The future of warfare by remote control may not just be in the sky. While the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in combat is expanding, a ground game is developing, too.
The Republic of Korea (ROK) Army is considering the addition of a robotic piece of artillery to its arsenal, according to IHS Jane’s International Defence Review.
Speaking at a conference on the artillery of the future in London, an ROK Army colonel outlined how a mobile howitzer might be retrofitted so that it could be operated remotely, according to Jane’s.
The objective would be to reduce the size of gun crews and also prevent casualties from long-range artillery fire, specifically from North Korea. While a two-man crew would be needed to position the artillery, the firing would be done remotely through a fire direction center vehicle (FDCV).
The ROK Army would build on its existing K9 Thunder 155 mm self-propelled howitzer. The K9 can fire a shell every five seconds on different trajectories and has a range of about 25 miles.
As South Korea looks ahead to artillery of tomorrow, India is beefing up its big guns. The website Defense One says that India is buying about $750 million worth of 145 mm howitzers from Britain’s BAE Systems. The weapons would be used to defend India’s 2,500-mile border with China.