back to article Strato-droids to mate in upper atmos, exchange vital juices

Flying robots can more or less do it all. They can take off, navigate, land themselves, shoot missiles at other aircraft while in flight, mow down hapless fleshies on the ground beneath, follow people about and drop leaflets. So far, though, they have not yet managed - all on their own - one of the most difficult piloting feats …


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  1. Dale 3

    No more war

    This is great. Eventually all the aircraft in operation will be unmanned, all flying around and shooting each other down without any real difference being made to anything, while the rest of us can sit back and watch the "war" on TV. Makes Cops With Cameras positively dull.

    1. qwertyuiop

      @Dale 3

      "...without any real difference being made to anything..."

      So you don't think the bits of dead robot plane falling out of the sky will hit anything or anybody?

    2. Goat Jam


      What makes you think that the USA will be content shooting at other robot planes? Why would they change their current SOP which is to send increasing numbers of unmanned drones on missile strike operations against ground targets. Ground targets which presumably contain living human beings.

      Am I the only one who is becoming increasingly disturbed by the way the US military is putting a lot of effort into dehumanizing the whole killing process?

      It is by no accident I assure you. People who can't see the human face of the targets they are destroying tend to feel a lot less guilt and remorse afterwards.

      The biggest enemy that the US military has is the American public. When the American public sees bodies in bags (on either side) they start to get upset and start asking whether the Pentagons war de jour is really worth it after all.

      The ability to have some soccer mom who can spend 9 to 5 piloting death and destruction via remote control and then go home to cook her family meal afterwards is a great way of winning the PR battle against the population.

      The more killing comes to look like a video game the easier the Pentagons PR job will be.

  2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother


    its not paranoia if its true...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Two Words

    Electronic Warfare

    See this:,1518,686670,00.html

    Certainly there exist countermeasures to jamming, but if the stupid drone is fighting a serious nation state, I would not bet that they are 100% effective.

    Also, any electronic emanations and even optical emanations can be triangulated and then it's just a matter of launching an S-400 missile, which has a range of more than 200kms.

    Fleshy pilots often operate in electronic silence or at least time intervals of silence for very good reasons, and they can make lots of intelligent decision your crapware (aka "AI") can't possibly make.

  4. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Well done Lewis

    I think you've earned your pint for the day - and it's not even lunchtime.

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      Just Because... are paranoid does not mean they aren't after you.

      Wow that fukker (in the photo) is ALL engine. Once you put the pilot in an air conditioned hut in North Las Vegas, you can do the "job" for 1/256 of the price of a piloted bomber.

  5. EddieD

    I dunno, kids these days...

    Eny fule nos it's a /flying/ fuck you take at a rolling doughnut.

  6. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Re-fueling from tankers not enough

    Our killer robot overlords will not be able to achieve complete aerial dominance until they are able to siphon their fuel from passing passenger aircraft. So humanity must have at least half a decade of dominance left before the inevitable Rise of the Machines. The spate of unexplained airliner crashes will be our first warning. Watch for this being explained away as the effects of a 'volcanic ash cloud'. A ludicrous notion, have the Met Office been infiltrated?

    Our very own MOD have certainly been overrun by the machine intelligences as well as DARPA. How else can one explain the fact that our satellite communications system is called Skynet? I've seen that documentary on TV, I think it was called 'The Terminator'?

    This would also explain the legendary waste and procurement incompetence - they are simply diverting the cash in order to fund important projects like the infiltration of Google and Apple. Jobs and Schmidt have already been replaced. Once all the fleshies are carrying so called smartphones with inbuilt GPS tracking, the harvesting of the meatsacks will be made immeasurably easier.

    Facebook may also be a part of the plan. It will be much easier to infiltrate the resistance if they have available details of the friendship groups of most of humanity with which to program the terminators. I have been unable to determine if Zuckerberg has been replaced - or if he was a Skynet operative from the beginning... He did famously once describe his users as dumb f****. What if the word fleshies was hidden behind those asterisks?

  7. Dr Who

    Top Gun

    They must be close, I'm getting an AARD on.

  8. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    You Sir,

    Win the internets for this:

    "Wearing the still-living skin and subcutaneous fat of human DARPA program manager Jim McCormick like a fleshy cloak, an unidentified robot-assassin spokesman stated yesterday:"

  9. Anonymous Coward

    More descriptive

    Given that airborne refueling is a 3-dimensional activity, a more accurate description would be "taking a flying fuck at a tossed doughnut".

  10. LINCARD1000


    Keyword "doughnuts"... nice :-D

  11. Cerbus

    I need a fresh coffee now

    "Wearing the still-living skin and subcutaneous fat of human DARPA program manager Jim McCormick like a fleshy cloak, an unidentified robot-assassin spokesman stated yesterday:"

    Absolute class!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Oh but can it do beer delivery

    Just wanted to add my own lollipop to the commentard pile, thanks folks....

  13. druck Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    A win for the meatbag

    The Register writes: "Flying robots can more or less do it all. They can take off, navigate, land themselves, shoot missiles at other aircraft while in flight"

    No, that was a manned Mig25 shooting down a UAV, a win for the meatbag.

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