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Sea Drones Attack Russian Fleet
Remote-controlled boats were apparently used to attack Russian ships.
The small boat speeds toward a much larger ship in the distance, cutting through choppy waves and dodging gunfire, presumably from a helicopter shown hovering above. A now-viral video of its journey ends inconclusively, without showing its fate or what happened to what is suspected to be its intended target: Russia’s strategically important Black Sea Fleet.
The original source of the video and the origin of the vessel it was taken from remain unconfirmed. But military experts say they believe it to be footage from a remote-controlled attack on the Russian naval fleet off the Crimean port city of Sevastopol over the weekend — an attack that Russia said was carried by seven such boats accompanied by air drones, and has accused Ukraine of carrying out with British assistance.
Science fiction writers have described the use of sea-going drones or robots over the past several generations. Murray Leinster described the Wabbler, a kind of robotic munition, in a 1942 story of the same name:
Splash! The Wabbler plunged into the water with a flare of luminescence and a thirty-foot spout of spume and spray rising where it struck... It dived swiftly for twenty feet... Then its falling checked. It swung about, and its writhing tail settled down below it... and then slowly, it settled downward. Its ten-foot tail seemed to waver a little, as if groping.
In his new book The Mountain in the Sea, writer Ray Naylor describes an autofreighter that is able to attack and sink other boats:
The autofreighter smashed into the boat, breaking it in two and forcing both halves underwater. Nothing but splinters surfaced in the wake.
However, if you're really serious about this, you'd want the sea robot from E.K. Jarvis' 1943 story The Metal Monster:
Suddenly, from the direction of the sea, there came a shrill whistle. A few of the Uighur overseers and some of the slaves looked toward the sound. They had heard this whistle before. It came from the sea robot and it announced that this great monster was coming out of the ocean with another steel ship clutched in its mighty hands.
(The Sea Robot from 'The Metal Monster' by E.K. Jarvis)
Gradually the robot emerged from the water. It was holding a ship. Slowly, ponderously, it splashed toward the shore. It started toward the place where the wrecked ships were piled.
Original story via NYTimes.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/15/2022)
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