South Korea is creating a ‘dronebot’ military unit that could swarm North Korea
South Korean Army official quoted as saying dronebot technology could be a ‘game changer’ in warfare
By Ben Brimelow
South Korea appears to be developing large-scale drone swarms for military use.
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports that the military will create a specialised unit that will utilise drone swarm technology on the battlefield. This comes just two months after the South Korean government made public that they are planning a “decapitation unit” which could conduct cross-border raids and kill North Korean leaders.
The technology in question has been called “dronebot” — a combination of the words “drone” and “robot.” A South Korean Army official told Yonhap that it could be “a ‘game changer’ in warfare.”
“You could use them for assassination strikes or you could use them for preventative strikes,” Harry Kazianis, director of defence studies at the Centre for the National Interest, told CNBC. “If you build them cheap enough and build enough of them you almost have a situation like it’s the ‘Terminator’ — basically having drones and robotic weapon systems.
North Korea is also supposedly developing its own drone force. Earlier this year, the The Korea Institute for National Unification reported that North Korea could have as many as 1,000 drones that could carry explosive, chemical, or biological weapons.
Though drones swarms are probably better suited for reconnaissance, analysts believe that they may be able to destroy soft targets, and could even ambush leaders like Kim Jong Un if he were travelling in a convoy or at a public event.
The drones could be used in a similar fashion as depicted in “Slaughterbots,” a short film made by the Future of Life Institute and University of California at Berkeley professor Stuart Russell. The film depicts a dystopian future where killer drone swarms in the hands of unknown criminals terrorise society.
Though that video was intended as a warning, the militaries of China, Russia, the US, and Israel are reportedly researching the concept.