Tuesday, October 18, 2022

"Suicide Drones". Really?


CBS aired a breathless report about Russian "suicide drones" yesterday.

"Suicide..." implies a sentient-being choosing to end its own life.

Drones, more properly called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are no more sentient than bullets or artillery shells or missiles or hammers.

Perhaps that is what we will hear next, "23 Russian land-mines committed suicide in Ukraine yesterday..." or "There were 60 fatalities in the latest mall shooting. Two people were killed and 58 nine-millimeter bullets committed suicide..."

Sheeze Louise...


  1. Would the German V1 buzz bombs be considered Gen 1 suicide bombs ? Durn Nazis, inspiring destruction over nearly a century to cause mayhem and destruction ...

  2. This one is kind of a head scratcher ERJ, as drones plunging into things has been pretty well established for a while now. Perhaps "Single Use Drones" is a better description.

  3. If we want to be pedantic - a drone is one that is capable of telemetry. In other words, they have data acquisition capabilities.

    Are these things remotely piloted or are they autonomous with crude inertial guidance? Given the jamming going on in the combat zones… a cheap low tech autonomous weapon might be the way to go?

  4. Propaganda...
    Suicide connotates extreme situations and fearful emotions. Used as an adjective here, it makes what essentially is a "missile strike" seem much more dramatic, doesn't it? Those poor Ukies, we need to send them more taxpayer money (minus 10% for the big guy)

  5. Yet more sloppy reporting - even calling them "drones" is inaccurate...
    So are the breathless claims about "killer robots" being new - we've had devices making kill/ no kill decisions for decades now - sea and land mines have been doing it for over a century, more recently joined by torpedoes, anti aircraft systems, etc.

  6. They 'bend' the words to get you to 'read'... sigh...

  7. Ah, "urinolists"! Should an enterprising soul collect an entire battalion thereof, I suspect that the collective intelligence might approach that of a solitary hammer.

    And, I mean no insult to the hammer.

  8. So what do you call it if there is a self aware computer on board to provide targeting? I understand there are conventions that don’t allow such weapons but who says that these follow the conventions?

  9. It's a hard life in the Russian military. Who can blame them?


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