Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The future is here, and with it comes a potential replacement for combat troops: badass unmanned aerial vehicles that drop ordnance and take out enemy targets with a delightful arsenal of built-in armaments. Now, one company wants to to eliminate the need for boots on the ground altogether
In a video published on Aug. 8, Florida-based startup Duke Robotics bills the TIKAD, a gun-toting drone bristling with weapons, as “the future soldier.” Though the name suggests it’s an acronym, there’s no evidence to support that, but we think it might stand for “Totally Insane Killer Aerial Drone,” because it can go places that are too dangerous for troops.
Remotely piloted, the remote-controlled eight-rotor TIKAD can carry up to three times its weight and is equipped to man a variety of different weapons, including machine guns. And it can be operated by soldiers on a tablet from remote locations, according to Extreme Tech.
Duke Robotics is framing the TIKAD as a simple solution for a voting public exhausted by rising casualty count of America’s forever wars. “Troops can use TIKAD to handle potentially dangerous situations quickly and efficiently from the air, reducing the need to send our sons and daughters into harm’s way,” the company claims. “This technology also allows troops to potentially disarm a situation remotely, without ever deploying a ground presence.”
The Department of Defense is reportedly already impressed with TIKAD. In 2016, the drone was awarded two prizes by the Pentagon: The Security Innovation Award and first prize at the Combating Terrorism Technology Conference sponsored by the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, according to Guns.com.
“Warfare is inevitable,” the company says. “Mass casualties should not be. Our defense technology is changing constantly, but until now, there has never been a solution that truly prevents casualties.” The company hopes TIKAD will fill that need, but so far, only the Israeli military is has publicly voiced interested in TIKAD.
In its 2017 budget request, the Pentagon asked Congress for $4.61 billion for drones, less than in previous years, due to the drawdown, but we can only imagine that number will rise as drone warfare proves a safer, more efficient option for warfighting.
Task & Purpose reached out to Duke Robotics and will update as more information becomes available.
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.