No plans for killer US military robots… yet

Robotic systems and unmanned vehicles are playing an ever-growing role in the US military — but don’t expect to see Terminator-style droids striding across the battlefield just yet. A top Pentagon official on Wednesday gave a tantalizing peek into several projects that not long ago were the stuff of science fiction, including missile-dodging satellites, self-flying F-16 fighters and robot naval fleets. Work, who helps lead Pentagon efforts to ensure the US military keeps its technological edge, described several initiatives, including one dubbed “Loyal Wingman” that would see the Air Force convert an F-16 warplane into a semi-autonomous and unmanned fighter that flies alongside a manned F-35 jet.

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