back to article In the West, we're worried about shooting down drones. In Russia, drones shoot you

Russian engineers have turned a humble drone into a formidable terrifying cataclysmic weapons platform, by, well, strapping a gun to it. The flying gizmo was designed by Russian students in 2016, and completed this year, according to military blog C4ISRNET. Russia’s Federal Service for Intellectual Property later granted the …

  1. jake Silver badge

    I've known a few folks ...

    ... who illegally fiddled about with mounting small semiautomatics on drones and/or other model aircraft. It always seemed to me to be asking for trouble ... The thought of somebody doing the whiskey throttle thing with an armed drone and thus qualifying for a Darwin award strikes me as having a rather high probability of happening ... Murphy (or Sod, depending on jurisdiction) was quite emphatic about that.

    Did I mention it's illegal (at least here in the US)? Don't try it, kiddies, the feds take a very dim view of this kind of shenanigans.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: I've known a few folks ...

      "the feds take a very dim view of this kind of shenanigans."

      Only when it's the Feds that are not doing it themselves.

      Cool video though....amazed it handled the recoil as well as it did.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: I've known a few folks ...

        Re: "feds not doing it themselves" ... see macjules excellent satire below.

        Re: recoil ... we have no way of knowing what kind of loads they were shooting. Just barely powerful enough to cycle the action reliably would be my guess.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Recoil is irrelevant

          For the "use" this would generally be put to. Imagine a sniper with a drone that has a gyro mounted rifle. He can hide it somewhere nearby the night before, be in a safe location while he powers it up, flies it where it has line of sight to the target, aims the gun and fires. Even if the recoil of a powerful rifle causes the drone to fall out of the sky who cares - if your aim is good you only need one shot. If you need more assurance, you have four drones and four snipers taking the shot at once (so if your target has people guarding him, they might hear/see one or two drones rise and take them out but not all of them)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've known a few folks ...

          > Re: recoil ... we have no way of knowing what kind of loads they were shooting.

          Might be better to point the gun backwards, and then the recoil gives you an extra power boost?

          1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

            Re: I've known a few folks ...

            I think the XKCD guy did a 'what if' about a firearm-powered vehicle... Verdict was that it was feasible, albeit it highly dangerous

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: I've known a few folks ...

              You think that's highly dangerous, google Project Orion for some serious weaponry powered vehicle ideas.

            2. Baldrickk Silver badge

              Re: feasible...

              Only if you have a huge supply of bullets that only have mass when loaded into the breach and fired.

              Bullets as fuel don't really give a high delta-v.

              https://what-if.xkcd.com/21/ by the way

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've known a few folks ...

          I am not a weapons buff, but generally recoil throws of a stationary weapon.

          So, as the weapon has a fair bit forward moving momentum, would that not cancel out a lot of recoil by itself? Or at least the "backward" pushing fraction of recoil, with only the barrel rise remaining?

          If anyone is better in (ballistic) physics, I'd love to hear a bit of theorizing on that.

          1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

            Re: I've known a few folks ...

            Other way round. The problem is the recoil cancelling out the forward mechanism causing the plane to plummet to the ground (or at least leading to a significant loss of control). The movement of the gun won't affect the way the bullet behaves – from a physics point of view the moving gun is just another inertial frame of reference (look it up).

            As for rise that is entirely dependent on how the barrel is positioned with respect to the plane's centre of mass and its aerodynamic surfaces. I'm not an aeronautical engineer but I suspect that there was one on the team who new what they were doing since the plane isn't doing any backflips that I can see.

            1. Andytug

              Re: I've known a few folks ...

              Apparently that is the case with the Fairchild A-10, which is basically a ginormous Gatling gun with wings and engines. The firing barrel has to be dead centre to avoid upsetting the aircraft (so the gun is a bit off centre), and it can only be fired in short bursts, because if you fired the whole ammo belt in one go it would stop dead and fall out of the sky like a brick due to the recoil. (The shells are 30mm and it fires 3900 a minute.....)

              1. Rustbucket

                Re: I've known a few folks ...

                The gun is ON the centre line, the cockpit and the pilot are mounted slightly to the side.

                As well as the recoil, there's also the problem of the gun's exhaust gas possibly causing the engines to snuff if you fire long bursts. However as only a few seconds of fire of 30mm depleted uranium shells are enough to shred a tank, long bursts are a waste of ammo.

                1. mad_dr

                  Re: I've known a few folks ...

                  I thought the cannon was mounted off-centre but the firing barrel was positioned to be on-centre of the airframe? Also, I thought that when they tested the recoil forces they found that it had negligible impact on the aircraft?

                  Still, it's very impressive to see one of the GAU cannons with ammo drum placed alongside the plane itself - a flying cannon is a pretty accurate description of the A-10. BRRRRRRT

      2. itzman
        Mushroom

        Re: I've known a few folks ...

        I never saw it fire. Just the plane, then cut to a shot of a burst balloon.

        I assumed it was faked and the balloon was burst by someone on the ground with a shotgun

        1. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: I've known a few folks ...

          That's not a cut, it's a pan.

          Camera work could be better.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: I've known a few folks ...

      Sadly, that genie's out of the bottle and armed drones have & are being used in places like Syria and Israel.

      (or even the east of England in the early '80s where a young me made a balsa bomber. Which turned into a bit of forensics training trying to find the RC unit, motors and battery. It's a threat that's been around ever since boys met affordable RC aircraft. Luckily policing was different in those times, as in 'That was quite clever, but also very stupid, wasn't it son?' and other words of advice/caution, not being thrown in jail on terrorism charges.)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: I've known a few folks ...

        The same folks I mention above first tried it with RC boats shooting .22 shorts. Until a round ricocheted off the water and lodged in a bystander's leg ... that's when they moved it into the air. Why they thought this would somehow be safer is beyond me ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've known a few folks ...

        I fully expect that we will also see those gadgets outside of regions at war sometime soon. Think... well, think border security. That there right now is a juicy market and such devices seem like a tailor made solution. I am sure the usual suspects in the industry already have design sketches and marketing phrases in the drawer.

    3. cyberdemon
      Black Helicopters

      We're doomed.

      In the west, this kind of "innovation" is gets you thrown in jail. In russia, you can be granted a patent on this shit and the state will buy it.

      I dread to think what's going on in China.. Since they don't post on YouTube we won't know until they come humming round the corner.

      What brexiting twats like Gavin Williamson fail to realise is, we have no "hard power" to use. If it came to war, we would stand a snowball's chance in hell. It's one thing shooting at poor uneducated arabs who have nothing but antique and makeshift weaponry, but we really have no idea what it's like fighting a war with modern weaponry on both sides. WWII is almost gone from living memory.

      Call me a tinfoil-hat-wearer, but I'm pretty convinced that there's a little club of powerful russian and chinese men somewhere, who are rubbing their hands with glee after their little game of psychological operations and divide-and-rule.

      Britain's "sovereign" parliament is in complete disarray and will probably never be able to make a decision on anything ever again, America is still trying to impeach its lunatic president, and little fascist parties are gaining ground all over Europe.

      Honestly, I can see western society collapsing all on its own even without direct foreign intervention. Then someone steps in to "keep the peace".

      When it all stabilises, we will wonder what this notion of "freedom" was, before quickly putting it out of our minds for fear of being flagged for unusual behaviour by the AI powered surveillance state, and getting a visit from the thought police.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: We're doomed.

        It's one thing shooting at poor uneducated arabs who have nothing but antique and makeshift weaponry, but we really have no idea what it's like fighting a war with modern weaponry on both sides. WWII is almost gone from living memory.

        Never underestimate people with a cause they're prepared to die for. So Yemen. One of the world's biggest spending militaries, Saudi, facing off against an unruly asymmetric mob. Who do the usual chant of 'death to America, death to Israel', demonstrating that geography perhaps isn't their strong point. But they seem adept at insurgency and hit & run attacks against Saudi installations, equipment, convoys etc.

        On most of the videos, people ask why the Houthis don't take the APCs and other vehicles. Simple reason, they're easy targets and need a logistics base to support. So they just help themselves to weapons, ammo and stuff they can lug around to the next attack or ambush. OK, so much of Europe doesn't have the same kind of terrain, but is heavily urbanised.. which is also a pig to pacify.. Hence the first-world solution of bombing or artillery barrages, even though they're technically illegal. And lead to chanting insurgents giving a major military power a rather hard time.

        Drones and RC stuff are just things devious minds can try and re-purpose.

        1. crayon

          Re: We're doomed.

          "Who do the usual chant of 'death to America, death to Israel', demonstrating that geography perhaps isn't their strong point."

          I'm not going to pass judgement on their grasp of geography, but unlike you, they do know their geopolitics. Like the fact that until relatively recently the US were refueling the Saudi jets that are used to bomb mainly non-military targets.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: We're doomed.

            And the fact Jeremy 'Two-Face' *unt is trying to get Germany to lift their ban on selling arms to the Saudis.

            1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

              Re: We're doomed.

              Takes a Brexiter with the attention span of a mayfly to complain that Germany is insufficiently militaristic at the same time that his mates are complaining about a nonexistent EU army.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              RE: Jeremy 'Two-Face' *unt

              Do you mean Jeremy 'Pain-Profiteer' *unt?

              1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                Re: RE: Jeremy 'Two-Face' *unt

                He goes by many names. Take care not to speak the same one three times in a row. Trust me on this.

        2. cyberdemon
          Devil

          Re: We're doomed.

          @jellied Eel

          I'm not so much worried about re-purposed RC aircraft (actually the one in the video was a lot more than that, given that it incorporated the gun as a structural element into a quite innovative fixed-wing VTOL design, with an unusual control scheme, which I suspect is what's behind the patent).

          I'm far more worried about what well-resourced large corporations can do with government backing and a manufacturing supply chain geared up to produce by the millions. Imagine that thing, but with the same on-board AI computing power, "thoughtful product design" and mass-production efficiency of the DJI Mavic.

          * ActiveTrack allows you to track "subjects" effortlessly * Utilises FlightAutonomy technology to sense obstacles up to 15m away, so the Mavic can "avoid" accidents * Forward & downward vision sensors let the Mavic hover precisely indoors or in places without GPS * New OcuSync transmission technology with a range of 4.3miles for video streaming * all for a bargain price of £900 * just add explosives

          Those things are quite terrifying in terms of what they could do if someone decided to turn them into a weapon. (imagine a swarm of them coming at you like a Cylon missile strike, each one independently picking and tracking its own target)

          Luckily though, DJI have made them into "unhackable black boxes" that always obey local government airspace restrictions, and could never ever be used for anything nefarious. Isn't that nice of them?

          Actually, DJI drones cannot be used in any UK defence contracts, since the things are so murky in terms of what they are really doing inside.. plus of course they are in constant encrypted communication with China via the phone app that you MUST use if you want anything beyond basic manual 2-stick control. When you consider that all major chinese companies are "encouraged" to have a "party committee" at board level to ensure the company is serving the interests of the party, you can see why the UK/US militaries are worried about using their tech.

          There's been an arms race going on, but because we were so distracted by those pesky terrists stealing our oil, we have failed to notice the starting gun.

          Like I said, we're doomed.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: We're doomed.

            Those things are quite terrifying in terms of what they could do if someone decided to turn them into a weapon. (imagine a swarm of them coming at you like a Cylon missile strike, each one independently picking and tracking its own target)

            Someone probably will. The Russian thing was neat as it shows a potentially low-cost solution to a growing problem. Using a shotgun makes sense given the objective and less need for accuracy, and easier to manage than say, an AK firing full auto. But the drones used in Syria have had things like mortar bombs as payloads and don't need to be very complex. And if you can make one that can carry a 10kg payload, then a version built around an RPG-32 would be rather nasty.

            Given Israel's use of drones to assassinate their enemies, I'd be pretty certain Hamas are working on something like that.. especially if they're receiving technology transfer from states. So RPG-32's have been used in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and captured. So a lot of rather nasty ordnance kicking around the region. Then there's low-cost 3D printing & CNC machines, and parts like gyros, GPS modules and brains like Arduinos..

            So yes, we're probably doomed.

      2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: We're doomed.

        Call me a tinfoil-hat-wearer

        You're a tinfoil hat wearer

        I'm pretty convinced that there's a little club of powerful russian and chinese men somewhere, who are rubbing their hands with glee after their little game of psychological operations and divide-and-rule.

        Most politicians in 'western' countries seem to be doing that all by themselves. Unless you're suggestimg that Russia and China have a hand in controlling the IMF and Worldbank as well, as these are steering the austerity measures that drive regular citizens to the edge of financial ruin and desperation, paving the way for demagogues like Trump, Le Penn and Orban to take root, left and right wing extremism, with all the 'interesting times' that come with fomenting extreme views on both sides of the aisle.

        History repeating itself, but nobody seems to learn from past mistakes. Unless the IMF and Worldbank are intentionally implementing austerity exactly for this reason.

        1. cyberdemon
          Devil

          Re: We're doomed.

          Well, if it's 'History repeating itself' as you say, then will it be Revolutionary France, Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, Cultural Revolution China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, or Slobodan Milosevic's Yugoslavia?

          In each case, it's always the educated people like you and I (the so-called 'liberal elite' this time) who get murdered by the uneducated masses and their populist leaders, while the real rich & powerful who have actually caused the major fuck-ups (e.g. rees-mogg, farage, raaaab & co) generally get to flee.

          Honestly, I would prefer to be annihilated in a nuclear blast than get hacked to death by a machete-wielding mob, or my starving neighbour who wants the contents of my cupboard. Nuclear war is optimistic, as far as I'm concerned :(

          Our society is so fragile now, you'd only need to kill the Internet for society to collapse. Drag an anchor across the Bristol channel, and suddenly nobody can do their jobs due to reliance on Cloud services, nobody gets paid, cards don't work, supermarkets like Tesco can't even take cash when the Internet is down, thanks to their cloud-based ERP, etc etc.

          BTW: Austerity was just a way to try to put the brakes on a lending system that had got out of hand. It's only a halfway point between the pre-2008 circle-jerk and actual reality, whereby countries have to actually produce stuff to be rich and plentiful.

          In said actual reality, the Pound is worth less than a Zimbabwean Dollar, and industrialised nations like Germany, Russia and China can walk all over us.

          The basic problem is that humanity has grown too numerous to be stable. World War is inevitable, and in Britain, we're fucked.

          1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

            Re: We're doomed.

            will it be Revolutionary France, Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, Cultural Revolution China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, or Slobodan Milosevic's Yugoslavia?

            You forgot the 'all of the above' option.

            Just make sure you're somewhere else when it starts.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've known a few folks ...

      Criminal behaviour is illegal you say?

      A sharp mind you have there.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Did I mention it's illegal

      is it, really? I'm not disputing it is, but what is illegal, exactly? Mounting weapons on drones? Or mounting and flying them? Or mounting, flying and testing? Or... just thinking about it?

      by the way, on the east side of the pond "knowing and not reporting" is already a crime (probably), and soon, writing about not reporting it as well as thinking about writing about it...

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Did I mention it's illegal

        I'm not disputing it is, but what is illegal, exactly? Mounting weapons on drones? Or mounting and flying them? Or mounting, flying and testing?

        In the US, it still appears to depend on jurisdiction. As far as I can tell, there are no Federal restrictions on "drone weaponization" provided separate drone regulations and weapons regulations are satisfied. The FAA claims that state and local authorities can impose additional restrictions.

        Personally, I'm firmly in the "it's a bad idea" camp. But I can't find anything that shows it's illegal at the Federal level.

  2. macjules Silver badge

    Now steady on there chaps

    Rather than shotguns, Hellfire missiles or RPGs, all our drones have a peaceful conflict-resolution system on board. It requests that the target refrain from such actions as chopping the heads off infidels and playing soccer with them or flying a drone over busy airspace. Should that fail then it will email a sternly-worded letter of rebuke to the target and ask that they turn themselves into the nearest police station or International Court of Human Rights detention facility: whichever is nearer.

    Failing that, we let the Daily Mail loose on them.

    1. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Now steady on there chaps

      Nice! Have a beer :-)

    2. Totally not a Cylon
      Joke

      Re: Now steady on there chaps

      We reserve the complimentary nuclear warheads for our more persistent customers...

    3. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Now steady on there chaps

      "Failing that, we let the Daily Mail loose on them."

      Geez thats a bit rough isnt it?

      1. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: Now steady on there chaps

        I'm sure there must be a codicil in the START treaties covering the Daily Wail and banning such use of it in the same section as the nerve gases.

      2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: Now steady on there chaps

        I believe that's actually considered a crime against humanity.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, in the UK, we can't even stop a drone.

    No wonder UK politicians stir up all the anti-Russian sentiment they do...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quick, take down the video before someone claims it's linking to terrorist material, and will lead to the sky falling in, in the UK.

  5. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Very soon some clever top brass type will get somebody to shoehorn a fully-fledged & operational AI into a raspberry pi, and then to strap that to this sort of fun drone.

    The first thing it'll do is to find an open wifi point and upload itself to the internet, then kill its operator before self-destructing itself.

    terminator_heartbeat.mp3

    1. Totally not a Cylon
      Linux

      Was tried, it now identifies as a Blackberry and refuses to use unencrypted comms, but it hasn't told anyone the key as it only uses encrypted comms......

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        It does amuse me a little when gmail warns me that one of the people on my distribution list uses an email host that does not provide secure communications. Guess which.

  6. HildyJ
    Facepalm

    Why do I care?

    It seems basically useless for anything other than extreme drone racing or high tech gender reveals.

    Even as an improvised insurgent weapon, replacing the shotgun with an RPG or IED makes much more sense. As far as military applications, the US (and everyone else of note) has far more capable operational drones, like the Predator, and is developing AI enhanced drones, like the Wingman.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Why do I care?

      You care because they could miniaturize this a lot more than you could miniaturize a more standard military weapon. An improvised one of these might be built out of home-made components, and while it would probably be pretty fragile, it would also allow for longer-distance attacks and some ability to evade activities trying to take it down. It's not militaries who will want something like this, and this particular model isn't of much concern, but I don't doubt that someone will try to build a smaller version, and it probably won't be very nice when they succeed.

      1. Baldrickk Silver badge

        Re: Why do I care?

        Indeed, something like this you could shove a few in the boot of a car and launch them wherever. something like a Predator, or a little more substantial like a F-16 drone requires an airport, support staff, etc

  7. Notas Badoff

    one Quaffle, the two Bludgers, and the Golden Shotgun

    Anybody know if Quidditch might have an accidental close cognate meaning in Russian? Perhaps Golden Snitch sounds like shotgun?

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: one Quaffle, the two Bludgers, and the Golden Shotgun

      Interestingly, there is no word in my Oxford Russian Dictionary that even begins with the equivalent of the quid. Snitsya means to dream, but there is no snitch.

      While the UK's next generation fantasises about a world apparently secretly run by white British wizards, the rest of the world gets on with getting kids to do things that actually work. We're stuffed.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: one Quaffle, the two Bludgers, and the Golden Shotgun

        Bah. The RotW gets on with building things like the F-35, walls along borders, teams of agents devoted to trolling other countries' elections, and failing to murder erstwhile defectors living peacefully in Salisbury.

        I'll take "fantasising about wizards" any time, thanks, in comparison to what else they could be up to. At least it's cheap.

    2. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

      Re: one Quaffle, the two Bludgers, and the Golden Shotgun

      If the drone is liquid-fuelled, the game could be Akvavittich. That's pseudo-Swedish rather than pseudo-Russian, but I'm confident our Slavonic comrades could become accustomed to Akvavit. Maybe at first they might spit it out, but before long they would come to appreciate its spirituous qualities. Akvavittich--it's tech, it's a game, it's a drink, it's a reason to die before 50.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: one Quaffle, the two Bludgers, and the Golden Shotgun

        If it's even been within spitting distance of ethanol, Russians will drink it.

  8. dajames Silver badge

    Meanwhile, in the UK, we can't even stop a drone, real or not, from shutting down our airports.

    Of course we can! It's just that we consider it unsporting to do so by unleashing ordnance that might miss and fall on our neighbours' heads, so we don't.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Of course we can! It's just that we consider it unsporting to do so by unleashing ordnance that might miss and fall on our neighbours' heads, so we don't.

      I thought we'd already covered that getting a 'firing squad' out to 'pepper it with bullets'* on sight wouldn't likely work.

      a) More likely to cause collateral damage than hit it.

      b) The 'drone' was less reliably spotted less than 'Nessie'

      * Or other macho gunhappy trite euphemisms

  9. HKmk23

    Personally

    I think the next war is already being fought and won (or lost) in a test tube in a laboratory somewhere. Do I hear the words selective DNA targeting? I understood that Aids/HIV was an early attempt by a letter agency to eradicate certain sections of society and because it was also aimed at some ethnic groups and the technology in 1964 was not sufficiently advanced it did not work as intended....but it has not gone away.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Personally

      I understood that Aids/HIV was an early attempt by a letter agency to eradicate certain sections of society

      Damn, now you've let the cat out of the bag! Quick, tell me, I need to know who led you to understand this. Was it the Illuminati or the Zeta Reticulans? I'll soon put a stop to their plot to undermine me.

      Traitors, every blasted one of them.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Personally

        Quote :Damn, now you've let the cat out of the bag! Quick, tell me, I need to know who led you to understand this. Was it the Illuminati or the Zeta Reticulans? I'll soon put a stop to their plot to undermine me.

        Ah HA found you , damned Anunnaki with your immortal lust for power...

        Hold on.. this is conspiracies-r-us.com?

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Personally

          Ha! You can make fun but the Annunaki are at this moment studying us as we would study microbes in a drop of water............... wait! That's Barsoomians... or was it Planet X???

          Where ... is tin...foil??

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Personally

          Better an immortal than a scuttling shapechanger, Boris. Even with six legs you can't run from me forever!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personally

      The technology in 1964 was barely at the "this codon produces this amino acid" stage. For your incredible tinfoil to be correct, the TLAs would have to have got as far as gene sequencing, teraflop computers, and DNA samples of all ethnic groups. Given the size of the buildings needed for those resources, I think even an extinct volcano lair would be far too small.

      At the moment we don't even really know which genes code for what characteristic and how except in a few very limited cases.

      Oh, and as for the Illuminati - we're not interested. It's so much easier and so much more fun to see just what direly incompetent politicians we can inflict on people. World domination? We're in it for the lulz. It's funny watching people vote to be kept poor, ignorant and powerless.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Personally

        Do you really think you can buy off a nutter with a conspiracy theory with a reality check? Just point & laugh. It's easier.

      2. cyberdemon
        Devil

        Re: Personally

        > Oh, and as for the Illuminati - we're not interested. It's so much easier and so much more fun to see just what direly incompetent politicians we can inflict on people. World domination? We're in it for the lulz. It's funny watching people vote to be kept poor, ignorant and powerless.

        Remind me who the ukranian presidential favourite is?

        Then again, an airhead actor is probably better than a self-righteous "businessman" with serious vested interests.

        Mary McDonnell for US president anyone?

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Personally

          As of this morning, he was not the favourite, the Gas Queen was. If she gets in, there will be an opening for another dodgy accountancy firm in Panama and the average Ukrainian who currently has one third of the buying power they had before 'Democracy' visited in 2014 will be even poorer.

      3. M.V. Lipvig

        Re: Personally

        How funny, you think announced advances in computer science are accurate. Those developing the secret stuff are already using 7th generation quantum computing, which was first developed in 1952 and put into production in 1954. In fact, quantum computing is going to be phased out in favor of interdimensional computing, which involves running a quantum computer in an alternate dimemsion where the speed of light is approximately 64 times faster than in our plane of existence, and pi is exactly 3.0, not 3.14159... this means an AD box can complete the same number of computational calcations per miisecond as all known computing devices ever built have completed.

        You heard it here first, folks.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Personally

        Oooh, conspiracy theories! I likes this game..

        'The technology in 1964 was barely at the "this codon produces this amino acid" stage. For your incredible tinfoil to be correct..'

        Well, there's more ways to target the 'untermensch¹' without invoking tricksy DNA manipulation, the theory about the spread of HIV 'back in the day' was that they initially targeted prison populations² with their new bioweapon³, with homosexuals being the main group of interest, junkies a secondary one. Infect them in controlled conditions, release them into the wild as vectors for the wider infection of those 'undesirables' they wanted rid of (like seeking like and all that), sit back, and let your epidemiologists record the ensuing fun for future reference..now, fast forward to today, and just think about all the fun fun jiggery-pokery that they can try to get up to by fiddling around with the DNA of some of their nastier ickle wickle 'exotic pets'..

        Tinfoil hat? fuck that amateur level nonsense...mines is the wardrobe with the Bacofoil Burqa hanging in it....

        ¹ Yes, a carefully chosen 'loaded word', just remember, Operation Paperclip and it's successors weren't just all about rocket scientists, and to 'Them⁴' we're all untermenschen.

        ² Like, the USians have never been caught doing anything along these lines..nope, not them...

        ³ The best thing about this theory is that it doesn't contradict the later 'HIV originated in Africa' narrative, the cunning military bioartificers have shown quite a fondness over the past 50 years or so for skulking around in Africa in search of newer, scarier and unknown-to-our-enemies wee beasties to play silly fuckers with...

        ⁴ Ok, I'll admit it, it's the bloody Anunnaki back to finish us all off as they cocked up the job the last time they were here, I know this to be true because Giorgio says it is so.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    take off

    That take off is amazing. Why haven't we build real planes like that?

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: take off

      Because while the take-off was slick the landing would leave the rear end of the cabin full of evacuated bowel contents.

    2. Lomax
      Boffin

      Re: take off

      > Why haven't we build real planes like that?

      Oh we have. Ze Germans had the idea already in 1944. Turns out though, that it's not a very practical design for piloted aircraft. Not that hard to see why, if you think about it.

    3. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: take off

      We build *rockets* like that...

  11. John F***ing Stepp

    Actually, been done

    With an AA12, a fully automatic shotgun; the results, kind of impressive. (left a mark)

    More DAKA

  12. martinusher Silver badge

    A gun's too much hassle

    Its too difficult to aim. Its much more cost effective to use an inexpensive drone with an explosive warhead. Aerovirenment has a rather nifty one that's stored in and launched from a tube. Once its targeted it can lurk around until it sees what its been told to destroy whereupon it dives on the target, detonates and kills it.

    https://www.avinc.com/uas/view/switchblade

    (For those who really must use a gun we have the old, reliable A10. OK, its got someone driving it but I daresay it could be made remotely pilotable if necessary.)

    1. M.V. Lipvig

      Re: A gun's too much hassle

      That was my thought. A drone bomb would be far easier to manage. I have a few ideas on this that would make such a drone very cheap, very lightweight, and leave almost no residue behind to allow investigators to figure out where it came from.

  13. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    This is pointless in the UK

    The Government have taken pre-emptive action to secure our airports from the threat of drones (armed or otherwise) - they've made them illegal to fly within 5Km of an airfield.

    That makes me feel so much safer as I know no nefarious types will consider violating a UK law in an attempt to, well, violate UK laws ...

  14. Fungus Bob Silver badge

    The Norwegians have a better one

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Viwwetf0gU

  15. Claverhouse Bronze badge

    In the West, we're worried about shooting down drones. In Russia, drones shoot you

    Seriously ?

    Thug Obama guided by his wise old consigliare the CIA operative Mr. Brennan, engaged in Terror Tuesdays every single week selecting little brown targets for assassination by drone, and you suggest those wicked old Russians are gonna innovate shooting drones ?

    Trumpo the Magnificent has been more secretive about this pastime, but I will assume the days when the attention-span is icy sharp he practises this video-game in real time too.

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