South Korea, like no other country, understands very well the importance of having a good combat-ready army. The reason for this one, but very compelling. Just 40 km from the South Korean capital of Seoul just outside the perimeter are more than a million units of the Army of North Korea, for which up to now despite all the talk about politicians' friendship with the brothers in blood "and recently received the active development of inter-Korean economic cooperation namely the capitalist South is the main enemy. Although since 2006, South Korea, primarily for political reasons, is no longer officially considered North Korea's "main enemy", but for the military as long as everything remains the same: both the South and the North chetyrehkilometrovoy along the demilitarized zone separating the two parts of Korea Peninsula, holds about 70 percent of the armed forces of both countries. Southerners also calls for vigilance and other statistics: only just over half an hour North Korean long-range artillery from their current positions can throw at Seoul about half a million shells.
In the South Korean armed forces (Sun) from 2005 is a multi-billion dollar plan for the implementation of the reform of the armed forces. It laid the reduction of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces almost a quarter — from the current 690 to 500 thousand people. Note that both the capitalist South and the North on the socialist army comes mainly in the recruiting principle. However, if the RK (South) in a population of 50 million has an army of 690,000 and a term of military service in two years, planning to reduce both the number of aircraft, and the timing of military service, the DPRK (North) with a population of 23 million, has an army of 1 100,000 million, the term of mandatory service in seven years, and did not intend to decrease.
Two types of combat robots of the future
According to the experts, the South Korean army was forced to reduce its numbers including because the birth rate in the country is one of the lowest in the world. As a result, projected that the country's armed forces in the near future will not be able to get enough recruits. Shortages in manpower planning compensate for the more modern and powerful weapons systems, including robots, which will reduce the potential loss of human life in the event of armed conflict.
The program of reforming the armed forces of the Republic of Korea provides for the creation and adoption of a 2020 2-main types of robots, the development of which is parallel. The first type is a small device weighing several tens of kilograms, while the second will be a full-fledged fighting machine the size of a small infantry fighting vehicles.
The project involved the creation of fighting robots defense development agency of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Information and Communications. The military is responsible for the creation of the mechanics model, the majority of technology and weapons, and the second — a system for remote control and other electronic "stuffing."
As expected, the actual working model of the first type of military robots created to appear as early as 2011. He's already got his quite interesting name — "kenma", which in Korean means "sobakoloshad." It is still not known exactly how this will look like a robot, but according to published figures, these "soldiers of the future" will be about 40 cm tall and Recallonare sphinxes without wings mounted with their weapons or equipment. His weight is not more than 20 kilograms, which will carry it to one person. The robot will have either an eight wheels, or 6 feet, which allow the car to move like an insect, climb stairs and overcome almost any obstacle. This machine will be able to conduct reconnaissance, search and surveillance in the area, as well as detect mines. Universal platform for the equipment also allows you to equip it with small arms, means of visual observation, chemical detectors and radiation. For the implementation of this part of the aboutprogram ROK government has allocated 33.4 billion South Korean won (about U.S. $ 40 million).
In the next stage envisages the creation of a more powerful and advanced models of this type of robots. Their appearance is scheduled for no later than 2013. They will be equipped with a variety of weapons, including heavy machine guns, and be able to work both independently and run operator within the command post.
In parallel is the creation of a second type of combat robots. This will already be full heavy combat vehicles weighing more than a ton, shaped like BMP. Their tentative name — EAV (Experimental Autonomous Vehicle — an experimental stand-alone unit). Have already demonstrated the first working samples, and became known for a series of tactical and technical characteristics. Thus, shown in 2006 at the exhibition model was 3.1 m in length, one and a half meters tall and weighed 1200 kg. Speed — 30 km / h, and it works on batteries. A more lightweight and agile version weighed 900 kg, a top speed of 45 km / h, but was already working on gasoline.
EAV is equipped with a heavy machine gun, a video camera, radioactivity sensors, communications equipment, and other equipment. Provides the ability to install and more powerful artillery weapons or guided missiles. Self-propelled control operator, located in the rear at a distance of 1 km from the front line, where he manages all on-board equipment such as Global Positioning System (GPS), television reconnaissance camera and a laser scanner.
It is assumed that the EAV will perform two main tasks — exploration and combat operations. According to the representative of South Korean "Center for Development of intelligent robots," this type of combat vehicles can be particularly useful in the conduct of hostilities in the city.
According to the plans of defense projects agency (AOR) of the Republic of Korea to supply weapons to the armed forces of Kazakhstan is expected to begin in 2015. This project is allocated 15 billion won (17 million dollars). As the manager of the creation of fighting robots AOP Park Yong-un, is currently already available technologies to create a single database combat vehicle. "As soon as representatives from the Army, Air Force and Navy received an official application for the acquisition of these robots, we will begin to develop machines that are adapted to the specific needs of each type of troops," — said Pak.
Robots as part of a new concept of warfare
Koreans at all it does not hide the fac
t that the concept of development of the still new type of combat vehicles they have borrowed from the United States, which already is in full swing implementation of the 30-billion-dollar project to create future combat systems (FCS — Future Combat System).
In many ways, again, influenced by American thinking and innovations in the general plan of reforming Sun RK 2020 a lot of attention paid to the new concept of warfare, in which an important role is played by robots.
In the most general approach in the breaking of the concept regarding to the robots as follows. There will also be provided for the possibility that the robot is easy to carry out exploration for its own purposes will first produce a small portable robot scout minimum, with all this running it. Between all the combatants will be a constant exchange of information and coordination of activities. At the initial stage it is planned that the robots will operate only under the direct supervision of a person through the remote control system. But then as technologies improve the "Iron Soldiers" will be given to increasing self-sufficiency.
From words to deeds
Koreans have already proven that they do not just dream about the appearance of fighting robots, and make real steps. In the last two or three years in South Korea appeared sufficiently large number of ready-to-use robots. Although they are not the ones planned complex types of machines such as "kenma" or EAV, but are able to perform combat missions.
Thus, the South Korean military contingent "Zaytoun" stationed in Iraq, is already widely used robotic mine Robhaz, created by Korean company Yujin. This machine automatically searches for mines as well as chemical agents and radioactive materials, feeding when found a special sound.
Also, another South Korean company Samsung Techwin Co. with the support of the government has already set up the current version of the "robot border guards." According to the representative of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy of the RK, Lee Jae Hoon, the car has a detection system, tracking the enemy, as well as weapons — a light machine gun K-3. Moreover, the robot has a built voice box allowing yougive warning possible infringers. The machine is equipped with the usual appliances, and infrared night vision. The equipment allows us to distinguish moving objects the size of a man: of days — at a distance of 2-kilometers at night — up to a kilometer. When approaching the violator despite the warnings of the robot can automatically open fire for effect. The device weighs 117 kg, its height is 120 cm It is learned that at the end of 2007, the Ministry of Defense of South Korea has already begun installation of this type of robots along the perimeter length of 248 km that separates South Korea from North Korea.
New is not easily given, but for him the future
Of course, one can not say that for all of South Korea in the creation of military robots is going very smoothly. And lack of serious obstacles.
Up to now, there are still problems with the recognition of human speech robot, where such is provided. If the creators are willing to experiment, the military themselves, for whom the idea of "iron men" should help relate to robots with some skepticism. This is especially true empowerment of machines such autonomy, which would allow them to independently open fire. On a purely psychological level, there is supported by many books of the genre of science fiction is concern that the robot is "mad" and begins to shoot at their own. In this regard, the current (initial) phase focuses on the introduction of robots that would have served as intelligence clearance, etc. without equipping them with weapons.
It remains an open question of introduction of new tanks in the standard pattern of warfare specific units. It is one thing to place robots along the border, where they are, in fact, serve as better cameras with the possibility of shooting another — when robots have to perform on the idea of a serious combat missions. Mayor asked to name but his last name — Lee, an employee in one of the mechanized infantry divisions near Seoul, told the "little brother": "Pro robots, leading clearance, heard and even seen at the site, but that robots actually got really into service and served on the battlefield functions soldiers — in this respect, at the level of specific parts of even the preparatory work is not conducted. "
However, all these problems will be solved sooner or later, and military robots will be used widely in the armed forces of South Korea. And this question is not in the distant future, and the next few years. But these perfection inherent in the very concept of development of the armed forces. The same Major Lee admitted: "At the time, we shied away from computers, but as threatened that of computer illiteracy will be dismissed from the army, so all things quickly learned. Will give the team — and put the robots in the system ", — assured the officer, admitting that" now and a very good incentive: the army and cut it for the officers in many respects, so that does not fly, we all learn quickly. "
In general, we note that the military robots — a very important, but only one of the many components of the overall development strategy robotoindustrii in South Korea. According to the plans of the government of the country by 2013, Kazakhstan has to reach the third — after the U.S. and Japan — the largest in the world in terms of the scale and development of the industry, occupying 15% of the world market in this sphere. It is planned that in the near future robots will appear in various areas of the country, and by 2010 — in each family. Robots will clean the apartment, to teach children to read books aloud, connect to the Internet, order food and do a lot more things. In 5 years, South Korea intends to export robots abroad in the amount of two billion dollars, making them with all this on 30000000000. It is on the robots as a bet on the industry that will provide income in the future. It is expected that by 2020, South Korea will receive from the industry more income than from its extremely powerful and advanced automotive engineering.
For these ambitious plans have their reasons. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Resources of RK has recently announced statistics according to which in 2004 in South Co.yardarm only sold 6,000 robots, and in 2005 for 40 million. In 2006, the figure was 100,000 and is expected to double by 2007. While a robot here primarily mean a device which themselves wash floors, however, increasing interest and demand is obvious. The reasons for this desire to join the mechanical helpers, many see that the population of our planet strictly aging and the birth rate is falling.
According to Mr. O San Rock, in charge of the Ministry of Information and Communication Republic of Korea project to create robots, there's nothing fantastic. "Very soon, these devices will become an integral part of our lives, performing a variety of functions — from housewives to teachers and police and military," — he stressed.
As can be seen, "robotics" is provided for the entire South Korean society, is unlikely because there is little doubt that the armed forces are soon "stand in the system." Especially that "go-ahead" is given, the money allocated, plans are laid out and implemented.