Go to contents

[Opinion] Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Posted November. 06, 2002 23:08,   


Science has now become an integral part of human warfare. After the First and Second World War, the world went through a great advancement in science. And the cutting-edge electronic technology has in turn changed the nature of a war completely. A war, with all the electronic equipment, now looks more and more like a computer war game. Besides the high-tech command control system, we will soon see an electronic revolution in combat fields. The Bush Administration poured an astronomical amount of money into building a futuristic combat system comprising unmanned spy planes, reconnaissance robots and robot armored-vehicles. And under the spotlight is the project for unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs.

▷It was in the 1982 Lebanon war that an unmanned aerial vehicle was first introduced in the modern-day warfare. At that time, the Syrian forces were fortifying their line of defense at the Valley of Becca against the Israeli Army. Then, the Israelis sent its newly developed unmanned aircraft named `Scout` over the air of Becca Valley and shot missiles at the Syrian forces. With the unmanned aircraft, the Israelis were able to spot the Syria`s radar base and destruct it more than 80% in a crucial battle leading to their victory. After the war, countries across the world began to build unmanned airplanes in earnest, and it is now believed that an unmanned fighter jet is now at a trial stage after development.

▷A U.S. unmanned aircraft named `Predator` shot missiles at a car over a highway located northwest of Yemen two days ago. It was reported that a key Al Qaeda member was killed in the car explosion. Predator is an unmanned helicopter fully equipped with high-tech gadgets such as a high-resolution camera with a visibility of 4km ahead, a weather radar and an infrared detector. The operation proved the unmanned helicopter`s ability to zero in on a target more precisely than missiles fired from a fighter jet or cruise missiles controlled by satellites.

▷Advanced science now makes a remote-controlled assassination possible. Sitting in a control room located far apart, they now can spot the location of their enemy through real-time video images, press the button to shot a missile at the enemy and check the magnitude of the explosion. And we wonder what the state of mind of the soldiers who press the missile button is like compared to that of the soldiers who used to exchange fires with his enemy at a battlefield. If they feel just as easy as gamers kill their enemies on a computer screen, the thought of living that kind of world just horrifies us.

Song Mung-hong, Editorial Writer, songmh@donga.com