Nine South African soldiers killed by rogue AAA

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Aggie08, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    Hate to see stuff like this.

    » Robotic anti-aircraft gun goes rogue, killing nine | IT News Digest | TechRepublic.com
    Robotic anti-aircraft gun goes rogue, killing nine

    Date: October 18th, 2007
    Author: Paul Mah
    Category: News, Hardware
    Tags: Firing, Ammunition, Computer, Productivity, Paul Mah

    In a horrific twist of events, a computerized anti-aircraft gun went out of control in a SANDF (South African National Defence Force) live-fire exercise. Attempts to shut it down failed as it sprayed hundreds of high-explosive 35mm cannon shells around the five gun-firing position.

    By the time the Swiss/German Oerlikon MK5 twin-barrelled anti-aircraft gun had emptied its twin 250-round auto-loader magazines moments later, nine solders were dead, with another 11 injured.

    It was believed that the gun jammed moments after the exercise began.

    Excerpt from Independent Online:

    When the female officer went forward to help the gunner clear the blockage, another shell was accidentally fired, causing some of the unspent ammunition in nearly-full magazines to explode.

    The rogue gun began firing wildly, spraying high-explosive shells at a rate of 550 a minute, swinging around through 360 degrees like a high-pressure hose.

    The unknown officer tried to shut the gun down but she couldn’t because the computer gremlin had taken over. Her fate was unknown at the time of going to press.

    A top-level board of inquiry involving military, police, and government will attempt to determine the cause of this tragic incident.

    Excerpt from Wired Blog:

    Other reports have suggested a computer error might have been to blame. Ex-Defence pundit Helmoed-Römer Heitman told the Weekend Argus that if “the cause lay in computer error, the reason for the tragedy might never be found.”

    Excerpt from The Register (Edit October 19: Insert additional excerpt to clarify robotic nature of weapon):

    In normal use the gun is designed to automatically target aircraft, helicopters, and cruise missiles and fire when they come into range. The weapon is capable of operating, and even reloading, without human intervention. Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota told the National Assembly on Tuesday that all the guns were set on “manual” at the time of the exercise.

    A cursory search of the gun model shows that it has a maximum hit range of 4km, coupled with automatic reloaders that “makes it possible to feed and fire all the ammunition available on the gun without manual intervention.”

    I leave it to you to infer the consequences had the gun been hooked-up with full ammunition reloads.

    edit: that last line is not my comment, it is the final sentence of the article.
     
  2. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    If that was a software error, then the manufacturer should have the $#@! sued out of them and the software program manager hung. Safety requirements to address malfunctions are high level requirements addressed as fundamental procurement specs. No excuse.
     
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    It has started, the machines are taking over.

    .
     
  4. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Once again proving that women should never play with big boy toys...
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Wow that sucks. I agree with Matt up there and I am sure someones head will roll.
     
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