Secret Killing Weapon? DARPA has the Answer
Paul Joseph Watson asks “What Is The Secret Killing Weapon In Iraq?” My guess is Robobugs.
The hints given by Woodward on Larry King Live, suggest to me, the new weapon likely has an advanced targeting capability. Either it finds and attacks specific targets with ease like never before, or it has capabilities to get close enough to call in the missiles - probably a combination of both.
Woodward’s own paper last year had a substantial article called “Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs.” “[T]he CIA secretly developed a simple dragonfly snooper as long ago as the 1970s. And given recent advances, even skeptics say there is always a chance that some agency has quietly managed to make something operational,” writes Rick Weiss. And: “Robotic fliers have been used by the military since World War II, but in the past decade their numbers and level of sophistication have increased enormously. Defense Department documents describe nearly 100 different models in use today, some as tiny as birds, and some the size of small planes.”
The spying capabilities of such technology is the first step. From the same article:
Vanessa Alarcon saw them while working at an antiwar rally in Lafayette Square last month.
“I heard someone say, ‘Oh my god, look at those,’ ” the college senior from New York recalled. “I look up and I’m like, ‘What the hell is that?’ They looked kind of like dragonflies or little helicopters. But I mean, those are not insects.”
Out in the crowd, Bernard Crane saw them, too.
“I’d never seen anything like it in my life,” the Washington lawyer said. “They were large for dragonflies. I thought, ‘Is that mechanical, or is that alive?’ ”
That is just one of the questions hovering over a handful of similar sightings at political events in Washington and New York. Some suspect the insectlike drones are high-tech surveillance tools, perhaps deployed by the Department of Homeland Security.
From there, it is easy to develop lethal capabilities. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) started out that way, but have now evolved into the Predator class. And with all the money that has been poured into UAVs, minituarized “RoboBugs” (Entomopters or Ornithopters or MAVs) seems like the natural progress of things.
A fully functional, lethal robotic insect would cause quite a problem for insurgents.
CES 2008: The Da Vinci Inspired MAV
Researchers have been fascinated with the idea of ornithopters — aircraft propelled by flapping wings — for two hundred years.
It’s called “Mentor.” And this tiny machine looks “like a cross between a dragonfly and a Chinese lantern.”
Mentor came into being in response to a vision of a “fly-on-the-wall spy” put forward by James McMichael at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1997. He envisioned stealth “micro-air vehicles” with the size and flying ability of insects deployed to gather intelligence on enemy terrain.
Flapping wings offer several advantages over the fixed wings of today’s reconnaissance drones, such as the Predator used by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Flapping wings allow insects and birds to fly at low speeds, hover, make sharp turns and even fly backward.