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Israel developing weapons for futuristic battlefield


JERUSALEM (PTI): Israel defence industries, pioneers in many ways, are working on a futuristic battlefield scenario where armies use remotely operated robotic weapons on land, air and sea without a trace of any human soldier anywhere on the battleground.

This concept, once a part of science fiction could soon become a reality with self-detonating grenades, thinking bullets and robot warriors making humans on the battle frontline a thing of the past, daily Ha'aretz reported.

The first robotic systems are already being used by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and other armies across the world and only budgetary constraints seem to be keeping this away from becoming a reality, the report said.

But now, such a weaponry system could be in place in 2020s, the paper said.

A helicopter that spots suspicious movement on the ground will, for instance, would be able to relay a command to a drone to photograph the site and transmit the picture in real time to troops on the ground and to the command posts in the rear.

Soldiers manning specialised warfare computers will then be able to mark their target by its coordinates and launch missiles with the help of lasers from dozens of kilometres away to be guided by GPS, ensuring accuracy and destruction of the target.

The systems will be coded to prevent enemy interception of the operation.

Other possible developments in the not so distant future could see spy satellites that today weigh several tonnes shrinking down to anything between one and 100 kilograms or less, with engines the size of postage stamps.

Infantry rifles will also be computerised and fire "smart" rounds telling them when and where to explode. New rockets being thought of would also be 'able to think by themselves' to enhance their accuracy.

The new systems are being developed for the Israeli military's demands which have two cornerstones – miniaturisation and accuracy.

Though secrecy shrouds the new weapon systems development, but reports said these include remote controlled battleships, unmanned land vehicles and fighters and missiles and bombs which drop on targets with pin-point accuracy.

“The Protector, which we are already marketing, is a vessel that sails all over in all kinds of places without a living soul on board,” Roni Postman, Vice President for R&D at Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, told the daily.

"It can get close up to a terrorists' boat, address it through a loudspeaker, and open fire at it. In the past, a thing like this required a boat with seven or eight crewmen who were in constant danger," Postman said.

This type of remote control is one of the clearest characteristics of the future battlefield. It will be a battlefield devoid of troops, with vehicles doing what soldiers have done until now," he added.

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