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November 20th, 2008
Think of a futuristic war scenario where soldiers are firing smart weapons from the confines of their command centres.weapons that are capable of intercepting and destroying virtually all enemy attack weapons and yet, they are fired from unmanned vehicles thereby minimising all possibilities of human casualties.
This is the promise that nanotechnology has in store for the global defence industry, which is pumping billions of dollars in nanotech research, examining how nano science can improve defence capabilities. Potential benefits of nanotechnology in the defence industry include stronger, lighter and less-expensive materials and enhanced protection for military personnel.
That's the opening of an article in Financial Express titled "Small Wonders" [hat tip to Nanotechnology Now]. What they describe in that excerpt represents the type of advanced nanotechnology impact on warfighting that CRN has been warning about since at least 2005, when we provided this assessment about one kind of risk for a Millennium Project survey:
Large quantities of smart weapons — especially miniaturized, robotic weapons and intelligent, target-seeking ammunition without reliable remote off-switches could lead to unexpected injury to combatants and civilians, destruction to infrastructure, and environmental pollution.
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