On November 27, 2020, Israeli agents assassinated Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh with a remote-controlled robotic machine gun FN MAG, assisted by artificial intelligence (AI). However, Iran has denied this.

The death of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last fall is not particularly surprising: since 2007, Israeli intelligence units have assassinated five Iranian nuclear scientists and wounded one. others. The surprising thing about Fakhrizadeh's assassination is how he was killed - with a remote-controlled, AI- powered FN MAG machine gun from a secret location in Israel.

Zachary Kallenborn, a US Army scientist and senior consultant at ABS Group, said: “Israel's AI-powered sniper rifles demonstrate the promise and dangers of the new Israeli snipers. AI-powered weapons. A nuclear weapons scientist is clearly not a soldier. Their combat outfit is a lab coat or just a suit and tie."

Earlier this month, a New York Times article detailed robotic technology, along with other details about Fakhrizadeh's assassination, based on interviews with US, Israeli and Iranian officials. . For its part, Iran denied this information. Still, the interest in robotic-assisted weapons and its implications for the future is huge, nonetheless. And here's everything we know about the FN MAG robotic gun.

A Humvee parked on Capitol Hill October 4, 2011 is equipped with a system to help reduce soldiers' deaths in combat CROWS "Conventional Remote Control Weapons Station". The CROWS is mounted on top of the Humvee, made by a Pennsylvania company, Kongsberg Protech.

Since the 1990s, Israel has viewed the Iranian nuclear bomb as an existential threat to its existence. Iran, Israel's arch-enemy, is accused by Israel and the West of aiding terrorist groups that carry out attacks on Israel. Iran has also long been trying to develop nuclear weapons, and Israel's concern is that Iran could strike them directly with nuclear weapons or hand them over to terrorists who could launch attacks on Israel on their own. .

Israel's secretive intelligence agency, Mossad, has attempted to thwart Iran's nuclear development through campaigns of cyberattacks, sabotage, and assassinations. Nuclear scientist and physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is considered a leading scientist in Iran's nuclear program . Israel has tried - and failed - to assassinate him in the past.

Although Israeli intelligence has a reputation as a technical "witch", the method of assassinating an Iranian nuclear scientist also seems a bit far-fetched [using a machine gun to assassinate a target in Iran from Israel]. However, the FN MAG gun is real, the components to make a remote-controlled machine gun are already available, waiting to be assembled in the right order and used in a particularly cruel way.

The New York Times detailed this gun: “…is a Belgian-made FN MAG machine gun fitted with an advanced robotic apparatus. The system is no different from the Sentinel 20 system produced by the Spanish defense contractor Escribeano.”

Sentinel 20 is a remote-controlled weapon system that closely resembles the US-made CROWS system. CROWS , or Conventional Remote Control Weapon System, is an unmanned turret developed during the Iraq war. It was created because the U.S. Army and Marine Corps machine gunners - riding in Humvees escorting supply convoys - were in danger of enemy fire.

CROWS is a system that allows the gunner to sit in a protected Humvee, which can control the gun remotely with a joystick. The day/night camera allows the gunner to zoom in on targets, detect heat sources (such as improvised explosive devices and enemy troops), and attack the target at night. The CROWS also has an automatic guidance system, allowing the gunner to shoot slightly ahead of a moving target to ensure a hit.

Here is a video showing the system in action:

In short, it's basically a very hot weapon, especially since we don't know what specific remote-controlled weapon systems have been used so far.

Israel's robotic machine gun: Location

Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and the scene where he was murdered.

One major obstacle was that the entire system had to be controlled remotely - otherwise the security team protecting Mr. Fakhrizadeh would quickly shoot and corner the ambush. It's not just conjecture: at least one Israeli spy has been captured, tortured, and killed. The Israelis, unwilling to repeat that defeat, wanted arms control from an "undisclosed location more than 1,000 miles away," according to the New York Times.

The weapon itself has a delay of 1.6 seconds; in other words, it takes a long time for the spot video camera to project an image of the approaching target towards Israel, for the gunner to take action, and for the gunner's actions to be taken by the remote control system. far. In video game terms, it's "latency", but it's also something the software compensates for the moving time of the approaching target. The software, or artificial intelligence (AI) as the article suggests, can estimate a future target's location by 1.6 seconds and adjust the weapon's target accordingly.

The New York Times article describes the weapon as a "7.62 mm sniper machine gun". That's not technically correct. Machine guns are not built for sniper quality accuracy - in fact, machine guns are made to show a certain amount of accuracy, in order to disperse bullets over a wider area and suppress more enemies. The shape of the bullet on scientist Fakhrizadeh's car shows that the Israelis opened fire at a distance of about 92 meters or less.

Specifications of robot machine gun

The machine gun, the Belgian-designed FN MAG, is a loaded 7.62-caliber medium machine gun. It is the type of machine gun used by the US Army and Marine Corps. This particular gun was chosen for its penetrating ability - the slugs are strong enough to easily penetrate a car windshield without being deflected or deflected, striking the target.

The U.S. military and intelligence community has carried out assassinations for more than a decade, but the use of AI and unmanned ground weapons systems is different. In particular, AI can be used not only to ensure the destruction of a target, but also to strike with such precision that surrounding civilians and other innocent surrounding people are unaffected.

Israeli agents used only 15 machine gun rounds to kill the Iranian nuclear scientist in a moving vehicle without harming those around. Fakhrizadeh's murder shows that we are now in an age of remotely controlled warfare, and that time and distance are less and less constrained to killing. Restrictions, if any, will have to be put in place by the people.

"An autonomous weapon couldn't tell whether Mr. Fakhrizadeh was a scientist or a soldier, but it killed him," said Kallenborn, dubbed the "mad scientist" by the US Army. without touching the wife next to him, which strengthens the argument of the military powers that using AI to guide weapons can help reduce civilian casualties, albeit very weakly. with AI and facial recognition is not the future, it's reality."

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