Showing posts from May 17, 2015

Robot Ethics & Future War - Part II

by CAPT (ret) Wayne P. Hughes, Jr., USN, Professor of Practice, NPS, whughes(at)

Read Part I Here
In November 2010 the Naval Institute published its robotics essay contest winner, “How to
Fight an Unmanned War,” by Lieutenant James E. Drennan, a student in the Systems Engineering
Analysis curriculum at the Naval Postgraduate School. It is a brilliant piece, not least
because it is oriented around tactics. Drennan answers the who, where, when, how, and why
questions of combat that incorporates robots. A runner up in the competition is on the Naval
Institute web site: “Our Own Worst Enemy: Institutional Inertia and the Internal Challenges
of Embracing Robotics” by a former Marine, Nathan Hughes (no relation). He contends that
the greatest resistance to the development and deployment of robotic systems is neither in the
research and development community nor outside the Department of Defense. It is systemic
within DoD, created by “a robust and layered series of barrie…

Mine Warfare Unmanned Systems: US Allies are Moving Forward

By Dr. Franck Florin, CRUSER Member, VP International Technologies, Thales Defense & Security Inc.

During World War II, mines emerged as a major weapon and the British, German and American navies placed more than 215,000 mines in the seas (according to Chris Henry, Depth Charge, 2005). To date, despite constant clearing effort, more than 60% of the mines and unexploded ordnance from that period are still lying on the sea bed near European harbors and along major European navigation channels. In 2012 alone, the French Navy neutralized a total of 2,292 explosive devices in the country territorial waters (50% in the Channel between France and UK, 30% in the Atlantic and 20% in the Mediterranean Sea).

With tens of thousands of unexploded ordnances to clear and many international operations abroad to support United Nations peace keeping and NATO crisis management, the European navies need cutting edge technologies to support their Mine Warfare (MIW) effort. This was recognized by the Eur…