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Could killer robots like Maximilian from the 1979 film Black Hole become reality? Walt Disney Productions

Australia should take a stand against ‘killer robots’

We need to ban lethal autonomous weapons, or "killer robots", as we have done with biological weapons, land mines and blinding lasers, and Australia should take a leading role in making that happen.
Crewed submarines like the HMAS Rankin might become a thing of the past. United States Navy, Photographer's Mate 1st Class David A. Levy

Could robot submarines replace the ageing Collins class?

Autonomous submarines might do for naval warfare what drones are doing for air warfare. So should Australia consider autonomous subs as a replacement for the Collins class?
A submarine missile-launching capacity brings the threat closer to the shores of the target country. Flickr/Marion Doss

North Korea’s submarine missile firing raises the nuclear stakes

North Korea does not yet have the capacity to launch a nuclear missile from a submarine. Its recent test, however, suggests it is making progress to a game-changing second-strike capability.
A MQ-9 Reaper Drone has an operational cost one-fifth of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter. So should drones replace soldiers in military warfare? US Air Force

Drones are cheap, soldiers are not: a cost-benefit analysis of war

Cost is largely absent in the key debates around the use of unmanned drones in war, even though drones are a cost-effective way of achieving national security objectives. Many of the common objections…
It’s not a game: RAF pilots controlling a UAV at Kandahar Airport. Defence Images

Killing with drones is not ‘easy’

The Reaper drone pilot and sensor operator stared intently at the bank of screens in front of them, their concentration fixed on one individual. Their target had been identified by more than one intelligence…
Floating nuclear power station under construction. Rosenergoatom

Russia’s floating nuclear plants to power remote Arctic regions

Though Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of oil and gas, it is embarking on an ambitious and somewhat imaginative programme of building floating nuclear power stations. These are part of Russia’s…

Prepare for more drones, and less all-out war

Much of the current debate about drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs) is about whether their deployment to countries such as Pakistan and Yemen is legal or ethical. This debate is predominantly focused…
Sorouq lost her sisters to bomb attacks in Syria, but the best way to help is to stay away. Save the Children / Hedinn Halldorsson

Weep for the children, but stay out of Syria

A grief-stricken father tenderly hands over the shrouded body of his tiny daughter to be placed in the mass grave. Surgical masks are being worn in the hope that they will ward off the chemical death that…
Sendai, Japan after the 2011 tsunami: imagine nature’s destruction at the push of a button. US Navy

The strange military origins of environmentalism

The words “environmentalism” and “military” are not typically found in the same sentence. Yet ideas about our vulnerability to environmental change are directly linked to military plans for a third world…
The Legged Squad Support System has been designed to accompany war fighters into battle. Boston Dynamics

Meet Boston Dynamics’ LS3 – the latest robotic war machine

On first viewing Boston Dynamics’ latest creation, the LS3 (Legged Squad Support System), I could not help but be taken back to the AT-AT (All Terrain Armoured Transport) walker, as depicted in the Star…

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