China’s “Drone Swarms” Highlight Global Robotic Warfare Arms Race
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Update on the global drone arms race.
It has been predicted that the development of drone surveillance by the U.S. would spark a global race to develop new drone capabilities, leading to a potentially dystopian future of drone wars where combat and even assassinations can be performed by fleets of insect-like microbots. The Washington Post reported in July, 2011:
More than 50 countries have purchased surveillance drones, and many have started in-country development programs for armed versions because no nation is exporting weaponized drones beyond a handful of sales between the United States and its closest allies. (Source)
We are already seeing this take place in both air and sea, as myriad unmanned drones are taking flight from research laboratories across the world. Drones have even taken to the high-seas, as navies begin to “build fleets of crewless boats capable of missions on and under the water, according to maritime experts,” as discussed at Military.com.
Much like nuclear weapons, it seems as though this genie is not likely to find its way back into the bottle. A new report released by Project 2049 Institute reveals that China has taken the rise of the American drone quite seriously and has been investing just as heavily in drone surveillance and weapons capabilities. All indications are that they are quickly catching up to the world’s leader.