History of remote weapons in pictures
For centuries there have been attempts to develop weapons that could be remotely controlled. Here is a look at some of these attempts from the past 100 years.
Gallipoli Drip Rifle
When the British and Commonwealth forces pulled out of Gallipoli on the Turkish coast during World War I, a number of delayed action systems were utilized to convince the Turkish forces that the Allied trenches were still occupied. This included the so-called "drip rifle," invented by Lance Corporal William Charles Scurry (later Captain W C Scurry MC DCM) of the 7th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, for firing a rifle by means of weights operated through water escaping from one tin into another. After about 20 minutes the rifle would fire, by which time the troops were long gone.
(Photo: Australian War Memorial, Public Domain)
One of the first truly remote controlled vehicles used in combat was the German Goliath Tracked Mine (Leichter Ladungsträger Goliath). It carried either 132 or 221 pounds of high explosives, and was intended to be used for multiple purposes including destroying tanks, disrupting dense infantry formations and even demolition of buildings and bridges.
(Photo: West Point Museum Collections)
Legged Squad Support System
Lance Cpl. Brandon Dieckmann, an infantryman with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, India Co., leads the experimental Legged Squad Support System (LS3) through an open field at Kahuku Training Area July 10, 2014.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Sarah Dietz/RELEASED)
A Talon Man-transportable Robot System (MTRS) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robot, from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 2 (EODU-2), Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) is used to disarm an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) during a demonstration at Fort Story, Virginia.
(Photo by PHAN Mandy McLaurin, USN)
Senior Airman Kyle Preece shown working on an F6A robot in Iraq. A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device burns in the background.
(U.S. Air Force Photo)
EOD destroys IED
Robots are helping soldiers deal with IEDs. Here Senior Airmen David Besse and Justin Voorhees, 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal flight, prepare to destroy explosives using a remote controlled robot.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Heath Tempel)
The Common Remotely Operated Weapons System (CROWS) is shown attached to an M-2 .50-caliber machine gun without the barrel mounted at the F Company, 2nd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) company area at Joint Base Balad, Iraq in April 2010.
(U.S. Army Photo)
Predator on the Runway
Airmen taxi an MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) at Balad Air Base, Iraq. The unmanned aircraft provides intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike capability.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colleen Wronek)
Robotic Rapid Fire
A UA 240G machine gun sits on top of a telepresent rapid aiming platform during a field test held at Camp Mercury, Iraq, May 20, 2005. The robotic system allows Marines to employ a weapon, via a remote hand unit, from up to 328 feet away.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Paul Robbins Jr.)
Robot Clears the Way
An airborne all-purpose remote transport system clears an area of unexploded ordnance at Balad Air Base, Iraq, April 29, 2005. Explosive Ordnance Disposal airmen use the systems to safely and effectively clear ranges while staying out of harm's way.
(U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)