Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule

Science fiction writer Keith Laumer was well-known to fans for his Bolo tank stories. Bolos eventually were fully autonomous weapons:

"My hull, my proud hull of chrome-duralloy, is pitted, coated with a crumbling layer of dull black paint, bubbled by corrosion. My main emplacements gape, black, empty. Rusting protuberances mar the once-smooth contour of my fighting turret...

"But I cannot lie idle under attack. I no longer have my great ion-guns, my disruptors, my energy screens; but I have my fighting instinct. "

"A Mark XXXI Combat Unit is the finest fighting the ancient wars of the Galaxy have ever known. I am not easily neutralized..."
(Read more about Bolo tanks)

In our time, though, we're just watching the development of these tank-treaded autonomous weapon systems.

For example, Kalashnikov's BAS-01G Соратник (Soratnik - meaning "companion") is a seven ton robotic vehicle that will carry a machine gun and antitank missiles. Most importantly, it also is capable of operating on its own, with some degree of autonomy.


(Соратник (Soratnik - meaning "companion"))

Soratnik is fitted with a 7.62mm Kalashnikov PKTM machine gun that can be swapped out for a 12.7mm heavy machine gun, grenade launchers and up to eight Kornet guided missiles with a range of three miles.

Russia has further plans to create a "big brother" to Soratnik, a 20-ton robotic tank on a par with the U.S. Army's M1126 Stryker ICV.

Russia's plucky neighbor Estonia is getting its own autonomous tank weapons systems online.


(THeMIS ADDER in combat)

The THeMIS ADDER, a joint project by Milrem and ST Kinetics, is shown in action with the Estonian Defence Forces in the bottom clip– complete with gun camera footage.

Via NextBigFuture and guns.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/1/2017)

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