The Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems recently announced its LANIUS system, a ‘drone-based loitering munition for complex environments’, which can ‘autonomously scout and map buildings and points of interest for possible threats, detecting, classifying and syncing to Elbit Systems’ Legion-X solutions.’
A video about the LANIUS system, created by Elbit Systems, shows a swarm of small loitering munitions autonomously mapping an area and classifying different individuals as threats, apparently based on whether or not the individual is carrying or holding a firearm. While Elbit Systems states that ‘human attack missions require man-in-the-loop approval for fire procedures’, it is likely that removing the man-in-the-loop requirement would necessitate only a change to the system’s software.
Increasing autonomy in weapons systems such as the LANIUS demonstrates the need for states to urgently begin negotiations on new international law on autonomous weapons. The majority of states involved in Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons discussions on autonomous weapons support the negotiation of such rules.
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