen before, this is the first time they’ve been deployed by a NATO country. At the time of writing, NATO has not restricted the use of automated weapons. However, the governmental body is looking to promote “legal interoperability” on AI and automation.
Advancement of military robotics
The introduction of UGVs into the military is going to become commonplace in modern warfare. As The Netherlands has introduced the technology, more NATO regions will adopt the same, or similar, hardware into their ranks.
Furthermore, other militaries are introducing more traditional robots. For example, weaponised robot dogs have been showcased numerous times. Russia recently unveiled a robot dog equipped with an RPG; Ghost Robotics also revealed a robot dog with a rifle on its back.
While charities such as Stop Killer Robots are fighting against military automation, worldwide governments are not paying attention. The United Nations has attempted to restrict the use of killer robots, but nations such as Russia and the United States have fought against regulation.
Killer robots are becoming commonplace. Just a few months ago, China unveiled plans for augmented soldiers and robots with weapons. However, no regulation is coming.