The murderous HAL 9000 from Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'

If the Navy gets its way, the service will soon boast a fleet of unmanned warships capable of taking on a variety of missions, from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to surface warfare and strike missions. But there's one critical capability that every single one of those future warships will require: speech.

Well, sort of. The Navy is currently on the hunt for a specialized bridge-to-bridge radio system for unmanned surface vessels that will allow the robot warships to "talk" to other vessels by converting standard VHF transmissions to data and vice versa, according to a new posting on the Pentagon's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) website.

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(U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Tanner Seims)

Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

At 2nd Marine Division in North Carolina, troops who have spent their careers shooting at static bull's-eyes on paper are being forced to adapt to a new kind of target — one that can charge at them, move in unexpected directions, respond when engaged and even shout at them in a foreign language.

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There are #squadgoals, and then there are squad goals — and only one of them includes a potential future accompanied by autonomous robots.

Hot on the heels of the Marine Corps's head-to-toe overhaul of infantry rifle squads, a handful of grunts at the Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California recently conducted field testing alongside a handful of autonomous surrogate vehicles engineered by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Squad X Experimentation program.

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If you thought that viral video of a dog-like robot opening doors was a bit to creepy for your liking, then fasten your fucking seatbelt: the South Korean military is getting serious about deploying mechanical birds, snakes, and other animal-inspired military robots downrange in the next five years, which sounds like a Transformers-inspired fever dream turned real.

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The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) transits the Hood Canal as it returns home Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington, following the boat's first strategic patrol since 2013. (U.S. Navy/ Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray)

The U.S. naval fleet of the future may one day include submarines without a sailor from bow to stern that prowl the depths of the ocean, navigating mine-infested waters to gather intelligence or even clandestinely drop explosives.

The military views autonomous vehicles as a way to accomplish missions deemed too risky, mundane or expensive for human crews. While aerial drones have largely been tasked with these types of duties for more than a decade, the Navy is now increasingly funding robotic ships and undersea drones to complement the work done by its crewed vessels.

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The Navy is bulking up its fleet of autonomous robot vessels with the purchase of a cadre of four of Boeing's extremely large and incredibly grandiose unmanned Orca submarines.

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