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An Unmanned Artificial Intelligence-Guided Chinese Submarine Fleet: What Could Go Wrong?
The South China Morning Post reported on July 23rd that the Chinese Academy of Sciences is pursuing designs for a fleet of unmanned autonomous underwater submarines. These submersibles would be able to take on a docket of missions, from whale tracking to anti-carrier kamikaze ops. And the ace up China's sleeve to make this a reality is artificial intelligence.
The use of unmanned underwater vehicles — UUVs — has been ongoing since the mid-’60s. However, the large majority of these drones, including the U.S.’s, have been controlled remotely by a human operator at the surface or in another sub. Maintaining control over a submerged drone is difficult under the best circumstances. But China’s fearless embrace of a possible robot uprising has conquered all that, supposedly. With AI at the helm, the limitations of remote human controls are theoretically eliminated.
The downsides, though, are many. An AI-driven sub could go rogue and attack a tanker or a random blue whale. Perhaps it could surface and fire on a British frigate to incite a war for TV ratings, like in a certain James Bond film. But even if you don’t speculate on the apocalyptic possibilities, you have to admit that self-driving drone subs could moot maritime law awfully fast, providing new legal challenges, just like the headaches aerial drones have created for aviation authorities.
CTG 56.1 conducts Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Training in the 5th Fleet AOR.U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonah Stepanik/Released
Some of those murky legal waters washed up in 2016, when the Chinese Navy seized a (remotely piloted) U.S. underwater drone in the South China Sea; the wayward unmanned vehicle was eventually released, but the possibilities for mishap and mayhem remain almost limitless if a fleet of armed submarines starts trawling around the world’s oceans and something goes wrong.
China isn’t the only one looking into “Extra Large Underwater Unmanned Vehicles,” or XLUUVs. Uncle Sam’s favorite defense corporations are gearing up to outfit the U.S. Navy with its own fleet of terrifying artificial intelligence driven ocean-dwellers. Lockheed Martin and Boeing have each been given over $40 million to start designing the XLUUV of the future. Submarine fights of the 21st century are looking less The Hunt For Red October and more like an episode of Battle Bots.
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New London — Retired four-star general John Kelly said that as President Donald Trump's chief of staff, he pushed back against the proposal to deploy U.S. troops to the southern border, arguing at the time that active-duty U.S. military personnel typically don't deploy or operate domestically.
"We don't like it," Kelly said in remarks at the Coast Guard Academy on Thursday night. "We see that as someone else's job meaning law enforcement."
These 'kamikaze' drones are believed to be the culprits of the attacks on 2 Saudi oil fields. Here's what we know about them
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Yemen's Houthi rebel group, part of a regional network of militants backed by Iran, claims to be behind the drone strikes on two Saudi oil facilities that have the potential to disrupt global oil supplies.
A report from the United Nations Security Council published in January suggests that Houthi forces have obtained more powerful drone weaponry than what was previously available to them, and that the newer drones have the capability to travel greater distances and inflict more harm.
The U.S. Air Force has selected two companies to make an extreme cold-weather boot for pilots as part of a long-term effort to better protect aviators from frostbite in emergencies.
In August the service awarded a contract worth up to $4.75 million to be split between Propel LLC and the Belleville Boot Company for boots designed keep pilots' feet warm in temperatures as low as -20 Fahrenheit without the bulk of existing extreme cold weather boots, according to Debra McLean, acquisition program manager for Clothing & Textiles Domain at Air Force Life Cycle Management Command's Agile Combat Support/Human Systems Division.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran rejected accusations by the United States that it was behind attacks on Saudi oil plants that risk disrupting world energy supplies and warned on Sunday that U.S. bases and aircraft carriers in the region were in range of its missiles.
Yemen's Houthi group claimed responsibility for Saturday's attacks that knocked out more than half of Saudi oil output or more than 5% of global supply, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the assault was the work of Iran, a Houthi ally.
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.